He's never been to cooking school but this skilled chef is one to watch.
Carlton cooking talent Binod Dhungana is among the finalists who will compete in the World Food Championships in Melbourne from July 8-10.
Cooking Nepalese fusion food in the seafood and barbecue categories using traditional Nepalese ingredients, he has the opportunity to be one of six winners to get a golden ticket entry to compete in the world titles in Dallas, Texas.
The event will be attended by some of Australia's largest culinary talents including Miguel Maestre and Adriano Zumbo.
The chef was the champion winner of the chicken category in the Sydney competition. In the Melbourne event he will compete in the seafood and barbecue categories.
Mr Dhungana, 35, has worked as a chef at the Intersection Tavern, Ramsgate for the past five years.
The father of two young children moved to Australia from Nepal on a student visa in 2013 to build his career. He studied public accounting but always followed his true passion.
"Participation in the World Food Championship is one of the outcomes of the use of free time during the second lockdown in Sydney," he said. The hotel where I worked closed, I had no job. At the same time, I was reading cookbooks and thinking to write one to promote Nepalese food heritage.
"I cook from both form heart and mind together. I am confident that my hard work, secret recipe, flour, and test of my dish will impress the judges.
"Another reason for participating in the cooking competition is to look for an international platform to promote Nepalese gastronomy. I am from a beautiful country, in the lap of the Himalayas."
He has worked in cafes, restaurants, takeaway shops, clubs, and pubs. He has been cooking for more than 10 years commercially in Sydney and in Nepal.
Describing his style as experimental, he puts a lot of thought into mixing spices to create memorable flavours.
"Cooking is what I like the most," he said. "I remember helping my mum and dad in their tea shop. It's in my blood. The energy I get from cooking and the happiness in seeing their clean plate, makes me very happy.
"I describe food in multiple dimensions such as need, culture, history, passion, and glamour to create an indulging experience for people from a household to business," he said. "I love to mix different spices to create test and flavor, and have created more than 50 fusion dishes. I never attended a cookery school. Everything I learned is from working with chefs, the internet, and self-practice. My dream career is to become a world-famous Nepalese chef and restaurant owner. I am also looking at Nepalese food kiosks at street festivals and other events."
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