Her World’s annual Best Home Cook got a refresh this year: now named Her Inspirasi Best Home Cook, we challenged our contestants to take it a step further. Pairing four finalists with four editors, our home cooks got creative and whipped up dishes inspired by recipes from HerInspirasi.com.
For the past four years, the Her World Best Home Cook contest has challenged home cooks around Malaysia to submit their best recipes – and then cook it, live, at our annual cook-off. As we entered our fifth year, we decided to tweak the challenge and make it even more exciting.
In the beginning…
Our finalists, with their family and friends, arrived early that Saturday morning at Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus to set up for the competition. They were given time to prepare their work counters for the dishes they had submitted, in order to win a spot at the final cook-off. The eight finalists in round one were Joel Lim, Reena Gan, Wan Taqiyyuddin Ahmad, Norhayati Alai Othaman, Raja Zahirah Raja Mohamed, Honey Chan, Angeline Ng, and Carey Hiew.
Once they were ready, the timed portion of the competition started and the kitchen instantly buzzed with activity. From making pastry, to preparing elements for a soup, the contestants were excited to create their masterpieces. Emcee for the day, Daphne Iking made her rounds greeting each contestant to find out more about their dish.
Judges for the first round – celebrity chef Sherson Lian and the editor-in-chief of Shape and Cleo magazines, Seema Viswanathan – also walked through the kitchen, watching closely as the contestants got to work.
First round: completed
Once the dishes were ready, it was time for Seema (editor-in-chief of SHAPE) and celebrity chef, Sherson to mark them based on presentation, creativity and taste. What caught their attention was how the finalists all presented various ways to cook trout – and creativity plated, too! Thanks to our sponsors – the Norwegian Seafood Council for the fresh trout and McCormick for the key spices – our judges had a tough time making their final selection from the delectable line-up.
As the cook-off took a slightly more challenging turn this year, only four contestants from round one made it through to round two, where they were each paired with a Her Inspirasi editor.
Once the judges selected the four finalists, Daphne announced their names and invited all four editors, Eena Houzyama (Her World), Rina Sapiuddin (The Malaysian Women’s Weekly), Anida Salwani (Jelita), and Jay Jayaraj (Shape) to pick a number – this determined which finalist they’d be paired with.