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Star Chef Contest- WomenNow Utsav 2012

Star plus organized Star Chef Contest with WomenNowTV as part of Utsav2012 the first ever star studded pre-diwali event with activities for everyone in the family. The contest was held on Oct 6th – 2:30PM at Santa Clara convention center. It was open to all cooking enthusiasts and was a huge success. IMG 1128 Star Chef Contest  WomenNow Utsav 2012 The Contest was managed by Smitha Rao who has a full time job is in IT and loves volunteering for womenow and MCed by Ranjan Dey, renowned chef and owner of The famous New Delhi Restaurant in San Francisco. It is one of the finest Indian Restaurants in the US as mentioned by New York Times and featured on the Galloping Gourmet TV Show, New Delhi is the place to dine.The event received immense response and was a big hit. Contestants were asked to bring home cooked vegetarian entrée, appetizer or dessert with Besan as the main ingredient. Participants came up with innovative, delicious and creative variety of besan dishes.The honorable jugdes for the events were:Chef-Teacher Sukhi Singh, founder of Sukhi’s Gourmet Indian Cuisine which was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1992, following an increased demand for authentic Indian food prepared with premium, natural ingredients.Nalini Mehta, who offers a unique experience through Route to India. Her mission is to bring about a revival of Ayurveda and the art of holistic living. She teaches classes around the bay area: The Delectable Dosa:The Art of Making Indian Crepes.Ashwini Kumar, the man behind fine traditional Indian Cuisine in Silicon Valley, Madhuban. Madhuban has won best of the bay awards for best Indian cuisine, Northern California for two years 2009 and 2011.Papiha Nandy, she is the voice behind VOICE OF INDIA. SALAAM – NAMASTE is a television show hosted by Bay Area’’s most popular Radio and Television personality Papiha Nandy, who is well known in the field of broadcasting for the last 23 years.24 participants took part in the contest. There were 2 rounds. Out of 24 dishes, 5 dishes were shortlisted in the second round. The final round was held on stage where the 5 contestants were asked about the idea, story and healthy factor behind their dish. 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 one runner up. All the paticipants and their dishes were commendable which gave a hard time to judges to choose only 5 finalists and 2 winners.The shortlisted 5 contestants were Vaishali Ukirde who made tempting ‘Besan Bruschetta’, Shoba Rao who came up with all organic ‘Besan Crepe’, Gunjan  Kumat who made interesting ‘Assorted Besan pedha’, Sonal Nekilerru  who invented the ‘Besan Cannoli’and Hema Raja came up with creative ‘Besan Veg Tofu Wrap’At the end of two rounds, Vaishali Ukirde was awarded the winner trophy, 150$ Gift Certificate of New Delhi Restaurant and New World Spices 6-pk Spice box. She made the amazing healthy ‘Besan Bruschetta’. She is a material science graduate and currently works as a Sr Research scientist at a startup. Cooking is her passion and she loves to try out different cuisine.Shoba Rao bagged the runner up trophy along with the 100$ Gift Certificate of New Delhi Restaurant and New World Spices 6-pk Spice box. She came up with nutritious and innovative ‘Crepes Medley’. She works in IT industry and volunteers for Cancer Institute Foundation. According to Shoba healthy did not need to be boring and by adding little love as the ingredient, any dish can be tasty!All the participants were awarded the Star Plus Certificates.Last but not the least a BIG THANKS to Ena Sarkar, The Women Now 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 :). As a food blogger and food photographer tt was an awesome experience for me.You can witness the passion for cooking of all the contestants and the hard work of the organizers ,volunteers and judges to make this STAR Chef Contest such a success in the pictures. Hope you enjoy them:)Participants preparing their dishes for the Contest

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Award Trophies

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The ‘STAR’ Organizers…Ranjan Dey & Smitha Rao

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Participants arranging their dishes for the contest

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Star Plus Trophies awaiting for the Winners:)

The food entries for the Contest

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Dhokla IMG 0477 2 Star Chef Contest  WomenNow Utsav 2012

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Besan Veg Tofu Wrap

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Tangy Vegetable Bites

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Besan Chatpata Roll

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Besan Canoli

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Triple Decker Dhokla Sandwich

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Besan Bruschetta

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Assorted Besan Pedha

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Parantha Chaat

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Govind Gatte

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Besan Crepe

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Paan Samosa

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Recipe descriptions submitted by the Contestants

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Ranjan Dey welcomes Papiha Nandy, the voice behind VOICE OF INDIA

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Ashwini Kumar, owner of Madhuban Restauraant

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Sukhi Singh, founder of Sukhi’s Gourmet Indian Cuisine & Nalini Mehta, founder of Route to India

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Ranjan Dey, Venu Nadella & Smitha Rao sharing a laugh

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Nalini Mehta with Ena Sarkar, Founder of Women Now

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Smitha rao with Ranjan Dey

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Ena Sarkar, founder WomenNow

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Ashwini Kumar with Ena Sarkar

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The top 5 contestants…Gunjan Kumat(Assorted Besan Pedha), Shoba Rao(Besan Crepe),Hema Raja(Besan Veg Tofu Wrap),Vaishali Ukirde (Besan Bruschetta) & Sonal Nekilerru (Besan Cannoli)

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Ranjan Dey with Top 5 Contestants

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The top 5 Besan Dishes

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Ranjan Dey briefing the top 5 contestants for final round.

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The top 5 contestants with their Besan Dishes.

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Contests, Judges & Ranjan Dey on Stage for final round.

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Vaishali Ukirde introducing herself and replying confidently to the questions of the judges.

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WomenNow Team

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Gujan Kumat told judges the story behind her Assorted Besan Pedha and how she made her husband the guinea pig for all her besan experiments:)

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Judges share a hearty laugh listening to the interesting stories!

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Papiha Nandy

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Ashwini Kumar

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All applaud to the confident and interesting responses of the contestants

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Nalini Mehta

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Sonal explained how she made an amazing fusion dish with italian cannoli and indian besan. Her daughter encouraged her to take part in this contest.

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Sukhi Singh

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Shoba explains how healthy and organic her besan crepes are. She volunteers for Cancer Institute Foundation which is her inspiration to cook healthy food.

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The judges listen attentively to the replies of the contestants.

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Ranjan Dey introduces Smitha Rao and appreciates her hardwork,dedication, time and effort to make this event a success!

 

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The judges made their decision. Shoba Rao bagged the runner up trophy along with the 100$ Gift Certificate of New Delhi Restaurant and New World Spices 6-pk Spice box.

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Vaishali Ukirde was awarded the winner trophy, 150$ Gift Certificate of New Delhi Restaurant and New World Spices 6-pk Spice box

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The winner dishes for the contes: Besan Bruschetta by Vaishali Ukirde & Besan Crepe by Shoba Rao.

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The proud Star Chef Contest Winners…Vaishali Ukirde & Shoba Rao

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The Star Team of Star Chef Contest:)

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Categorised as: Food | Food Photography | Photography


8 Comments

  1. Sunny says:

    You got some pretty amazing pictures …! :-)

  2. Smitha Prasad (Co-host WomenNow TV) says:

    You’ve captured every moment so well, beautiful!

  3. rama says:

    Excellent photography with amazing dishes. Thanks

  4. Monika Jain says:

    You captured the contest so beautifully.Thanks Anita:)))



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