কিশোয়ার এই প্রতিযোগিতার মাধ্যমে বিশ্বব্যাপী অন্য এক বাংলাদেশকে পরিচিত করাচ্ছেন। যেখানে মূল বিষয় বাঙালি খাবার। বাংলাদেশের মরিচ-লবণ থেকে ভর্তা-ইলিশ, লাউ-পুঁটি, শাকপাতা, হাঁস, মাছ, দারুচিনি-লবঙ্গ, ফুচকা-চটপটি থেকে মিষ্টি-দইসহ নানা পদ নতুন আঙ্গিকে পরিবেশিত হচ্ছে মাস্টারশেফের হেঁশেলে। এর মাধ্যমে কিশোয়ার কেবল একের পর এক ধাপ টপকে যাচ্ছেন তা নয়, বরং বাংলাদেশি খাবারকেও তুলে ধরছেন।
মাস্টারশেফ অস্ট্রেলিয়ার এই আসরে ১ জুলাই পর্যন্ত ৫৪টি পর্ব প্রচারিত হয়েছে। এরই মধ্যে ঘোষণা হয়ে গেছে সেরা ছয় প্রতিযোগীর নাম। সেরা ছয়জনের মধ্যে আছে কিশোয়ারের নাম। এখান থেকে এবার লড়াই হবে সেরা তিনে জায়গা পাওয়ার। যেখান থেকে একজন হবেন মাস্টারশেফ অস্ট্রেলিয়া বিজয়ী।
কয়েক দিন আগে সব প্রতিযোগীকে অস্ট্রেলিয়ার উলারুতে নিয়ে যাওয়া হয়েছিল। কিশোয়ার বললেন, ‘এটি অস্ট্রেলিয়ার একটি ঐতিহ্যবাহী স্থান। এ রকম বেশ কয়েকটি জায়গায় আমরা থেকেছি, ঘুরেছি। অস্ট্রেলিয়ার নিজস্ব খাবারের যে উপকরণ, সেগুলোর সঙ্গে বাংলাদেশি উপকরণের মিশেলে নতুন কিছু বানানোর চেষ্টা করেছি। এ ব্যাপারগুলোই স্মরণীয় হয়ে থাকবে আমার কাছে।’
নিজ রান্নার নৈপুণ্যে অনেকটা রাতারাতি তারকা বনে গেছেন কিশোয়ার। তবে তাঁর কাছে এই তারকা খ্যাতি মোটেও ভালো লাগছে না। এমন নেতিবাচক উত্তরের কারণ জানতে চাইলে তিনি বলেন, ‘আমি একজন সাধারণ নারী। আমরা বাসায় যা খাই, আমার মা যা রাঁধেন—ওই বাঙালি খাবারটাই সবার সামনে তুলে ধরতে চেয়েছি। আমি নিজেকে এখনো কোনো তারকা ভাবছি না। প্রতিযোগিতায় টিকে থাকতে আমি রান্না নিয়ে পড়াশোনা করছি। চিন্তায় থাকে নিজের সেরাটা দিতে পারব কি না, সেসব নিয়ে। অনেক খাবার সম্পর্কে নতুন করে জানতে হয়। পৃথিবীর সেরা রাঁধুনিদের সামনে নিজেদের খাবার তুলে ধরার জন্য ওই সাহসটা থাকা চাই। একটা সংস্কৃতির প্রতিনিধিত্ব করা খুব খুব কঠিন; আর আমি সেই কঠিন পথ বেছে নিয়ে পরিশ্রম করে যাচ্ছি।’
উত্তরাধিকার সূত্রে বাবা কামরুল চৌধুরী ও মা লায়লা চৌধুরীর কাছ থেকে বাঙালি রান্নার ভক্ত হয়েছেন কিশোয়ার। মায়ের রান্নাঘরেই রান্নায় হাত পেকেছে তাঁর। বললেন, ‘হঠাৎ করে কখনো মনে হয়নি আমি রান্না করব। আমার মনে হয়, আমার বেড়ে ওঠার সঙ্গেই বাংলাদেশি খাবার আর রান্না মিশে আছে।’
কিশোয়ারকে তাঁর মা বলতেন, মাছটা কেটে দাও, মুরগিতে ঠিকমতো মসলা মাখাও। এভাবেই একটু বড় হওয়ার পর ভারী খাবার রান্নার দায়িত্ব দিতেন মা। শুধু রান্না নয়, মা-বাবার কাছ থেকে আরেকটি বিষয় খুব চমৎকার রপ্ত করেছেন কিশোয়ার। সেটা বাংলা ভাষা। বিদেশের মাটিতে জন্ম নিয়ে, বেড়ে উঠেও কিশোয়ার কথা বলেন ঝরঝরে বাংলায়।
পাকা রাঁধুনি হতে কোন দক্ষতা বেশি প্রয়োজন? চটজলদি উত্তর কিশোয়ারের, ‘স্বাদের সংমিশ্রণ সম্পর্কে ভালো জ্ঞান থাকা জরুরি।’
বাংলাদেশি খাবারের মধ্যে ইলিশ মাছের পাতুরি কিশোয়ারের প্রিয়। তিনি বললেন, ‘বাংলাদেশে যে ইলিশ পাওয়া যায়, এমন স্বাদের ইলিশ আর কোথাও নেই। আমার শাশুড়ি খুব ভালো রান্না করেন ইলিশ মাছের পাতুরি।’ তাঁর পছন্দের তালিকায় আছে আরও কয়েকটি খাবার; যা নিয়মিতই শ্বশুর এনে খাওয়ান। এর মধ্যে আছে জাম, কাঁচা আম, কামরাঙা। এসব ফল ভর্তা করে খেতে ভালোবাসেন কিশোয়ার। আর আছে চটপটি-ফুচকা।
গল্পে গল্পে সময় পেরিয়ে গেছে। তাড়া দিচ্ছেন আয়োজকেরা। এরই মধ্যে শেষ প্রশ্নটা করে ফেলতে হলো। জানতে চাইলাম, মাস্টারশেফ প্রতিযোগিতা শেষ হওয়ার পর কী পরিকল্পনা? কিশোয়ার জানালেন, নিজের রান্নার বই প্রকাশ করার ইচ্ছা আছে তাঁর। আর এমন একটি মাধ্যম তৈরি করতে চান, যেখানে নিয়মিত তাঁর রান্নাসংক্রান্ত নানা বিষয় সবাইকে জানাতে পারবেন। বিশেষ করে প্রতিদিন কিশোয়ার যে রান্নাগুলো করেন।
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