Story

Gourmet Mini 2017

Julian cooks himself into the heart of top chef Tanja Grandits

Last Saturday, immersed in the details and completely focused on the task at hand, the three finalists of the family cooking competition moved around Tanja Grandits’ kitchen with great composure. The top chef and her crew were immensely impressed by how relaxed and self-assured the three children were. On the day of the final, all three proved just how much they enjoy cooking and that they do it regularly.

The challenge
Leandra, Nick and Julian had to receive the most online votes for their inventive recipes in order to make it to the final. Tanja Grandits was genuinely looking forward to welcoming the three kids to her restaurant for the final cooking experience. After getting to know each other, the top chef explained the challenge. The children were asked to choose five ingredients from a shopping basket containing nine different products: pumpkin, mushrooms, rosemary, fillet of beef, hazelnuts, potatoes, Schlossberger cheese, yoghurt and apples. What would have been a challenge for many, quite literally proved to be child’s play. The young chefs planned their menu with great determination.

The herb garden
Tanja Grandits loves herbs and spices and shared this passion with the three finalists. Making the most of the fine weather, she explored the herb garden with the children and allowed them to sample some of the different herbs. “I was completely surprised by how many herbs the kids recognised. They even picked a few for their menu”, said the chef, impressed.

The kitchen
Back in the restaurant, Head Chef Marco Böhler was already waiting with the meat. The fillet of beef couldn’t put off the three finalists either. “When Mum is busy making hay, I make lunch for the whole family”, explained 11-year-old Leandra. Everyone knows that practice makes perfect, and it was clear that Leandra is a passionate cook who spends a lot of time in the kitchen. The young chef certainly wasn’t short on creativity – in keeping with the season, she opted for a Halloween rösti.

Cold storage
Marco took the budding chefs on a tour of the kitchen, showing them the pastry station and the cold room. Completely unprompted, Julian discovered some beetroot and took it with him as the basis for his menu idea. The entire team was absolutely taken aback by this spontaneity. Nick too showed his spur-of-the-moment side, changing his plans while cooking and turning his traditional potatoes into a tasty gratin.

Cooking
Finally, the time had come to start cooking. Calmly and with obvious enjoyment, the three finalists set to work as if they had been doing this job all their lives. They knew exactly what they were doing and processed all the ingredients with great care. Tanja and her team watched as Leandra, Julian and Nick worked and were fascinated by their skill and enthusiasm. The three children were assisted by their parents, but worked quite independently. All three finished their dishes right on time.

The judgement
Tanja Grandits and her team judged the three dishes based on creativity, taste, presentation and the level of independence and tidiness displayed while working. “All three are winners in my eyes”, said the chef, as all three convinced the judges with absolutely delicious dishes. In the end, Julian won it by a small lead over Leandra and Nick. “His determination, the high level of independence and, above all, the result impressed me right down the line”, announced Tanja Grandits with obvious delight. And Julian’s delight was also clear to see. “I love cooking. Especially with my Dad”, explained the 8-year-old. He prefers Asian food, especially sushi – and he would love to be able to master it himself one day.

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