Move aside master chefs from India, Australia, USA and other parts of the world. Watch 6-year-old Nihal Raj aka Kicha cook, bake and make popsicles with aplomb and teach other adults and children to do the same.
This tiny kid from Kochi, dressed in a wee apron and chef’s cap, is making waves with his very own YouTube cooking channel. In May this year, Facebook acquired non-exclusive rights to his Mickey Mouse Mango ice cream video and paid the young chef USD 2000.
Kicha and his parents have donated part of his earnings from Facebook to autistic children in Kerala.
A champion video tutorial maker, Kicha has been tempting viewers and cooking enthusiasts with his mouth watering recipes for coconut payasam, ice cream cakes, and even Thari Kanji since the tender age of 5.
The son of advertising professional Rajagopal V. Krishnan and Ruby, a baker, Kicha has always been interested in cooking, helping and hanging around his mother while she goes about her daily work. His father created the YouTube channel for Kicha, impressed not just by the boy’s ability to execute simple recipes but to explain them on the fly without the help of a script. The videos are made as and when Kicha feels up to it, without any pressure from his parents. Over the course of a year, Rajagopal has filmed about 20 videos of his confident son explaining the process of making oatmeal cookies, strawberry coolers and even tandoori baby potatoes.
Kicha studies in Choice School in Kochi and has an older sister as well. He is not averse to cooking on special occasions for his family. “For our wedding anniversary, Kicha, along with Chef JP of Le Meridien, made us a pizza. And for his birthday we had a ‘chef/kitchen’ themed party at Kochi Marriott. He is curious about food and any time we eat out, he’d go into the kitchen to meet the chef with his questions,” Rajagopal told The Hindu.
The young master chef’s fame has left him quite unaffected. “He is different from kids his age. Even this Facebook thing, he knows what is happening but he isn’t overexcited,” says Rajagopal, adding: “We want our kids to play football or cricket or painting and enrol them in coaching classes too. It’d be so much better to take into consideration the child’s interests before thrusting him or her into something they might not enjoy.”