Children and cooking make for an interesting combination. After proving herself at MasterChef Junior 2013, Sakshi Tripathi is set for bigger culinary adventures. Check out this flavourful interview!
By Ashwin Dewan
Six years after she made a splash on MasterChef Junior 2013, the girl from Lucknow, Sakshi Tripathi plans to don the chef’s hat once again. This time, she has her eyes on the MasterChef India title.
Back then, on the MasterChef Junior show, Sakshi was among the top three contestants fighting for the title. With an innate flair for innovation and ingenuity, she rustled up delicious dishes that had the judges floored. What stood out apart from her culinary prowess, was her steadfast determination and burning ambition to be the best.
Today Sakshi is still clear-headed when it comes to her plans. She aims to become a doctor but continues to pursue her other passion, cooking. In a candid chat with ParentCircle, she talks about running her own restaurant, her experiences with reality television, her family's support, her first dish (there's an amusing twist to it!) and her dream of participating in and winning the coveted MasterChef India title.
I started cooking at the age of five. I still remember the first time I cooked a dish, only because the story has a funny twist to it. I had baked cupcakes which, unfortunately got burnt, but I didn't know that when I gave my father some. He did not utter a word about the cakes being burnt and instead praised my cooking. Later, my father and I had a hearty laugh over the entire episode.
I am not a trained cook and have never attended any classes. All that I have learnt about the art of cooking, is from my sister and grandmother. Of course, my mother helped me a lot later.
A lot has happened, literally! I have opened a restaurant in Lucknow. It is called ‘Raj Gharana: The Heritage Food Villa’ and specialises in different types of cuisine. I wanted to serve food from other parts of India to the people of Gujarat. So, our menu lists Rajasthani, Gujrati and Punjabi dishes.
There were a lot of interesting and memorable moments! I got the opportunity to meet and interact with several celebrities. After the show ended, I became a celebrity myself — people would come up to me asking for my autograph or a selfie! The whole experience felt good, I must admit. There were a few tough moments on the show, but with family support, I was able to sail through them.
There have been many, to be honest. Initially, people would be shocked when I said that cooking is my favourite hobby. Also, my father was not too happy because he wanted me to focus on studies instead of cooking. He was also worried about me handling sharp objects in the kitchen. Despite these challenging situations, my sister and mother were my backbone. My sister, Shradha Tripathi, who is studying law, is one of my biggest strengths.
My favourite chef is Chef Jolly, who was one of the judges on the show. He used to support me a lot on the show and even used to call me ‘Jhansi Ki Rani’. In fact, during difficult situations, it was his encouragement, among other things, that egged me on.
Of course, tasty can be healthy and vice versa. There are many different perceptions regarding healthy eating — that it should be bland, it should be steamed or baked with no oil, so on. In my opinion, it is healthier to have variety in food, but within limits.
Right now, I want to be a doctor when I grow up. However, cooking is still my passion and I want to compete in and win MasterChef India. My advice to all aspiring chefs would be to pursue whatever you are interested in despite obstacles you face. Trust me, success will eventually follow.
Sakshi’s story is one of steadfast determination and hard work working together to chart a path to success. As parents, be inspired by her remarkable journey. Support your children in their choices. After all, it is your faith and belief that will spur them on to turn dreams into reality.
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