An international online cuisine contest organised by Kerala Tourism has people from all over the world sending in videos of them cooking Kerala specialities. Entries can be sent in until June 2021, and the top 10 winners will win a seven-day tour of Kerala with their families.
With the pandemic forcing people indoors, home kitchens across the world started buzzing with activity. This trend saw many experiment with everything from ingredients and flavour profiles to cuisines from various regions. Even as travel remained uncertain and restricted, food was what allowed people to broaden their horizons and learn about new cultures. Kerala Tourism saw an opportunity in this trend to stay connected to travellers from across the world, and launched the Kerala Cuisine Contest 2020, an international online cooking competition that invites participants from across the world to personally experience the unique cuisine of God’s Own Country.
Open since December 21, 2020, the contest is open to non-Keralites who live in any part of the world outside the state. To participate, one has to simply register, rustle up one of the many dishes from Kerala and share the video on the official website. Kerala Tourism has a video gallery of over 100 recipes on the website that participants can choose from. The video entries will be accepted until June 2021, and have to be a minimum of 3 minutes and a maximum of 5 minutes in duration and have to be within a file size of 500mb. Each participant will be allowed to submit a maximum of five videos of different recipes. Participants, once they upload their videos and are approved by the website administration, will also receive a link that they can share on social media platforms.
The prizes up for grabs are rather exciting. The top 10 contestants will win a seven-nights tour package to Kerala (once Covid-19 related restrictions are lifted) with three family members, and will be covered for travel, accommodation, and food. Five winners will be chosen from within India and five from abroad. A panel of judges appointed by the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala will select the winners. Social media responses to these videos will also be taken into consideration when evaluating the results.
The top 100 videos will be announced on the website in July while the final 10 winners will be declared in August 2021. An awards ceremony will also follow.
Until date, the response to the contest has been great, with a total of 10,640 registrations and over 300 videos received from across the world. Several chefs, industry experts and social media influencers have also shared the campaign, and some hospitality groups have also expressed interest in collaborations.