In search of culinary geniuses, Star Lifestyle and Rupchanda (the flagship brand of Bangladesh Edible Oil Limited) has been organising Rupchanda-Star Lifestyle Super Chef 2014, a one-of-a-kind culinary competition held in Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Khulna and Barisal.
Through a series of tests, the judges select four participants from each of the divisions, rewarding the winners with a cash prize of Tk.25000. Then, in the final round, top three chefs will be awarded with prize money of Tk.5 lakh, Tk.3 lakh and Tk.2 lakh respectively.
The last couple of weeks saw the audition rounds in Khulna and Barisal.
Exotic, fusion and traditional dishes were presented to impress the judges. A local ingredient of the region, 'chui jhaal', which is used in beef curry, mutton curry, etc. succeeded in capturing the judges' attention.
“The quality of the dishes here has surpassed my expectations,” one of the judges -- Abdullah Tareq, head of operations at IDEATE Hospitality Consulting Services -- informed.
The judges' panel includes TV personality and author Shawkat Osman as well. M A Mannan, owner of Grill House & Restaurant; Ali Azam, head chef of the restaurant; Mahabuba Rahman, adviser, Siyam Cooking Centre and Eti Mahmud, director of Orange Cooking Centre have been the regional judges.
The audition rounds were held on 17 May, 2014 at Tiger Garden International Hotel on 1 KDA Avenue.
Like in Khulna, Barisal too saw a huge response; over 200 participants came in to take part in this one of a kind culinary contest.
The regional judges for Barisal division are: Rahima Sultana Kazal, Executive Director, AVAS; Jahan Ara Begum, Professor, Government BM College; Shukla Rani Halder, Associate Professor, Government BM College and Sonia Al-Aqsa, a cultural activist. The judges' panel also included Shawkat Osman, renowned author, TV personality and a food columnist of Star Lifestyle, and Kanishka Chakraborty, another food columnist of the supplement.
The audition rounds have been held on 24 May, 2014 at Barisal Club on Barisal Club Road. Registration for auditions in Rajshahi, Chittagong and Dhaka is still open. More information is available at 09612777888.
Next week, the audition round will be held in Rajshahi.
By M H Haider from Barisal
Photo: Shahrear Kabir Heemel