Portrait of four candidates selected for the show Kitchen Battle. They highlight the traditional dishes of Mauritius and try new recipes. You can see them at work during the “battles” broadcast on the Defimedia.info Facebook page and the TéléPlus YouTube channel. This culinary competition is organized by Défi Digital and TéléPlus, in collaboration with Tea Blenders Ltd and Island Meat Distribution.
Soomeiya Bibi Nadair: head in the pans
Cooking is second nature to Soomeiya Bibi Nadair, 21. When this university student doesn’t have her head in her books, we find her behind the stoves. She prepares tasty meals for her family, teachers, friends and for personal enjoyment.
“Cooking is a passion that allows me to forget my problems. I feel comfortable in the kitchen. Since we need food to live, I think you need to know how to have fun,” she says.
She started cooking at the age of 15. Her first dish, macaroni, proved successful. It was the beginning of his culinary adventure. “I mainly cook dishes that I like. Because I don’t just love cooking, I also love eating,” she confides.
Cooking is a passion that allows me to forget about my problems. I feel comfortable in the kitchen”
Soomeiya Bibi Nadair mainly cooks Indian and Mauritian dishes: briani, butter chicken, kebab, typical Mauritian tikka, stew, kalia, fried noodles, fried rice, curry, grilled meat, all kinds of starters and desserts. She has more than one string on her bow and does not like to be limited.
“When I saw the ad for Kitchen Battle, I thought of my friends telling me that vegetable briani was taking up their time. Since I have an easy method for preparing this dish, I wanted to enter the competition and propose it. Soomeiya Bibi Nadair, this was the perfect opportunity to share her recipe with the public.
She was a natural for the judges during the auditions. “The jury put me at ease. I especially appreciated the efforts of the various participants who were supported by their families. For this passionate chef, more than winning is the participation that counts. It is an experience to live. “I think you never stop learning. We learn new things every day. I would like to improve my cooking skills and practice new techniques in less time for the next stage of the competition,” she explains.
Laura Sangeeleemootoo: the taste of sharing
Laura Sangeeleemootoo, 42-year-old administrative secretary, is a regular at culinary competitions. She shares her love for cooking with her mother.
In college, she says, she never missed a cooking class. Then happily reproduce what she had learned. This love grew after her marriage and when she became a mother. Especially since her husband is also a lover of gastronomy and the kitchen has become their playground.
“I helped my husband who often prepared tasty dishes. So I was his clerk and eventually I developed this love too. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen, he and I. She will later be joined by her children.
Today, it is for her friends and family that Laura Sangeeleemootoo cooks at parties and family events. “Standing in the kitchen puts me in a good mood and allows me to de-stress after work. The kitchen is a sharing for me. It keeps me positive and gives me the opportunity to express my emotions. For her, nothing beats the joy of awakening her guests’ taste buds.
Kitchen Battle is a springboard to develop my know-how. It is a challenge to be able to measure myself with other enthusiasts»
Chicken curry, smoked tuna tartare with avocado and mango, duck breast and tandoori with curry leaves are some of his specialties. The mother is in favor of responsible cooking and advocates anti-waste.
“Food waste concerns us all and I make the people around me and my children aware of it. †
Quality is very important in cooking. According to Laura Sangeeleemootoo, there are many easy and delicious recipes that you can make with leftovers. With the bread: a pudding, French toast, subs, breadcrumbs. With fruit: compotes, crumbs. With chicken: a salad, a chutney.
During the auditions, the chefs were captivated by her sense of detail and taste. “Kitchen Battle is a springboard to develop my know-how. It is a challenge to measure myself against other cooking enthusiasts. I also share my passion while learning. The jury’s comments were constructive for the future. †
The candidate is now preparing to strive for perfection as she learns to manage her time. She wants to impress the jury with the creativity and taste of her dishes.
Veeramootoo Murdamoothoo: promoting the foods of yesteryear
Veeramootoo Murdamootoo (Vassou) takes part in a culinary competition for the first time. The 71-year-old applied for Kitchen Battle after hearing the announcement on Radio Plus.
“I signed up to share my passion for cooking. I also want to show that you can prepare tasty dishes with dishes from the past, such as breadfruit. This fruit and its benefits are little known to the new generation. While it used to be part of our diet,” emphasizes the Curepipien. For example, he prepared a breadfruit au gratin for the auditions.
He indicates that he wanted to present a general recipe, but with a rare good. “I usually make a gratin with christophines (darling), gourd and pumpkin. I tried breadfruit au gratin for the first time and got the expected result,” he says.
Children have no information about the benefits of certain products of yesteryear, such as cassava. I want to highlight them”
The pensioner tells that breadfruit was once available in different dishes: cake, curry and boiled.
“This fruit is consistent. It was eaten cooked and buttered, accompanied by a cup of hot tea. He laments the fact that the new generation has become accustomed to fast food and processed foods. “Children have no information about the benefits of certain products from I want to highlight them, he also wants to promote the traditional dishes of Mauritian cuisine: fish curry with aubergines, chicken with dal gram with masala or baked lamb.
Veeramootoo Murdamootoo was born in a humble family. He was 10 years old when he fried an egg and pieces of meat. “My mother worked in the reed beds and I lost my father when I was 8 years old. As the youngest of seven siblings, I prepared certain meals. †
After graduating from school, he started working in the construction industry. After the wedding he continues to cook, although his wife is also cordon bleu.
He admits he has a mistake. “I’d rather cook than clean the house. When I cook, I make a mess. When I’m done, I do my best to put the products and utensils back in their place. †
And to add that his two children inherited his talent. “My son is in France. He likes to cook for the people around him. When I go there, I make meals for relatives, who say they appreciate them. †
Deena Toylocco: the love for good food
Jackfruit is a fruit that Deena Toylocco, 39, likes to cook. She prepared a chicken and jackfruit vindaye to impress the judges during the auditions.
“The idea was to work with a well-known and appreciated dish. I found that the jacque goes very well with the chicken vindaye. I added caramelized pineapple slices for a sweet touch. The dish was not too greasy and not too spicy,” says the resident of Henrietta.
She is participating in a culinary competition for the first time. With Kitchen Battle, he can overcome his shyness, meet and interact with other cooking enthusiasts.
While browsing the Defimedia.info Facebook page, she saw the Kitchen Battle announcement. “My sons are fans of culinary competitions broadcast on international channels. They encouraged me to join because they want to see me on television. To please them and to be seen as a star in the eyes of my sons, I submitted my application. †
Her children are 8 and 10 years old. They accompanied her during the auditions. Fans of Radio Plus follow the Allô Maurice program during the trip to school.
My sons are fans of culinary competitions broadcast on international channels. They encouraged me to join, they want to see me on TV.
They appreciate the pastries their mother prepares for them. On weekends they are entitled to a special non-vegetarian meal. “At school they eat vegetarian food. So I make them happy by cooking butter chicken and naans on weekends, for example,” says Deena Toylocco.
His children often get their hands dirty. Her husband also helps her prepare meals. “If I make a new recipe, he will taste it and give me his opinion,” she says.
The 30-year-old has always loved her parents’ cooking. “When I was little, the crackling of the fricassee at the bottom of the casserole and the smell that emanated was fascinating. I was quick to stir the ingredients,” she says.
Deena Toylocco wants to highlight the dishes her grandparents once prepared. “Nowadays children are used to fast food. We can prepare it at home, in a healthier and more balanced way. Thus, the children will be more interested in tasting the vegetables. †