|Season 2 starts Feb 8 @7 pm EST|
|Family treasure written in Serbian Cyrillic|
|Our Grandmother's Cookbook|
|Guess who's the finalist on MasterChef Canada Season 2?!|
The following two summer months, as any good coach does, I watched and re-watched the entire Season 1, living through every tough scenario of the pressure cooker and surprise challenge. Somehow I wanted to make sure that the flavours of the Balkans make it to the show for the world to see, try and taste. While at work in colourful Scarborough, I went crazy exploring the local favourites of Indian, Korean, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Malaysian and Japanese cuisines - we shall not be niched! I took photos of every plate, then savoured that first bite, acting as a judge! At home, I cooked for my own family, throwing butter left, right and centre (calorie count doesn't seem to matter in this competition) making sure all was done within one hour. Needless to say we dined really well last summer in our very own kitchen! My sister and I got really close - I dare say closer then ever - experimenting, calling each other many times a day, exchanging kitchen tricks. My waistline soon climbed another size - oh well, I will walk it off! We became so MCC-obsessed that even my 6 years old son started counting seconds for me as I poured milk into his morning cereal: "10 seconds left, mama, you'd better be plating!"
The MasterChef Canada Season 2 is starting in two weeks. To say I am suffocating with excitement is an understatement. However, it is not the proximity to the reality TV fame that is the most exciting thing to me. What is so monumentally great is that my sister Mina, a woman with a husband and teenage kids, an aging parent and lot of friends, a successful professional career and a busy schedule as a fitness maven, someone with important deadlines and to-do lists like the rest of us, has decided to bravely press the pause button on all that and take some serious time to play kitchen, just like when she was a kid.
So you want to know the best recipe for how to prepare a Chef?
Take equal parts of skill, passion and creativity, preferably with long roots (do not remove!), seasoned with discipline of a black belt karate master and spiked with wicked measuring skills only a pharmacist might have; marinate in love for a decade or so. Then let her loose and let her play!