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Food shows have taken over India in a major way. Every channel you flip to has happy, attractive, self-assured folks cooking in unimaginably stylish kitchens, giving #foodporn an added twist.

But like millions of others in India, I’m addicted to Masterchef Australia!  

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True, you don’t necessarily learn much of the technical stuff as in your standard cooking show. But if you pay attention, you will learn some key life lessons from the contestants and judges alike, who along with the delicious looking food, play a huge part in the tugging of my heart (and stomach) strings.  

Here are some pointers that I picked up from the show:

‘Even the best cooks over-reduce their stock’

Marco Pierre White, one of the finest chefs in the world, has said some of the most contrived things on the show. But when he talks about the best cooks over-reducing their stock, what he means is that it’s okay to make mistakes; even the most successful and experienced people fall sometimes. And they learn.

You’ll have good days, and you’ll have bad days. It doesn’t mean you’re not talented and capable. So learn from your mistakes, and accept them instead of constantly beating yourself up over it.

Take calculated risks

To succeed in this show, as with life, you need to get out of your comfort zone, because clearly, cooking instant noodles in a competition is not going to cut it. 

You need to take calculated risks, but have a rough plan, a safety net. Balance your creativity and spontaneity with just a dash of caution and you might have something good cooking in the oven. 

‘If you have a dream, you have a responsibility to make it happen’

Don’t let your dreams die. If you feel strongly about something, you owe it to yourself to work your ass off to realize that dream.

There’s no point talking about your dreams to people, when you aren’t following up your words with action. Keeping your word may be out of fashion, but it’s crucial to your growth as a human being.

Don’t buckle under stress

We dream of living stress-free lives, but the truth is that that’s not possible. Stress is going to be part of our lives, always; it’s how you choose to deal with it that matters. You can either let it consume you or you could use it to fuel your passion and get to the other side with a sense of resilience.

Enjoy what you do

Be true to yourself and approach your work and life with love. At the end of the day, part of why you love cooking is also because you get to share it with all the beautiful people in your life. It applies to everything else you do too; learn to find joy in little, everyday things.

And in the end, always remember the awesome words of Massimo Bottura; “Live your life as a dream. If you can dream it, you can make it.’

Words to live by, we say.

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