Do you have any recollections of what you did as a four-year-old? I am fairly certain most of us may not even remember. But here is Nihal Raj aka Kicha who found his calling at age four when Kicha started experimented with cooking by making ice popsicles. From then on, Kicha has worked on his new found love becoming India’s youngest chef. Kicha’s child like curiosity is what has taken him so far in his passion for discovering and inventing new dishes and recipes. This nine-year-old child prodigy from Kochi, India aspires to become an astronaut chef one day. Kicha has been active on YouTube channel – KichaTube HD since he was five and has close to 36,000 subscribers on YouTube, 18000 followers on Instagram and over 20000 likes on Facebook. What started as a video that was made out of boredom and curiosity, ended with Kicha on to the sets of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Kicha came under the limelight when he was contacted by a US-based casting agency which makes videos for Facebook, which led to a $2,000 deal in which Facebook acquired the non-exclusive rights to a video of Kicha making Mickey Mouse mango ice cream. Subsequently, Kicha rose to fame when he was invited by Ellen DeGeneres to be featured on her chat show – The Ellen DeGeneres Show. At the age of six, Kicha became the youngest Indian to be featured on the show. The audience was bowled over by the innocence, wit and zeal with which Kicha presented the preparation of Kerala’s traditional breakfast – “Puttu”. He became an overnight sensation and rose to prominence after appearing on Ellen’s show. But the fame and popularity has never had Kicha getting carried away, he says that The Ellen DeGeneres Show was the turning point of his life, after which he was invited to UK, USA and Vietnam, apart from multiple radio shows, advertisements, and TV shows.
When asked how he innovates at such a young age he turns to say, “I learnt that you have to be passionate, patient and ready to experiment.” Over the years, his greatest experience has been learning to handle big shows. Kicha is as brilliant a student as he is a chef, who manages to balance academics along with all his other interests. On asking him how he manages academics along with being a popular chef, Kicha says, “I do only two videos a week! I just enjoy my life…no schedules…no time tables.” Apart from cooking, he also loves solving the Rubik’s cube, playing video games and makes videos on unboxing toys.
Kicha’s favorite subject is mathematics and says that he loves it because he loves solving problems. Kicha’s sole inspiration is none other than his mother who he owes all his success and achievements to. He says, “Without her, I would never have become who I am now.” Kicha’s goals for this year are to do more videos, and having started videos of unboxing toys, he wants to improve at it. Currently, he has around 185 videos on his YouTube channel and he aims at taking it to 250 by the end of the year. Kicha’s piece of advice to everybody is, “Follow your passion. Follow your dream, whatever it is.”