“I had been really nervous throughout the competition, but in the grand finale somehow, I felt very confident. Even then, when my name was announced I couldn’t believe that I had won. I stood still... without any reaction, and so was my mother, sitting far away. Finally when everyone started applauding, I realised that this was not a dream,” says the eighth-standard shy kid, who lost his father at a very young age. “I have a younger brother, and mom runs the house with her small noodle stall. After school I used to help her out. I would experiment making new dishes there and that is how I learnt to cook,” says Sarthak, who’s now the proud owner of a `20 lakh-scholarship.
So does he plan to go for higher culinary studies in future with the money? “No. My brother can use that for his higher studies. I want to join the National Defence Academy and be in the army,” replies Sarthak, who idolises celebrity chef and his show’s judge Vikas Khanna. “He also struggled a lot in life but always had his mother beside him, just like me,” says Sarthak.