IndiaNow 2013 Master Chef Contest

WomenNow organized the amazing IndiaNow 2013 event on 22nd & 23rd June 2013 at Santa Clara Fair Grounds. It was an exciting cross cultural event which brought India and US together to explore the infinite possibilities of trade and tourism and deliver tangible opportunities.

IndiaNow 2013 Master Chef Contest was one of the interesting event which took place on 23rd June 2013. It was open to all cooking enthusiasts and was a huge success.
IndiaNow 2013 Master Chef Contest

The Contest was managed by Smitha Rao who has a full time job is in IT and loves volunteering for WomenNow and MCed by  the amazing Shobana Ramamurthy. The event received immense response and was a big hit. Contestants were asked to bring home cooked vegetarian entrée, appetizer or dessert with RICE as the main ingredient. Participants came up with innovative, delicious and creative variety of rice dishes.

The honorable jugdes for the event were:
Vinita Chopra
Creator of Culinary Expereinces! Has spent more than 3 decades in the Hospitality Industry. Special interest in plant based cuisines, food as medicine and a holistic approach to nutrition. Several years of teaching at the Le Cordon Bleu school in San Francisco.
Pammy Kapoor

Pammy’s cooking skills inspired her to start a quick-serve Indian healthy food restaurant, Kaati Fresh, in San Jose, and she is now well known for her gourmet cooking. She has also been engaged with art from an early age and made her debut as a children’s book illustrator. Pammy had devoted several years of her life to philanthropic endeavors and has lent her artistic talent to charitable events around the Bay Area.
Asha Shivakumar
Asha believes that we eat with our eyes first. Her passion for food and style, shows in her work whether as a foodstylist for prestigious events, or as a blogger. While juggling her work as full-time mom of two or three boys (depends on whether you include her husband), she manages to be a hidden food critic for local magazines and also a contributes recipes and articles to Foodies, Saveur, Delicious Magazine and Eat me.

Judges graded the dish based on taste, presentation and uniqueness of the use of main ingredient. On the basis of all the rounds, judges selected one winner and 2 runner ups. All the paticipants and their dishes were commendable which gave a hard time to the judges to choose only 3 winners.

The first prize was bagged by  Arathy Sulekha who made the authentic Idiyappam. She belongs to the state of Kerala and came to US in 2011.  An IT engineer by profession, but now a stay at home mom.  Cooking is her passion. An avid watcher of food network and travel channels.

The second prize winner was won by Smita Dubal who created the innovative Baked Avocado and Rice cutlet. She came to US last year with her husband and is from Ahmedabad. Cooking is her new hobby and since she is a foodie she loves to try new dishes and explore different cuisine.

The third prize was won by Yashodhan Deshpande who prepared the interesting Multi layered steamed rice cake. It was a true visual delight and interesting rice delicacy. The winners were awarded with the IndianNow 2013 appreciation certificates and gift vouchers.

Last but not the least a BIG THANKS to Ena Sarkar, The IndiaNow 2013 Team and the Volunteers without whom this event would have not been possible! Finally how can I not mention how much fun and great learning experience I had in clicking the amazing food pictures and covering this exciting event.It was my birthday on 23rd  June and I would have not asked for a better  birthday gift JAs a food blogger and food photographer it was an awesome experience for me. I would also like to thank Prasanth Gopi who gave me company while capturing these great memories. You can witness in these pictures the passion for cooking of all the contestants, the hard work of the organizers ,volunteers and judges to make this IndiaNow Master Chef Contest  2013 such a success. Hope you enjoy them:)

Organisers of the Contest

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Participants adding final touche to their dishes

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Delicious Rice Delicacies at the Contest

Idiyappam & Cinnamon & Raisin Rice Pudding by Arathy Sulekha

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Mini Tart Platter by Geetanjali Goyal

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Sugarfree Macaroon Spice Cookie by Hema Raja

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White & Wild Rice Cream with fruits & rice cake by Rhman Khan

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Rice Trifle by Shoba Rao

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Baked Avacado & Rice Cutlets by Smita Dubal

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Ric-Lava by Trupti Kankaria
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Rice Quiche filled with Ratatouille by Vaishali Ukirde

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Multi layered  steamed rice cake by Yashodhan Deshpande

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Judges evaluating the dishes

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After judging round the delicacies were open to public for tasting

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Award Distribution Ceremony

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IndiaNow 2013 Master Chef Contest

IndiaNow 2013 Master Chef Contest