Chefs have the ability to be change makers. We transform food and therefore also shoulder the responsibility to impact the people behind it. From food producers to diners it is a story worth telling.
In many ways, platform such as these, offer us a chance to be able to inspire, educate and activate the collective. As a judge, I could be a catalyst to a manifesto that showcases forgotten ingredients, unknown dishes and cuisines.
Silverscreen production created this series with a vision to bring the cook in every neighbourhood into the limelight. Mediacorp Vasantham wanted to create a cooking show that could be an opportunity for the everyday cook to participate and show talent. And we as judges wanted to hero the conventional ingredients, culturally significant ingredients with unchartered dishes across cuisines and continents in the Asian diaspora.
Keeping the focus on sustainability, food security and health, this show took the audience back to the basics. It showcased the next door home-cook who was an unsuspecting mother, father, sister, daughter, son or just friend.
Un Samayal Araiyil, a programme, a calling for many across all districts and zones in Singapore, showcased cooking talent with challenges that were curated to showcase cuisines, cultures and countries.
Connecting and interacting with people from all corners of Singapore, this program was about building a community, a society of people who understand the language of food.
48 contestants were chosen and, each brought their personality, their own flair for food. With years of cooking and creating dishes for their loved ones, the contestants undoubtedly did not need any accreditation as they were the supreme masters of their kitchen. This was their time to shine! And we did the best to share all we have gained from the F&B industry.
Cuisines, traditionally have always been a blend of culture and sustainability. If one looks deeper into “eating what is grown locally” that changed to “growing what you want eat” you understand this better. In efforts to eat better, live healthier many have turned back to the old, traditional ingredients, ways of eating. Here was an amazing window of opportunity to present the “OLD, NEW” with ingredients like ancient grains grown, mostly non-GMO, were grown by our ancestors, back thousands of years all coming back as fad diets.
Singapore’s relationship with food is no secret and a matter of pride as it takes the forefront to go where others still hesitate. An example is the last episode aired where the first challenge presented “Plant-based Meats”. The challenge showcased #Tindle with real chicken like mince, #Growthwell with its Konjac based squid, #Karana with its jackfruit based meat mince and #Fable with mushroom based meaty chunks. Another example where we presented a plant based cheese, #Herbyvore along with other dairy based cheese in the ingredient challenge.
Personally, Un Samayal Araiyil is a beautiful gift. A gift that helped me be instrumental in paying the positivity and guidance that I have received as a #masterchef contestant forward.
It has been a very fulfilling journey and a huge responsibility. I hope to continue impacting the way people create food, hero produce, producers and create many memorable moments for you as viewers and participants. THANK YOU to all those who came up to me in the wet market, MRT, in a shop or the road to let me know that are watching the series. Appreciate it very very much!
I hope I was able to help people create their plated dish so that created memories of an experience that makes them special and proud. Thank you for participating and giving us your all!
My heartfelt thanks to Silverscreen Productions, Mediacorp Vasantham, Jaynesh, Chef Bala, Chef Thana Balan, Sanjeevi Sharma, Sheikh, Stacy, Swathi, Vivek, Farzana, Sahana, the entire team of Filmoholic Pictures, the band of boys doing all the running-heavy lifting, Tammy and her makeup team, the team of gentlemen who took care of all the cleaning and resetting the pantry!
Special thanks to Chef Bala, Chef Thana Balan, Sanjeevi Sharma, Sheikh for their confidence, guidance and support. Romba Nandri!
Cheers to the entire season of Un Samayal Araiyil -cast, crew, producers, broadcasters, audience!
All Video Credits: Silverscreen Production, an Award winning Media Production house based in Singapore.
If you have not yet caught up with the episodes, click on the MeWatch:
Here are the episode links:
Watch the finals tonight (17th January, 2022, Monday) on Mediacorp Vasantham or MeWatch at 9:30 pm!
A Surf and Turf Dish Challenge based on the 6 Tastes of Food: Sweet, Salty, Sour, Pungent, Astringent and Bitter. 4 ingredients for each taste including 4 ancient grains for starch, 4 traditional legumes and a table full of Meat and Plant-based Meat.
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