Being a food lover, I’ve always admired food shows on television. Whenever I see a food show .. I am like ” Wow!! What a feast for eyes! ” The same happened recently when I stumbled upon Zee Cafe’s Chefs’ Line. One lazy weekend while surfing through the channels, Chefs’ line trailer caught my attention and I found it really interesting.
The Australian cooking show that premiered last week on Zee Café, has a unique premise: in 13 episodes across the season, home cooks battle against professional chefs, focusing on a specific cuisine for each week. Every Mon – Fri at 9.00 PM enthusiastic Home chef’s compete with professional Chef’s to create never seen never kind of magical dishes from around the World. The judges .. describe the aromas, flavors, taste, gulp the delight created by the contestants .. and all we can do is drool …!!!!
Hosted by famed Australian food personality Maeve O’Meara, The Chefs’ Line is judged by Leong, along with native ingredient expert and chef, Mark Olive, and renowned restaurateur and chef, Dan Hong.
Shot over a span of six weeks, the culinary challenge showcases a range of global cuisines like Vietnamese, African, Japanese, Mexican, French and even Indian too. The Chefs’ Line will also shine a light on the multicultural appeal of Australia’s diverse food culture. The weekly format will see four home cooks go up against the apprentice chef every Monday night. The home cooks with the best three plates on the pass progress through to the next night. On Tuesday, the 3 home cooks have moved a step up the chefs’ line and cook against the station chef with another home cook going home at the end of the night. Wednesdays are always the penultimate battle; the final 2 home cooks take on the sous chef. Thursday night is the final night of the competition; the best home cook faces-off against the restaurant’s head chef . Wow , isn’t it amazing . ..
In the first week, I saw a home cook from Vietnam put together Pork & King Prawn Lettuce Wrap, Coconut and galangal crème caramel (bánh flan) Vietnamese noodle soup etc. They put their heart and soul to recreate the dish handed over to them from generations and of course there was a unique twist given to each dish by the contestants. Last week on Thursday, when the final home cook representing theme Africa got eliminated, I really felt so sad. But at the same time felt happy and proud that she represented her country’s culinary delight, competed with professional chef’s and gave them a tough fight. People with great passion can make anything possible .. Someone rightly said Passion is Oxygen of the Soul.
I am sure many might be wondering … being a Vegetarian, who cooks and eats mostly Indian … why is that I am enjoying a program in which almost everything is Non- Veg? Well, Food ..like music and art, has no boundaries. I enjoy the way contestants experiment with combinations, combine the tradition with the modern and create new flavors. In the process, they face many challenges and tackle them to move a step closer to their dream. Inspirations for my recipes can come from anywhere and yes I can give my own twist to it .. the way my family likes. Like for example, I really liked the dish Sizzling coconut pancake with crab and barbecue pork (bánh xèo). The Vietnamese crepe looked kind of similar to our Neer dosa and hence I was sure my family would like it. I eliminated all the Non – Veg from it and made it super healthy and colorful with lots of veggies, just the way we like :). And named it as Veggie Viatnamese Crepe or Vegan bánh xèo…
Isn’t it cool? Want to know how I made .. here you go …
For the crepes
1 cup rice flour
1 tablespoon Corn flour
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Salt to taste
1 cup water
For the filling
1 teaspoon oil
1 Small Onion , diced
1 small Capsicum , diced
3-4 tbsp cucumber, julienned
3-4 tbsp Carrot, julienned
3-4 mushrooms, sliced
A handful of fresh mint
A handful of cilantro
For the dipping sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
2-3 Cloves garlic , mInced
2 tbsp Lime juice
2-3 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Chilli flakes
1/2 cup water
> Mix together all the crepe ingredients in a bowl and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
>Mix together all the dipping sauce ingredients and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Keep it aside
>In a small pan , saute the veggies onion , capsicum , carrot , mushroom until they become little brown. Dress with 1 – 2 tablespoons of the dipping sauce , coriander and mint .Keep aside
>Heat a medium-sized pan. Ladle a small amount of the crepe batter into the pan and tilt the pan in a circular motion in order to coat the surface evenly. The crepe should be very thin .Cover the pan with a lid. Allow to cook for about a minute .
>Stuff each crepe with the veggie mixture and fold the crepe and remove to a plate.
>Serve Vitanamese Veggie Crepe with the dipping sauce on the side. Enjoy hot .
Cooking is my passion and I could see the same passion in these home cooks eye. And hence I feel more connected to Chefs’ Line and look forward to watching it every day. To be honest, I am watching this program as an excited student, learning .. lot of new techniques, new cuisines, new spices, new ingredients etc. I am sure you will agree with me once you start watching the show. In fact, these days, once the program is over, Hubby and Me discuss, argue about the judgment, contestants, dish etc haha . .. It’s fun :). Start watching Chefs’ Line guy’s and join the club and don’t forget to share with me who’s your favorite contestant …