21 November 2017

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Reena: Queen of Hearts

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A as the old adage goes the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Renna Madhu Mathew has made her entry into the hearts of not just her family but also into the hearts of all who have savoured her delicious cooking. “I am a graduate in Home science . I never liked cooking, it was only because my mom bribed me saying that if I started learning to cook, she would give me a hundred rupees daily. That really thrilled me. So it was only for a quick pocket money that I agreed to learn but once I started learning I really found it was turning into a passionate hobby for me” explains Reena.

After completion of her  home science degree at Kottayam she enrolled in the Madras Cultural Academy Chennai to learn flower arrangement and other home making skills.’back home I had self taught myself baking and icing from recipe books. I taught these proudly to my faculty at Madras Cultural Academy’ grins Reena. After marriage to Madhu , a bank official she started conducting cooking classes at home and there was tremendous response wherever she put roots. Reena loves taking part in cookery contests and has always won first prizes in most of them. In the year 2008 she was crowned as the ‘Pajaka Rani’ ( Queen of culinary skills) in the Vanitha LG Cookery Conest. At the next level India was divided into 5 zones and she won in her zone too and was crowned the Indian Home Chef Title.

She was selected to represent India at the LG Home Chef Internationals. Reena is the only person who has ever been selected to represent India at an International cookery contest but she fell short of just bagging the title.

Back home she took part in several other competitions and won the title Baking Beauty and Queen of the Kitchen Title.4 years ago in Idhayam Gingerly oil cooking contest Reena was the proud winner of 10 sovereigns of gold!

Currently based at Trivandrum she conducts cookery classes at home. They are in varying categories –

  •  Desserts, puddings and ice creams
  • Chinese
  • Baking
  • One day classes for  frozen foods
  • Cakes and  icing  and basic  cooking.

The duration of the classes  is  four hours per day. She provides printed notes, cooking materials, tips on presenting the dish and the prepared dish is shared equally among the  class.For a one day class,  she normally charges  Rs 400 per person.

Chinese courses  are conducted over two  days and she charges Rs 800- ie, Rs 100   per recipe is  charged.   Baking classes usually are conducted over 3 days.‘All these are my own  recipes. I never take them  from anywhere  and hence they are  unique”- affirms Reena.


Reena  is a regular invitee to  Rotary and Lions Clubs  where she holds cookery classes. Choice School, in Kochi invited her to head their home science department but she declined since she had other family commitments.  On their insistence, she  agreed to take one class per month  and used to teach  a variety of  interesting aspects of home science like  vegetable carving,  flower arrangement,  cooking, cakes and icing, etc. S he used to vary according to the talents and tastes of her students.

 
Women’s college Thiruvananthapuram  has asked her to head the Home science department and she is in the process of deciding. My greatest dream is to publish my own recipe books. A north-south fusion. For instance a continental dish is quite bland. I intend to mix it with spices and create a fusion. I owe it all to my son Mathai Mathew who helps me in typing out and saving all the recipes I concoct which I can later publish in the form of my own recipe book.

 
I owe my success entirely to my family who have been truly very supportive and encouraging and given critical comments on all the recipes I have tried out’

May she succeed in all her endeavors and continue to enthrall palettes with her mouth watering recipes

 

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