Nepali chef Santosh Shah has entered in the final round of the ‘BBC Master Chef Professionals 2020’.
It is renowned internationally competition.
Out of the total 32 professional chefs participating in the competition, Santosh has managed to reach the top 6 by crossing various stages.
It is a great achievement of his career.
Santosh Shah secured his position in the top six with the Newari dish Yomari.
Yomari is also called Yamari; it is a delicacy of the Newari community in Nepal.
Yomari is a steamed dumpling.
It consists of an external covering of rice flour with sweet fillings such as chaku.
The delicacy plays a very important role in Newari society; it is a key part of the festival of Yomari Punhi.
He prepared Nepali dumpling Yomari delicacy, stuffed with chocolate, cashews, nuts, chilli, orange and cinnamon.
Then, at the request of the judges, Santosh made Indo-Chinese dishes and pickles.
They are chicken chilly, hot and sour soup and crispy noodles.
London-based 34 years old Santosh is originally from Karjanha, District Siraha, Nepal.
He came to the UK in 2010 and he works at Indian restaurant Cinnamon Collection as the head chef.
He is also an executive chef at Saffron Circle UK.
His main dream about being in Master Chef was to promote Nepali Cuisine, more than the winning.
He says, “I am proud that I have brought Nepali Food at a prestigious show and presenting Nepali Food gives me immense pleasure.”
Santosh is very positive about his approach in BBC Master Chef Professionals UK.
He says winning is a different thing; but the bigger thing is participating.
He again added, the World will remember the delicacy of Nepali Food after this show.
He is also researching more about Nepali foods of different culture and places.
If show grants, he wants to wear dhaka topi in the finals.
Santosh lost his father during his early childhood.
He used to sell Bread and Polythene as a kid to earn 20-25 rupees per day (20 cents USD present time)
He failed his SLC (class 10th) exams in 3 Subjects (math, English and science).
Then he went to Gujarat, India at the age of just 15 by thinking that if he washed dishes he would get some money and also food to eat.
He got a dish washing job and started earning ₹ 900 Indian currency.
He was very happy with this job.
But when he saw people with white dress and long Topi (chef’s cap) earning ₹ 17,000 at that time, he wanted to become a chef.
One day, he went to executive Chef’s room and requested to let him work in Chef’s department.
The chef agreed and asked him to prepare flour dough and setup coal for tandoori roti.
After that, Santosh went to another hotel.
That hotel also had teaching institute where he earned a diploma and also managed to work at the same.
His next target was learning English for even bigger post.
So, he managed time and started English coaching at 3 different places.
He then gave interviews at different hotels and finally got a job of Executive Chef.
In the year 2006/7, he had 70 people working under him and his salary was ₹ 40,000.
Then he tried going abroad for better opportunities.
He went to Montenegro (in southeast Europe on the Adriatic coast of the Balkans).
But he was not happy there and he came back to India.
A Guajarati Hotelier in London called him and proposed to take him to London for work.
He agreed and processed for documentation; his work visa was approved.
Before going to London he came back to Siraha, Nepal (his birth place) to meet his mother.
He met his mother took her blessings and travelled to London with a big dream.
In London, he had to struggle a lot in the beginning, because he was not paid well and had to do extra work.
The restaurant where he worked in, served Indian dish inspired from French cuisine; where he got the idea to do something about Nepali Dish.
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