For participants, Kitchen Battle is a way to improve their skills and realize their dream of becoming a chef. While for others, it’s an opportunity to share their love for cooking. Here are four of the sixteen selected candidates. The new show will soon be launched by Le Défi Digital and TéléPlus in collaboration with Tea Blenders Ltd and Island Meat Distribution. Kitchen Battle episodes will be broadcast on the Defimedia.info Facebook page and the TéléPlus YouTube channel.
Kormagen Valaven: between preservation of heritage and modernity
In May, Kormagen Valaven received the Bronze Chef 2022 medal. He had sent a photo of his dish to the organization Best of Gastronomie International. At 18, he wants to push his limits by participating in Kitchen Battle. Kormagen Valaven (Nelvin) is currently undertaking the “Diploma in Culinary Arts” at Polytechnics Mauritius.
The Hermitage resident says he follows the latest local news on the Challenge’s Instagram page. “On the newsfeed, I came across the announcement of Kitchen Battle. This culinary competition is a platform to share my passion for cooking. So I didn’t take long to register,” he says. Two weeks later, he is informed that his application has been selected for the auditions.
Kormagen Valaven then opted for a dish synonymous with cultural richness. He prepares seafood, because the island is surrounded by water. He adds baby vegetables and a Creole sauce. The dish is served with rice pilaf.
This contest is a platform to share my passion. So I didn’t take long to register.”
Fusion cuisine is his favorite field. “I favor local cuisine in order to preserve the heritage of our ancestors. But I add my personal touch and a pinch of modernity. For example, he sometimes prepares creamy masala tagliatelle with spicy prawns and fried chicken kari leaves.
Kormagen Valaven has been passionate about cooking since he was 4 years old. He begins by helping his mother to prepare the meal. He first learns to boil instant noodles. At 10, he developed an ease in the kitchen and began to fry burgers and eggs. Then, when he comes home from school, he cooks a lentil soup or a curry for dinner.
During the second confinement, in April 2021, he launched the mau_lakwizin page on Instagram. He shares photos of his dishes there.
The dream of this former student of Vacoas State Secondary School, who completed his schooling in 2021, is to work as a chef in a host and to gain experience on a cruise ship. His ultimate goal is to open his restaurant.
Chitrasing Sewraj Thakooree: Innovation in the kitchen
Chitrasing Sewraj Thakooree is as comfortable in the preparation of traditional dishes as innovative recipes. She participates in Kitchen Battle to show her talent.
This 37-year-old housewife is a regular at cooking competitions. By following the news on the Defimedia.info Facebook page, she became aware of the competition. She told her husband about it and registered.
When she was selected for the auditions, she wanted to put on a big show. “I wanted to prepare the chicken in a creative way. We are used to ‘kari’, kalia and stew. But we rarely think of associating it with pineapple. These two flavors are complementary. »
I loved watching my mother cook. I inherited his passion”
The resident of New France made a chicken with pineapple accompanied by sautéed rice and a cucumber salad. His recipe had the desired effect on the jury.
Chitrasing Sewraj Thakooree has been roaming the kitchen since she was a teenager. “I loved watching my mother cook. I inherited his passion. During my first tries, there was a bit of a waste of ingredients. But I persevered and perfected myself,” she says.
After the wedding, she took cooking classes. Lasagna, chicken manchurian, chicken turnovers, chicken catless with grilled vermicelli as breadcrumbs and chicken kalia are among his favorite dishes. Chicken kalia is her husband’s favorite dish.
This mother of a boy wants to take courses at the Sir Gaëtan Duval Hotel School to improve her skills. She dreams of becoming a chef.
Gilbert Vythilingum: family dishes from forgotten ingredients
Gilbert Vythilingum, 55, is Restaurant Manager. He has been working in the hotel industry for 30 years. Although it is in the dining room during the day, it is in the kitchen that we find it in the evening. He concocts dishes like no other for his loved ones. It sublimates rare or forgotten foods: bitter gourd, endives, dried prawns, moringa “brède” (mouroum), turnip, breadfruit, etc.
Cooking came naturally to him as a teenager.
“I’ve always admired my father who could cook for hours for his guests,” he says. He also wants to impress his loved ones. At 16, he started cooking to help his mother.
When I receive guests, I’m not the type to go to the supermarket. I prepare something from what I have on hand.
Propelled, once an adult, into the hotel world, he rubs shoulders with gourmet cuisine. However, what he enjoys are everyday dishes.
“When I receive guests, I’m not the type to go to the supermarket. I open my refrigerator and prepare something from what I have on hand. »
Gilbert Vythilingum challenged himself to make his children eat the foods they didn’t like. He incorporates them into the dishes without them knowing it. “At the end of the day, they always end up enjoying what they eat. »
He impressed the jury during the auditions with an original dish: chicken with bitter gourd and a gratin made from prawns and “brède mouroum”. An unlikely mix that won over the jury.
Improvisation and invention are part of his daily life in the kitchen. But this is the first time he has been tried by a jury of four counts. “I was surprised to learn that they liked my dish and that they had made a discovery. »
Manome Curpen: cocktail of love and experience
Accustomed to culinary competitions, Manome Curpen finished third in Radio Plus’ Divali cake competition in 2020. “Mo pa kapav res anplas kan mo trouv bann konkour kiliner”, she explains.
This 56-year-old woman, who is the cook for an NGO, learned cooking on the job and above all with a lot of practice. When she sees a recipe, she makes it her own. Like her famous moussaka, of which she alone has the secret. It has an ingredient that even the jury struggled to pick out.
This moussaka has become the favorite dish of his relatives. So much so that at each event, she systematically offers it as a starter or main course. “I was wondering what I was going to cook for the competition and it was the moussaka that came to mind. »
I love to cook and this competition is an opportunity for me to show what I can do.
Manome Curpen got up at 5:30 a.m. to prepare her meal on the day of the auditions. “When I presented my dish to the chefs, it was cold, but I didn’t want to heat it up. I knew I had candidates full of potential in front of me, but I said to myself, it’s make or break. It was a real pride for me to hear the appreciation of the jury. »
With thirty years of experience in the kitchen, Manome Curpen says she started when she was 13 years old. Her first dish was a potato curry with spices she had on hand. Her grandmother had complimented her. “I wanted to continue and I learned the basics of cooking by asking those around me for advice. »
Her boss gave her a recipe book, in which she learned to cook less traditional dishes. This allowed her to further develop her love for cooking. She always wants to improve her knowledge. In books or on social networks, she always tries to revisit popular dishes.
“I like to cook and this competition is an opportunity for me to show what I can do,” she says.