How does the combination of cream and “mashkalai daal” strike you? Bizarre? Unusual? Well, the contestants of Rupchanda-The Daily Star Super Chef 2018 think no different.
In the fifth episode, the Superchef participants were left baffled when the “Jaadur Baksho” (mystery box) revealed a bowl of cream and another of “mashkalai daal”. Their first mystery box challenge was a test for innovation. Even before the pressure test, the participants were already feeling the weight of presenting an innovative dish that was appetizing both in terms of taste and looks. A daunting challenge indeed, but the chefs lived up to the judges' expectations while some set the bar even higher.
Madia Sultana Tisha's innovative approach to preparing “malai chop” with mashkalai daal topped with a swirl of spun sugar was commendable. Thus, her restaurant quality dessert was titled the best dish in this episode. Where Tisha proudly flaunted her best dish badge, four cooks had to fight for their spot in the Superchef kitchen. Moinul's presence in the danger zone came as a shock even to the judges. Such unprecedented turns go to show the excessive cost of a slight blunder in this competition. By the end of episode five, Umme Tashlima Lupa's journey at the Superchef kitchen comes to an abrupt end. Lupa's cheesy chicken and apple grape juice fell short only by decimal points from Monir's serving of orange juice, fruit shashlic, and club sandwich. With this, sixteen participants head to the next level with relief and anticipation.
Ready for the next challenge in the sixth episode, Superchef participants took their respective positions behind their counters. Only then the kitchen doors opened to welcome the ever so talented actor of Bangla cinema and television, Ziaul Faruq Apurba. Clad in a tailored black suit, Apurba walked the passage in long strides and joined the judges' panel only to face sixteen starstruck chefs.
The chefs finally returned to reality at the announcement of their next cook-off challenge. Using the rich resources at the pantry, participants were asked to present a dish that reflects the food of Bangladeshi middle social class. The opportunity to treat a celebrity like Apurbo with their own cooked food was surely a drive for the chefs.
Moinul showcased his culinary skills by integrating European style to a Bengali staple food. His stunning plating of “Lau chingri” and steamed rice reminded Chef Jed of an international fine-dining experience. Parallel to that, Duriatun Nur's native touch with lemon rice, red spinach, and fish pickle won a round of applause. No one less than the other, episode six saw two best dishes-- one from Md. Moinul Haq and the other from Duriatun Nur.
Customarily, four cooks were found in the danger zone. This time, innovation was to be practiced with leafy vegetables. Three of the bottom four contestants amazed the judges with their highly innovative and flavorful meals but Fahmida Neetu's deviation from the instructed theme of the challenge cost her a place in the Superchef kitchen.
Higher bars have been set at the competition. One tiny flaw and the ultimate goal of becoming 2018's Rupchanda-The Daily Star Super Chef will fade out. Keep an eye on the curtains of ntv at 9 pm every Saturday and Sunday to find out what fate holds for the remaining 15 future chefs.