Spectrum of Hope – Chef. Tanishq

Spectrum of Hope – Chef. Tanishq

Spectrum of Hope – Chef. Tanishq

Chef. Tanishq, We are back with a wonderful story of a young boy Chef. Tanishq, whose culinary skills are amazing all his subscribers on social media. He is an 11-year-old boy, diagnosed as Autistic. Tanishq has his own YouTube and Instagram channel, handled by his loving mother Mrs. Veena Viswanathan. His culinary skills have left his 500 plus subscribers very impressed. Read on to know more!

Here are a few excerpts from our interview with Chef. Tanishq mother.

Q. Please introduce yourself and Tanishq

Chef. Tanishq is now eleven years old. He was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at the age of two. Tanishq as a child didn’t have a sitting tolerance for watching cartoons but he used to spend most of his time watching the food channels on television. Most of the programs were short and repeated, so he enjoyed watching them. As a five-year-old one day when he insisted on flipping Dosa (South Indian staple breakfast) with his limited vocabulary, his grandmother allowed him and saw that he was able to do that and he could grasp the skill of pouring the Dosa batter easily. I realized gradually that he enjoyed cooking and allowed him to assist her while cooking. His motor skills also kept improving due to his participation in kitchen chores.

Picture: Chef. Tanishq

Picture: Chef. Tanishq

Q. Tell us about Tanishq and his journey as an “Autism Chef”?

Tanishq used to watch cooking programs on television in Hindi. As he grew up, he learned to explore YouTube. Chef. Tanishq, would go to the search button and type and watch all those programs he used to watch on TV. In the process, he has come across many other food channels and recipes. He would insist on making something he has watched on YouTube and we at home would help him replicate it. Our cooking-related vocabulary has improved a lot thanks to Tanishq.

Picture: Pastry by Tanishq

Picture: Pastry by Tanishq

Q. Please share with us Tanishq’s unique culinary skills.

Tanishq now comfortably cooks, South Indian staples like rice, sambar, sabzi, idli, dosa, chutney, etc. When he cooks something different than the routine, we photograph and videograph it. When one such video was shared with close friends, within a week’s time they had sent back pictures of their kids with special needs trying their hands in the kitchen. Tanishq and we as parents felt very happy and were elated to share his cooking videos.

During the lockdown, we created an account for him on YouTube. They named it “Wonderfud” with the tagline ” Food is Ishq with Tanishq!” (Ishq means love/passion).

Samosa by Chef. Tanishq

Cupcakes made by Tanishq

The dishes are decided by Tanishq. He cannot be asked to make something for the video. Only when he wishes to cook, he will. We cannot interrupt Tanishq while cooking, he is so focused. He will not wait for the videography nor will he repeat a step for the sake of recording.

Read a detail blog on Autism Spectrum Disorder

He will not dress up formally for a video recording. So, if the ingredients are available at home, he starts cooking and his mother records it from a distance. Then it is uploaded on the channel with slight editing. He is verbal now and his cooking vocabulary has improved tremendously – he loves to comment while cooking. A few celebrity chefs he admires have encouraged him and featured him on their Instagram stories and tweets.

Samosa by Chef. Tanishq

Samosa by Chef. Tanishq

Q. What is your favorite part about being Tanishq’s mother?

I get to learn and experience so many things on daily basis compassion, perseverance, patience, and most importantly the unconditional love showered by him on us.

Q. What would you wish to tell other caregivers?

Don’t worry about the tag given. It is just a developmental delay.  Enjoy the parenthood and be happy that we are blessed with someone with a genuinely pure heart. Don’t drag the child to our cruel world, try to get into their wonderland and see how beautiful life is.

YouTube channel: Wonderfud

Instagram channel: w.o.n.d.e.r.f.u.d

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Ayesha Anjum
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