That’s what Indian chefs need to go global, says Jehangir Mehta, who appears on MasterChef India.
An obvious trait that avid watchers of reality cooking shows on TV have, is to compare one show and its contestants with another. In similar vein, Masterchef India has also found itself being sized up alongside its United States and Australia versions.
Ask city-born chef Jehangir Mehta for his take on how they square up, and he explains, “The Indian contestants are amateurs. And for their lack of exposure compared to upcoming chefs from First World countries, they are doing a good job.”
Mehta, a renowned pastry chef in New York, is best known for finishing as runner-up on The Next Iron Chef in 2009.
Citing the example of his own two-and-a-half-year old twins, he adds, “I take them to pick strawberries and apples, so they know the sizes of shrubs, and what seasons they blossom in. With such facilities available abroad, your whole perspective changes. In India, only big cities like Mumbai offer such exposure. And that too is usually available to the wealthy.”
The chef stresses that in India, many still don’t even consider his career “a very good job to take”.
He says, “My parents only wanted me to be the best at whatever I took up, so I was lucky. However, things are changing now. Indian chefs are getting closer to international standards.”
Mehta will soon appear as a guest on Masterchef India, where he will challenge contestants to replicate one of his signature dishes. He also plans to open a restaurant in India in the near future.