Meet Kicha a.k.a Nihal Raj from Kochi, a YouTube sensation and a 6-year-old chef who became one of the youngest guests ever to be invited on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Kicha, who studies in the 1st grade, is the son of Rajagopal Krishnan and Ruby Rajagopal, who likes to bake at home.
"Kicha loves watching me bake," Ruby told HuffPost India. "He would ask me if he could help me. Instead, I gave him small recipes which he could follow. He suggested ice popsicles and insisted his dad take a video and upload it on Facebook."
Ruby encouraged her son's interest in cooking. "I give him very kid friendly recipes. No cutting, chopping or cooking over fire," she says. "If any of that is involved, he mentions in the video that I helped him out. The recipes I select are mostly baked ones or refrigerated ones."
Kicha has over 9k subscribers on his YouTube channel, KichaTube HD, but he shot to fame when Facebook acquired rights for the young chef's Mickey Mouse Mango ice cream video for $2,000.
"One day we got a mail from a casting company asking for the rights of Mickey Mouse Mango Ice cream, next we received an agreement from Facebook to acquire the rights," Krishnan says. "It was shocking for us and, overnight, he become a celebrity. He is the youngest person to sell a video to Facebook."
It was Kicha who first suggested that his dad film him making popsicles. Rave reviews on Facebook followed, and Kicha then gave his dad the idea to start a YouTube channel. He named it "Kichatube" after himself, inspired by the famous "Evantube".
An invite from the popular American television talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show was the next milestone. "We have never applied nor tried for any shows," Krishnan says. "We got a mail from the Ellen producer saying that they would like to invite him for the show. There were a few Skype chats with the producers and, later, they confirmed and gave us the recording date. Travel and hotel and all other expenses were taken care of."
Kicha seems to have enjoyed the experience. "I had to do a cooking demo," he recalls. "It was a dish I had already done. Kerala's traditional breakfast puttu. I was so excited to be with Ellen and teach her to pronounce puttu kutti. She liked it very much and appreciated it"
Asked what his future plans were, Kicha replies, "I want to be an astronaut chef so that I can go to space and cook. I also want to invent a machine which has gravity that helps to cook in space." To which his father adds, "I am not sure how long this interest would last. We leave all up to him and support whatever he likes."
Watch the video here where young boy shows his mad culinary skills on Ellen's show:
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