Sunday, June 2, 2013

My Favourite Table: Sushil Ravikumar

Sushil Ravikumar
KEVIN STENT/Fairfax Media
CULINARY BOOM: Wellington MasterChef contestant Sushil Ravikumar at the Crazy Horse Steak House, Willis St. Wellington.

I like my steak and the wagyu is the best in town. Chef Lucas Tock at Crazy Horse slow-cooks it on the bone for about four hours and finishes it on the chargrill. It is perfect - medium rare all the way through.
It's also massive and good to share, though I could eat it up all by myself. Easily.
You can match it up with different sauces and side plates so you kind of build your own meal. They do a lot of other good dishes, like crispy pork belly and lamb rump but I always go for a steak.
There's such a warm atmosphere here but I don't take much notice of who or what is around me because when me and my wife, Karunya, 26, and I come here we really just focus on each other.

Our lives are so busy with our 2-year-old daughter, Esther, my work as an IT manager and cooking on the weekend, so eating out is a chance for us to leave everything else aside and just talk.
Food and cooking are life long passions for me. I remember being about 12 years old cooking my family breakfast one morning when my mother was ill. There was nothing stopping me from then on.
Mum really inspired me to cook. She taught me so much about food. Everything she made, she made with love. I used to help her in the kitchen mixing batter, rolling meatballs.

My grandmother was also a great cook. I have made her lamb green curry a thousand times but I've never quite nailed it. She is dead now and I wish so much she was here so she could have seen me on MasterChef. And to give me the secret ingredient to that curry.
I'd been a MasterChef fan for ages. I always thought I'd like to enter but I could never quite get around to it.
One day Karunya gave me an application and said if I didn't do it now I'd never do it so I applied and made it on to the show.

MasterChef was quite a commitment. I had to take three months off work and away from my family to live with 15 strangers in Auckland's North Shore. Those guys became like family in the end. It was an amazing experience. It was all a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.

When I cook, I cook from the heart. One of the most memorable and emotional meals I made was when we were cooking what we'd like to serve up to our families. I cooked my mother's chicken biryani and lamb vindaloo and all the time I was thinking about my family, especially my grandmother, who would have been so proud of my achievements.

Life has been pretty busy since I left MasterChef with cooking demos and working in Simon Gault's Pravda Cafe on Saturdays under chef Adam Rickett. I've had quite a lot of people recognise me. People have been really warm overall. I've even had schoolgirls screaming out to me on the street and I got mobbed at a school during Food Revolution Day. The fact that kids are getting inspired to cook and learn about food is really exciting for me. 

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