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Natalia Monge Wins Cooking With the Stars with Charisma & Talent

Costa Rica Entertainment News – It was a tough competition from start to finish. But even more than the great plates of food prepared by Viviana Calderón, Mauricio Hoffman and Natalia Monge in Cooking with the Stars, it was a battle of personality, charisma and talent.

expo cocina costa ricaThe three celebrities cooked alongside previous winners of the competition. On Sunday afternoon, the stars and their partners had to create a number of main courses: simple recipes but with a huge flavour from a combination of the available ingredients.

The seasoning and the flavour all came down to presenter Mauricio Hoffman. Together with Lisandra Aguilar, from San José, they cooked a pasta dish with a meat ragú, whose sauce was deemed ‘delicious’ by the judges.

Hoffman won over the mostly female audience that filled up the Centro de Eventos Pedregal, where the Expo Cocina Sabores took place.

While moving his hips around, Hoffman proved that he could do a number of things at the same time: joke around, cook and dance.

Viviana Calderón didn’t let her partner’s charisma take over and instead, opted to show her good nature. With a mix of laughing and joking, she made a Jambalaya (a type of rice dish) with the assistance of chef, Luis Ugalde.

On a number of occasions, Vivi took a peek at her competitors, on the hunt for information, but in the end she only accepted Uglade’s advice. Her recipe was marked very highly by the judges.

Then it was the turn of Natalia Monge to demonstrate her talent. She started off her session with a joke, inviting on some of her closest friends: her characters Shakira and Martha Emilia helped her to cook, with Gustavo Briceño from Puntarenas by her side.

The prawns in a broccoli sauce, prepared by the pair, ended up being the winning dish as decided by the public (who applauded loudly) and by the judges, who consisted of tía Florita, Daniel Vargas and Paulina Anex.

“I think one day I might have my own cookery show”, Monge joked when she heard she’d won. Although she’s never studied cookery, she does love food and wants to take this seriously.

The fun and the camaraderie between the contestants was what really made the competition.

Every one of the competitors was trying to bug the others to distract them from their recipes. The interaction between them was enjoyed immensely by the audience – almost as much as the live cooking itself.

The winning team will donate their prize to a charity of their choice, which will be announced in the next few days.

“Doing these sorts of activities is great fun, and even more so when you can do a little bit for those that need help”, concluded Monge.

Translated by Leah Hendre from La Nacion

Photography by Juliana Barquero

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