Nihal Raj aka Kicha, the 6-year-old from Kochi with a cooking show on YouTube, has become the youngest Indian ever to feature on the popular Ellen DeGeneres Show. This talk show is a fun combination of celebrity guest interviews, comedy, and human-interest stories, and has a huge fan following worldwide.
Kicha, who is still in the US after recording the show, is on cloud nine. According to Kicha’s father Rajagopal, it was completely unexpected. They got an email from Ellen’s team after they spotted his channel Kicha Tube on YouTube and the rest as they say is history.
Kicha’s family, including his father, mother and sister, accompanied him to the Warner Bros. Studio in Los Angeles where the recording took place over three days.
“It has been a surreal experience. The organisers of the show have gone out of their way to make Kicha feel like a celebrity. We were being transported around in a limousine from the time we reached. He was being pampered like a true celebrity. They even decorated a room for him with a lot of his favourite goodies,” says Mr. Rajagopal.
Kicha demonstrated the making of Puttu during the five minutes he got on the show. In the video, a visibly thrilled Kicha can be seen teaching Ellen about the traditional breakfast.
Kicha shared his experience on the show with The Kochi Post.
“I was very excited to be on the show. My favourite moment was teaching Ellen to say Puttu Kutti. It was a lot of fun,” he said.
The family will spend one more week in the US before returning to India.
This is not the first time this little chef has received international attention. Earlier this year, Facebook acquired the rights for Kicha’s Mickey Mouse Mango Ice Cream video. He was paid USD 2,000 for it.
Kicha has always been interested in cooking and helps his mother, who is a baker, in the kitchen. Before shooting the tutorials, his mother gives him the recipe and Kicha follows it.
The parents credit Choice School, where Kicha studies, for being very supportive and promoting the special talents that the students possess. Kicha has even given a live cooking demo in school. According to his parents, the fame has not affected Kicha in any way.
“He is his usual self. On a regular day he leaves to school at around 8 a.m. and comes back in the afternoon. Then he spends time playing computer games, he plays with his friends, does his homework and goes to sleep by 10 p.m. He cooks for Kicha Tube only once a week. We shoot it on Sundays and upload it to his YouTube channel on Wednesday,” says Mr. Rajagopal.
You can see more tutorials by Kicha here.