Wowing the world with Sri Lankan cuisine | Daily News

Wowing the world with Sri Lankan cuisine

With the judges and some of the contestants
With the judges and some of the contestants

Radiating charm and confidence she presented each dish with expertise. Finally her flair for whipping up tantalizing dishes which pleases the eyes as well as the taste buds was rewarded. On November 9, 2020, 11-year- old Georgia from Victoria proved what is possible for young girls across the world. This pint-sized dynamo with a passion for her grandmother’s authentic curries became the winner of ‘Junior MasterChef Australia’.

She presented a trio of Sri Lankan curries: pork curry, cashew curry, eggplant curry, pappadums and cucumber raita with Sri Lankan yellow rice and ‘Tropical Mess’ - a toasted coconut ice cream slice with Davidson plum meringues and pearls for dessert – a combination which she described as “a blend between Sri Lankan and Australian – a bit like me!” Taking on the challenge of creating a two-course meal for four, with 90 minutes for each course, Georgia credited her grandmother for her flair to make dishes that reflect her cultural heritage.

“I’m very close to my Nanna and my Papa. They’re both Sri Lankan. My Nanna taught me how to make lots of different Sri Lankan food,” Georgia explained on the channel 10 reality show.

She was just three years old when she began cooking. She began her culinary venture with scrambled eggs and toast.

“My family inspired me to cook. Just watching them in the kitchen constantly and just always wanting to do what they were doing motivated me,” she revealed.

Georgia loves making sweet creations, despite not really having much of a sweet tooth herself. A perfectionist in the kitchen, she finds cooking calming and loves to experiment with recipes at home. She is a fan of the Chinese cuisine.

“What I love most about cooking is that it is a great way to express myself,” she said.

She admits that cooking in front of cameras and on TV is a bit different to cooking at home in her own kitchen.

“It is scary to be on TV, but it’s not too hard once you start cooking. The idea of it is terrifying, but once you do it, it just becomes something that you love to do. You kind of get back into the zone, though, like you’re cooking at home. You always remember the timer, it’s hard to forget the timer, but it’s really fun and it’s almost like you’re at home, you’re just cooking and doing what you love to do,” she opined.

Apart from winning the competition Georgia feels that the other giveaway she got from the whole experience is making friends with the other contestants.

“They were all just so nice and such great people to be around. That’s a good thing, because we hung out all day. I definitely made quite a few close relationships and we’re all still keeping in touch at the moment,” she mused.

She says that the judges: Melissa Leong, Andy Allen, and Jock Zonfrillo, were really fun and nice to work with.

“They’re pretty easy to approach and stuff, and it was always fun to have them there. It was just really great to have them taste our food,” she said.

Queried on who her favourite chef is and Georgia said she loves Helen Goh and Yotam Ottolenghi’s cooking.

“I love Poh Ling Yeow as well. I have her cookbooks,” she quipped.

Apart from cooking, Georgia is into running, playing with friends and hanging out with them. She is also passionate about tennis and martial arts. She enjoys spending time with her pet cat, Nacho.

“I’m a cat and a dog person. Mum won’t let me get a dog yet. I have to wait another six months to get one,” she adds with a hopeful smile.

She says that she would definitely recommend taking part in competitions like Junior MasterChef for other children with talents.

“It’s such a great experience. I think anybody who thinks they are able to cook and thinks they have talent should go for it. Even if you don’t think you’re good at cooking but you do it sometimes, just give it a go, because there’s nothing you can lose, it’s just such a fun experience,” she enthused.

Though Junior MasterChef Australia has come to an end, Georgia has no plans to stop her magic in the kitchen any time soon.

“When I grow up I would love to own a cafe where I could do small nice desserts,” she said.

Bagging $ 25, 000 along with the trophy, Georgia notes that she is not too sure what she will do with the prize money, but she will definitely use it for something fun and food-related.

“I’ll have access to it when I’m 18 so I have seven years to think about it,” she said.

“I would like to travel and find out what different foods there are, taste some really good pastries in France and figure out what the other curries taste like. I’ve only tasted my grandmother’s, so I want to figure out what the others taste like as well.”