Pankaj Bhadouria is an Indian chef, author, TV personality, and former teacher who became a household name in India in 2010 when she won the 1st season of MasterChef India, the Indian version of the globally popular competitive cooking game show franchise MasterChef Australia. She was a school teacher who quit a 16-year-old job to participate in the first season of MasterChef India. She has hosted several TV shows, written several books, and opened several restaurants since then. In this blog post, we will explore the life story of Pankaj Bhadouria, and how she achieved her dreams of becoming a chef.
How Pankaj Bhadouria Became a MasterChef
Pankaj Bhadouria was born on 14 July 1971 in New Delhi, India. She grew up in a middle-class family and was interested in cooking since childhood. She learned from her mother, who was a home cook. She also studied hotel management from the Institute of Hotel Management in Shimla.
Pankaj Bhadouria got married at the age of 19 to a businessman named Himanshu Khanna. They had two children, a daughter named Sonalika and a son named Siddhant. However, her marriage was not happy and she faced domestic violence and abuse. Pankaj Bhadouria filed for divorce in 2009 and got the custody of her children.
Pankaj Bhadouria then decided to pursue her passion for cooking and participated in the first season of MasterChef India in 2010. She impressed the judges, including Akshay Kumar, Kunal Kapur, and Ajay Chopra, with her skills, creativity, and determination. She won the title of MasterChef India and received a cash prize of Rs. crore, a cookbook deal, and a chance to host her own show.
Pankaj Bhadouria receiving cash prize for winning the show ‘MasterChef India’
How Pankaj Bhadouria Became a TV Personality
Pankaj Bhadouria became a TV personality after winning MasterChef India. She hosted her own show called Chef Pankaj Ka Zayka on Star Plus in 2011. The show featured her recipes and tips for cooking various dishes. She also invited celebrities and guests to join her in the kitchen.
Pankaj Bhadouria also appeared on other TV shows, such as Rick Stein’s India on BBC2, TLC, and Discovery in 2012, where she cooked with the famous British chef Rick Stein. She also hosted Sales Ka Baazigar on ETV in 2013, where she mentored aspiring entrepreneurs who wanted to start their own food businesses.
Pankaj Bhadouria also hosted several shows on Zee Khana Khazana, such as Kifayati Kitchen in 2014-2015, where she showed how to cook delicious meals on a budget, 3 Course with Pankaj in 2015, where she prepared three-course meals for different occasions, and Just Like That in 2015, where she shared her personal stories and recipes.
Pankaj Bhadouria also hosted Health In 100 on Living Foodz in 2016, where she cooked healthy dishes with less than 100 calories each. She also hosted Dream Kitchen on Living Foodz in 2017, where she transformed ordinary kitchens into dream kitchens with her design ideas and recipes.
How Pankaj Bhadouria Became an Author
Pankaj Bhadouria became an author after winning MasterChef India. She published her first book called The MasterChef Cookbook in 2011. The book featured her recipes from the show as well as some new ones. The book was a bestseller and received positive reviews from critics and readers.
Pankaj Bhadouria also published other books on food and lifestyle, such as Chicken from My Kitchen in 2013, where she shared her recipes for chicken dishes from different cuisines, Barbie – I am a Chef in 2014, where she collaborated with Mattel to create recipes for young girls inspired by Barbie dolls, The Secret’s in the Spice Mix in 2015, where she revealed the secrets behind various spice mixes from around the world, and The Best of Me in 2016, where she compiled her best recipes from her TV shows and books.
How Pankaj Bhadouria Became a Restaurateur
Pankaj Bhadouria became a restaurateur after winning MasterChef India. She opened her first restaurant called Pankaj Signature Cafe in Lucknow in 2012. The restaurant offered a variety of dishes from Indian and international cuisine, with an emphasis on quality ingredients and presentation. The restaurant was a hit with the locals and the tourists alike.
Pankaj Bhadouria also opened other restaurants in different cities, such as Pankaj Bhadouria Culinary Academy in Lucknow in 2013, where she offered professional and certificate courses for amateur chefs, Pankaj’s Quorma Express in Delhi in 2014, where she served authentic Mughlai cuisine, Pankaj’s Tiffin Tales in Mumbai in 2015, where she served home-style food in tiffin boxes, and Pankaj’s Tea Trail in Kolkata in 2016, where she served tea and snacks from different regions of India.
Pankaj Bhadouria is one of the most celebrated and successful chefs in India. She is the first winner of MasterChef India and has hosted several TV shows, written several books, and opened several restaurants since then. She is also a loving mother who takes care of her children and supports their education. She is an inspiration for many aspiring chefs and women who want to pursue their dreams.