"From Home Cook to Champion: The Inspirational Testimony of Mr. Passang"
Mr. Passang Rinchen, the finalist from Bardo, Zhemgang, a father of one, secured the first position in the competition. Following is his expression.
“I was so happy for an opportunity to come to the capital for the first time, but securing the first position in the competition is the icing on the cake,” said Passang. He was happy and grateful not only for the opportunity to showcase his skills and talents but, at the same time, observe and learn about the different dishes from other fellow competitors.
Passang was one of the two male participants in the competition; and expressed his pride, “I am proud to be among female participants, and I just feel that there should be no gender stereotyping in doing work.”
He added, “I always cook for my family.” He said that at the block level the competition was relaxed as they cooked on traditional stoves and were dressed in casual clothes. However, in Thimphu, the experience was formal and intense as the participants had to cook on the gas in full cooking attire with an apron and a toque blanche.
He strongly believes that participation is as important as winning. He was thankful to learn about the importance of nutrition for one’s health and immune system and the value of the nutritious vegetables that he could grow in his kitchen garden.
Returning to my village, I will not only be mindful about what I cook for my family, but I will also advise my neighbours and other relatives about the importance of consuming nutritious food. I know they would believe me because I came all the way to Thimphu and have proven that I am good at cooking”, he says with a smile.