Seven amateur chefs on an Australian cooking show got the chance of a lifetime when their mystery dinner guest turned out to be the Dalai Lama.
In an episode of MasterChef Australia , which crowns the best amateur chef in the country, the remaining seven competitors were tasked with preparing a vegetarian meal for the spiritual leader of Tibet in a powerful segment that made both competitors and judges visibly giddy with excitement. The episode aired last week.
Throughout the three-hour cookout challenge, celebrity chef Kylie Kwong, a practicing Buddhist, coached the competitors on the Dalai Lama's favorite foods which include coriander, mushrooms, cheese and tofu.
Contestants were told to cook a dish inspired by the Dalai Lama's philosophies and came up with Japanese noodle consommé, a Middle Eastern feast with flatbread, a Sri Lankan vegetarian curry with roti, "Buddhist's delight," with mushrooms and coriander dumplings, a goat's cheese tortellini, and a steamed coconut pudding with mangosteen and a coconut crème anglaise sauce.
Though he sampled every dish, he refused to pass judgment as it goes against his beliefs.
"As a Buddhist monk, I have no right to prefer this food to that food. Anything I am offered, I must accept."
When one of the competitors breaks down in tears while presenting her dish because of a kitchen ‘disaster,' the Dalai Lama takes her hand and bows, moving Kwong and others to tears as well.
The Dalai Lama was in Australia after a whirlwind tour in the US where he gave a media interview to Ann Curry of NBC's Today Show and spoke with President Barack Obama.
To watch the video, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3opo_C-Aa8k.