Cooking competition heats up

2016-10-25 06:00
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Who will be Vangate Mall’s queen (or king) of flavour? All will be revealed this weekend as the five finalists in the Feast of Flavours competition enter the special Vangate Mall kitchen on Saturday for the final cook-off.

The five contestants – Asgari Kahn, Dilshaad Dalvie, Irfaan Dalvie, Badru Abrahams and Jasmine Davids – will have to cook three-course-meal within a time-limit. The dishes they have to prepare and ingredients will however only be revealed at the event.

People’s Post spoke to the finalists to find out more about their culinary inspirations.

Asgari Kahn says she avidly follows cooking competitions on television. “I love being in the kitchen and experimenting with new recipes. Also making food for people to taste and see what they enjoy drives me to keep cooking and making more dishes and keep trying new things,” says Kahn.

Her favourite ingredient is green chutney, made from garlic, chillies and coriander.

“I am expecting to have lots of fun. I never entered a competition like this before and I am excited to be there and to be a finalist.”

Dilshaad Dalvie says her culinary inspiration comes from her history at a retailer. “I was introduced to food in a different way than traditionally prepared and what I was used to. I worked with them for 15 years travelling the world and eating at the best restaurants tasting different foods. Taste and flavours also inspire me,” she says.

Her favourite ingredients are broccoli, big brown mushrooms, anything with leaves such as pesto, chickpeas and lots of fresh vegetables. “I am expecting to be challenged. I usually look for a recipe and I don’t know what I am cooking so will I be inventive. I am nervous but I am ready,” she says.

Irfaan Dalvie says he loves to cook for its therapeutic nature.

“That is one of the reasons why I love cooking and it is also interesting. The ability to bring flavours together and experiment.”

He loves cooking with meat and chicken and coconut milk and his favourite spices include star aniseed, saffron and cumin.

“I am interested to see how I cook under pressure but the desert worries me because I don’t bake. Cooking is easier for me because there is more room to be creative and add flavours then image what they will taste like together, baking is more scientific,” he says.

Badru Abrahams says she started cooking from a young age. “I always loved to cook and I am always excited to see what the end product will be because it usually turns out better than I expected,” she says.

Abrahams adds that to her taste is more important than looks. Her creativity in the kitchen also leaves her constantly adjusting recipes and getting great results.

She prefers baking over cooking and loves to use fresh cream, chocolate and caramel and tends to reach for the spices while cooking for its flavour enhancing.

“I don’t know what to expect from Saturday but I am excited and it will be a great challenge for me.”

Jasmine Davids says her love for cooking drives her. “I love to cook for family and friends. It has been a hobby for a while now,” she says.

Her love for cooking really started when she got married 35 years ago.

Her favourite ingredients include fish, prawns and chicken and she loves to make paella, stir fry and salads.

“I am seriously nervous but excited. I am used to cooking at home for my family and but cooking like this is making me nervous but I am preparing,” says Davids.

The dishes will be judged by local celebrity cooks Aunties Flori Schrikker and Koelsam Kamalie, People’s Post editor Cecilia Hume and Malika Noordien of Voice of the Cape.

The public can also join in the fun at Vangate Mall on Saturday, starting with a Zumba session at Virgin Active at 10:00.

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