The Journey of 16-year-old Indian Chef who won at The Culinary Olympics

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The star of today’s interview is Mr Yeshwanth Kumar Umashankar, who represented India and won four silver medals in the culinary Olympics. He is also having a YouTube channel named chef YKU with 1.6 lakh subscribers. In this interview, we are going to talk to him about his journey to success.

FC Interviewer: What one event inspired you to become a chef?

Yeshwanth: Actually, I started my culinary journey when I was nine years old. I got this interest by looking at Mr Umashankar, my father.

Master Chef Umashankar – Yeshwanth’s Father

He is a great chef who specialises in Fruit carving, Chocolate Showpiece, Sugar Showpiece, Ice carving, etc. By looking at him, I started to involve myself in the culinary field. It helped me not only to develop my knowledge and skills but also the interest in culinary art. And that’s how I started my journey.

FC Interviewer: How proud you felt representing India at the culinary Olympics?

Yeshwanth: Of course, I felt very proud because this is a historic win for India in the last 120 years of the culinary Olympics. I won this title competing with professional chefs who are twice my age. When I started carving in the live competition, no one believed that I’m participating in the culinary Olympics. But after looking at my performance, everyone was speechless and appreciated me.

The South India Chefs Association felicitated me. And they celebrated it.

FC Interviewer: How hard it was to decide to drop out of school and Follow your dreams?

Yeshwanth: Till grade nine, I was studying in a regular school. When I came to know the date of the culinary Olympics, and my 10th board examination falls on the same date. My parents took a bold decision of dropping me from the regular school. They admitted me to the National Institute of open schooling, it’s a central government school, coming under the Ministry of Education government of India. I completed my 10th standard board examination in the month of 2019. Then I went to China for my advanced skill development class for the culinary Olympics. And I came back to India in December. Then I was fully concentrating on the Culinary Olympics, which happened in February 2020.

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FC Interviewer:  Indian parent’s mindset would always want their child to become either doctor or an engineer, but your parents are different. Tell us about them?

Yeshwanth: I am God gifted child with amazing parents because they never forced me to do anything regarding their happiness. They want me to choose my career and go beyond. My mother supports me in everything I do. And my father is the backbone for me. He has spent a lot of money and time investing in developing my knowledge. For the past ten years, he has spent almost 40 lakhs on my skill development. He took me to many countries to train my skills and knowledge. He is everything to me.

FC Interviewer: Do you think the Chefs in India gets recognition and support for their skills compared to other countries?

Yeshwanth: No, because about the culinary Olympics, after I won only, many of them came to know about it and even the government is unaware of culinary Olympics. In the press meet after winning the medals, I said to the press that please do sponsor and support us because even in India, there are many talented chefs. If they can sponsor us, we will definitely win more medals in the Culinary Olympics than the Sports Olympics.

FC Interviewer: At this young age, you have achieved so much, and it requires lots of effort and hard work. Tell us about your routine and how much efforts you put into these things?

Yeshwanth: My routine work is I wake up at five o’clock in the morning, till six o’clock I used to do some physical workout. I will start reading or doing something regarding my study.

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After nine o’clock, we start our YouTube channel shooting, which takes around three to four hours. And after that, I used to practice six hours a day to develop my culinary skills. It is my routine work. When the dates get closer to the culinary Olympics, I will practice 9 to 10 hours per day.  To develop my knowledge and to win the medal in the culinary Olympics.

FC Interviewer: From award-winning sugar showpiece to the sandwiches, everything seems perfect how do you achieve it?

Yeshwanth: By looking deeper and by learning more things and improvising it.

FC Interviewer: What would you like to tell the youngsters who aspire to become a chef?

Yeshwanth:  The only tip I can give is practice. Because this trick works for me, it must work for everyone. Believe me, it will do wonders.

FC Interviewer: How did you come to the YouTube Platform?

Yeshwanth: It’s because of my Uncle Mr Manikandan, who is my father’s student. He told me to start a YouTube channel to get more atmosphere in the culinary field. And my brother supports me in handling it.

FC Interviewer: what keeps you motivated every day?

Yeshwanth: The positive comments in my comment section. And the audience requests for recipes with innovative ideas keeps me motivated.

FC Interviewer: That’s great! Team Focus chronicle wishes you all the very best for all your future endeavours. Your journey would be an inspiration for aspiring chefs. 

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