Lucknow, famous across globe for the rich food is proud that India’s first MasterChef Pankaj Bhadouria is a success story from Lucknow ! After completing her higher education from Lucknow itself, she was a teacher in a school at Lucknow with keen interests in cultural activities. In June 2010, opportunity knocked at her doorsteps in the form of MasterChef at Star Plus and she found herself standing at the crossroads. She could either pursue her career or her dreams. Her Principal asked her to quit if she wanted to participate in the contest. With the fierce support and motivation of her entire family, Pankaj quit her 16 year old job to follow her dreams and pursue her passion. Her husband Charu, daughter Sonalika and son Siddhant are the proud family who always supported her. Her belief in her abilities and her faith in the Almighty proved right and she became India’s first MasterChef !
Pankaj Bhadouria, the host of a very popular TV show Chef PankajkaZayka on Star Plus, where she shared her love for cooking with cooking enthusiasts on television, sharing with them recipes that were loved by all. The show was immensely popular and earned her great accolades. Pankaj does a lot of workshops and cookery demonstrations. She has been invited to conduct workshops for Panasonic, German Technologies, Rotary Clubs, Gold Gym, Rourkela Club and many more. She was also invited to the Varli Food Festival, New York in the year 2011 and 2012. The festival celebrates Indian food in the US. Other participant from India included renowned chefs like Sanjeev Kapoor, Vikas Khanna and many more from India and all across the globe. She was invited by the prestigious Cambridge University, UK for a series of workshops and demonstrations on Healthy Indian Cooking in Cambridge and London.
TaazaPehchanManch- HunarAapkaPehchaanHamari, A Hindustan Unilever Ltd. initiative for Taaza Tea promoting talent in women in small towns of UP had Pankaj as its brand face. Pankaj traveled across 10 small towns in UP helping women recognize their potential and judging and awarding them for their beautiful efforts. Pankaj is also the brand Ambassador for Nutrilite, a quality product from Amway and has launched a DVD for Amway sharing exciting recipes using the Nutrilite protein powder. She also judged the national level cookery competition organized by Amway traveling across the country to pick the winners. Her recipes also feature in a special recipe book for Amway Nutrilite. Pankaj is also endorsing Eastern Masalas, India’s biggest spice manufacturers and exporters.
She is also the author of a Cook Book-the MasterChef Cook Book which became a bestseller and certainly a proof of her popularity across India. She is currently working on two more books. Pankaj has her own mobile app which is available on Black Berry, I Phones, Google play, not only in India but also in the US, where she has launched her App on Verizon, the largest service provider in US. She has started, The Pankaj Bhadouria Culinary Academy in Lucknow where she plans to share her love for culinary arts with cooking enthusiasts in the next thing she does best: teaching! The Academy offers courses for Amateur Chefs (that is what she likes to call all cooking enthusiasts!), professional courses for budding chefs and a Bridessential course for the young girls preparing them for a beautiful life ahead. As a budding restaurateur, she has launched her own restaurant in Lucknow !
Founder LUCKNOW Society was privileged to meet her recently and discuss the journey of achievements. LUCKNOW Society Salutes MasterChef Pankaj Bhadouria for being the icon of Lucknow, its food & the womanpower in 21st century ! Her journey of a school teacher to India’s First MasterChef and beyond has indeed been an eventful one and will continue to be so! She is also dedicated in promoting the Awadhi cuisine & has suggested many new initiatives for the revival of lesser known dishes and promotion of Awadhi food which will definitely put the flavours of Lucknow on new heights !