Junior chef’s full of heart

Aspiring young chef Arya Panniar Selvam

A Queenstown primary schooler has proved he can handle the heat, and is staying in the kitchen.

Aspiring chef Arya Panniar Selvam, 9, is something of a whizz when it comes to cooking, and he’s putting his talents to good use.

After giving a cooking presentation at a recent Baskets of Blessing Let’s Eat day, he’s planning to spend his weekends and school holidays doing demonstrations to raise funds for local charities.

“I enjoy showing people how to cook,” he says.

He says his favourite things to make are dumplings.

He was inspired to start cooking by his dad, former chef Panniar Selvam Moorthi, who catered for several prime ministers and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during his career.

His mum, Sunitha Karunakaran, secretary of the Lakes District Multi-cultural Council, says she’s encouraged Arya and his sister, Havielarsha, 14, to volunteer in the community.

“It just feels good,” she says.

“Queenstown is such a small community, I wanted to teach the children to give back.”

As well as serving up top-notch grub, Arya’s also following in the footsteps of celeb chefs Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay by dishing out advice.

He has started a YouTube channel, Arya’s Remarkable Recipes, where he demonstrates how to cook different dishes.