Participants of Australia’s Masterchef were pleasantly surprised when the one and only Dalai Lama made an appearance.
The seven remaining contestants in the competitive cooking show were instructed to make dishes inspired by his favorite foods and philosophies, with guidance from celebrity chef Kylie Kwong, a practicing Buddhist. She offered up hints on the Dalai Lama’s favorite foods, particularly tofu, mushrooms, cheese and coriander.
The dishes created by contestants included a “Buddhist’s Delight” with goat’s cheese tortellini, mushroom and coriander dumplings and steamed coconut pudding, a Japanese noodle dish with Shitake mushrooms, and a Middle Eastern flatbread feast.
The Dalai Lama indulged in each dish and made sure to taste them all, but kept most opinions or critiques to himself. “As a Buddhist monk, I have no right to prefer this food to that food,” he said. “Anything I am offered, I must accept.” Sounds like contestants wouldn’t mind having him as a judge again.
One contestant presented her food with tears in her eyes after her recipe led to a cooking disaster. He took her hands, bowed to her and offered his grace and forgiveness per Buddhist tradition.
When a show is extremely competitive and stressful, it looks like putting the Dalai Lama in front of the contestants is a great way to ground them and put things into perspective. I don’t know if I’d be more or less nervous if I was making a meal for one of the most spiritual people in the world, but it does look like it would be quite the humbling experience.
“It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.” – Dalai Lama.