Life always gives big opportunities in the form of small hints; Pankaj got it in the form of the 1st cookery realty show- “Amul’s MasterChef of India”. The show was hosted by a big celebrity Akshay Kumar. The show helped Pankaj in exploring herself as a professional chef beyond her teaching career spanning over 16 successful years.
With her own mobile app, cookery book – MasterChef Cook Book, cookery show – Chef Pankaj Ka Zayka, the culinary academy- The Pankaj Bhadouria Culinary Academy and her signature Café –Tramp Tree Café, Pankaj has established herself as a Chef both at National and International levels.
She took the flavours of Indian overseas when she was invited to Varli Food festival in New York. Another major recognition came when she was invited to address the South Asian Community in Britain by Cambridge University. She demonstrated some Indian foods for health-conscious people and managed to break the general British myth that Indian food is all about spicy curries and Chicken Tikka Masala.
Pankaj is the Brand Ambassador of Amway India popular product Nutrilite, and Hindustan Unilever Limited’s “Hunar Aapka, Pahchan Hamari” campaign. She is endorsing Eastern Masalas, India’s biggest spice manufacturers and exporters and also writes for many Newspapers and publication and a column for the leading Magazine.
HospiBuz brings you an exclusive interview, to know more about her journey as a school teacher to India’s First Master Chef and beyond.
HospiBuz: Congratulations on your accomplishment of wearing Masterchef Crown. Did you get the idea of starting these ventures while you were a participant or after wearing the crown? How did Masterchef show help you to socialize and give you chance to learn from the accomplished chef?
Masterchef Pankaj Bhadouria: We had always wanted to do a food joint and had some plans on paper when MasterChef happened. Post the glorious win, the plans underwent a change and we decided to come up with a Culinary Academy. On my show, we got to interact and learn from two brilliant chefs, Chef Ajay Chopra and Chef Kunal Kapoor. Both the gentlemen were fantastic mentors cum friends who helped in honing our skills.
HospiBuz: Before participating in Masterchef you were a teacher, does your teaching skills helped you to grow more successful in the Masterchef competition and after wearing the crown of Masterchef?
Masterchef Pankaj Bhadouria: Definitely it did ! As a teacher, I knew how to work in a stipulated time, plan my work for the day, work under stress meeting deadlines and outperforming other competitors. Post MasterChef, the Academy was an extension of the teacher in me.
HospiBuz: You have represented India at South Asian Community in British, Varli Food festival in New York and Cambridge University. What difference do you find in the culinary skills in and outside India?
Masterchef Pankaj Bhadouria : In India, I think we cook from our hearts while I felt cooking was more methodical outside India.
HospiBuz: What do you enjoy more hosting a food show on Indian television or being a brand ambassador of prestigious brands? How are these assignments different from each other?
Masterchef Pankaj Bhadouria: I enjoy both! Each is important to me. Hosting shows on TV or being a brand ambassador of prestigious brands, both give me an opportunity to reach out to people, and to me, that is the most important thing.
HospiBuz: Along with a successful chef you are an epitome entrepreneur, author, and mentor. How do you manage so many tasks perfectly?
Masterchef Pankaj Bhadouria: I think being a woman helps! We are so used to multi tasking in our lives! But more important, I have an excellent support system in my family which helps me sail through all these roles that I perform in my life.
HospiBuz: Ma’am you have come up with Tamaara Restaurant and Tramp Tree Café how different is it to manage a restaurant and café as compare to the chef in the kitchen?
Masterchef Pankaj Bhadouria: It is a team that works together with our work divided for each profile. So I am managing the kitchens while my husband manages the business.
HospiBuz: You are a perfect example of woman empowerment. How being a woman helped you to excel in reaching victorious level? Who helped you or became you support pillar to reach this level?
Masterchef Pankaj Bhadouria: As I said, being a woman helps. I have been fortunate enough to get a very strong supportive family who have taken on every challenge of mine as their own.
HospiBuz: You have countless admirer and follower all over the world, please share your success mantra with them.
Masterchef Pankaj Bhadouria: There is no success mantra as such. I am a very simple, homely person and share a part of my life with my friends. I think that is what helps me to connect with them easily.
HospiBuz: Ma’am how do you define “Food” and “chef”.
Masterchef Pankaj Bhadouria: Food is the vital energy for life, something that keeps us going. While food feeds the body, good food feeds the soul. A chef is simply a facilitator in the entire process.
Thank you so much for your prestigious time !!
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