Some of you may know that I am associated with a casual Indian Family Restaurant in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates named Silver Fork Restaurant. The restaurant has been serving Abu Shagara and nearby areas with scrumptious Indian cuisine for the past 4+years with a whole set of regular family customers.
The kids who visit the restaurant are like an extended family for us and most of them are passionate about food, cooking etc. So we wanted to cheer them up and do something special for them.
That’s when we had an idea of hosting a cooking competition for kids but we didn’t want it to be like any other ordinary competition where they come and cook something on a table with a pre-prepared setup. We wanted it to be different and give them an authentic kitchen cooking experience.
So after brainstorming, we put out applications for the Junior Chef Challenge and to our surprise, we had more than 85 applicants for it from the local community. Sadly, we had to filter and select just five based on authentic recipes, dish photos & videos etc (it was a tough decision to make since we had limited space)
The five selected candidates were informed and we told them that they will have to cook the same dish for us but in our restaurant kitchen like an actual junior chef. They were super excited and thrilled about the opportunity.
We had to make adjustments to our regular operations for that particular day to comply with all safety & other regulations but it was worth it for the kids.
They got a first-hand experience of how a real restaurant kitchen works and also had guidance on what all protocols are followed in the kitchen.
The kids got to work immediately with little to no assistance in what they wanted to prepare and we were stunned by the professionalism and how delicious the dishes turned out to be.
Our main chef did a final review based on taste, presentation etc and awarded them with a token of appreciation. All the kids went back home thrilled and with something that they would cherish for the rest of their life. Parents were extremely happy for the kids and we were overjoyed with the response from the local community that we got during the next few weeks.
We plan to do this once again in a much grander format and by inviting kids across the United Arab Emirates soon.
Check out the Facebook Page of Silver Fork Restaurant for more photos and videos of the day