By Ayesha Wasti
The Lahore experience was truly a memorable trip for me. It was my first time competing in the Pakistan International Culinary Awards, and I was nervous, to say the least. The three-day competition was divided into professional and student categories, with each category having subcategories such as seafood, chicken, baking, pasta, and pizza. My competition was on the third day, and I had only 45 minutes to complete my entire dish, from cooking to plating and cleaning. It was a daunting task, but I was fortunate to have my chef and mentor, Chef Syeda Muniza Khalid, and Sir Syed Azhar Jamil, who encouraged and supported me throughout the competition.
On the day of the competition, I was anxious but excited to showcase my skills. The clock started ticking, and I focused all my energy and attention on preparing my dish. The pressure was intense, but I reminded myself to stay calm and focused. With just a few minutes left on the clock, I completed my dish, plated it beautifully, and cleaned up my workstation. I felt a sense of accomplishment, knowing that I had given it my all.
When the judging panel tasted my dish, I felt my heart racing. Their feedback was positive, and they complimented my dish, saying that it looked like it was made by a professional chef. I was elated and grateful for their kind words. It was a proud moment for me, knowing that I had worked hard and earned recognition for my culinary skills.
After waiting anxiously for the results, my name was announced for the Golden Medal in the chicken category. I couldn’t contain my joy and excitement. It was a proud moment for me and my family. I knew that I could not have achieved this without the support and encouragement of my mother, Syeda Huma Wasti, and my mentor, Chef Syeda Muniza Khalid. I also wanted to express my gratitude to COTHM and Sir Sabir Ahmed for giving me this opportunity.
This experience has taught me the importance of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. I have learned that with pure intentions, anything is possible. This competition has inspired me to continue pursuing my passion for cooking and participating in other culinary competitions in the future. I am excited to see where this journey takes me and am grateful for the lessons and experiences that have shaped me into the person I am today.
In conclusion, I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Pakistan International Culinary Awards and for the recognition that I received. I will continue to work hard and strive for excellence in my culinary journey. I hope to inspire others to follow their passion and chase their dreams with determination and perseverance.