CHENNAI:All but 14 years, Logan Guleff, has already conquered the world. He won the hugely popular Master Chef Junior competition, USA in 2014 and received worldwide fame since. However, this hardly came as a surprise for those who knew him, since he has been cooking since he was 2. Logan has subsequently won numerous competitions and judged many others. He won the ‘First Kids State Dinner for the State of Tennessee’ when he was 10 and this took him to the White House where he met former President Obama and his wife, Michelle.
As one of the judges at the Young Chef Olympiad 2017, organized by the Indian Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) and the Union Tourism department, Logan took some time off to speak to the City Express. “I have been here only a couple of days and it has been pretty amazing. India is a beautiful country,” he says. Has he tried any local cuisines? He grins and says, “I have tried the dosa in Bangalore and it was quite fabulous. Idli is also quite tasty too, especially with the sauce.”
Logan was in New Delhi before he came to Bengaluru and will be traveling to other cities as part of his judging duties.
Sharing his sense of awe at the difference between the US and India, Logan says, “I am from Memphis which is a town of around 1.2 million people. In New Delhi to see the scale of the city and the amount of people was quite overwhelming.” Although known for its street food and Mughlai food, Logan says that he has not tried much of the food there. “I will be traveling in India for 10 days and my foremost concern is to complete my journey and commitments. I have, however, mildly tried some food in Delhi,” he says.
Logan knows quite a thing or two about Indian dishes too. He names the Mughlai ‘lamb meat balls’, the chicken tikka and the chicken tandoori in quick succession. “While all these Indian dishes are available in the US, they are very different from the same dishes in India. Back at home, they are more ‘Americanised’ and much milder. Here you get the ‘real deal’ and it’s really spicy,” he says.
The Young Chef Olympiad this year started a few days back and will see as many as 50 top students chefs from 50 countries participate. “All the chefs are really good. However they will need to bring out their creativity,” he says. For many out there who dream to be a top chef, Logan has this advice. “You should cook from your heart and be unique,” he says.