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‘Real’ chef to replace Akshay Kumar

tv Updated: Jul 25, 2011 18:45 IST
Priyanka Jain
Priyanka Jain
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

It’s final. Neither Akshay Kumar nor Kajol are in the running to host MasterChef India Season Two. “We’re looking for real chefs to host this season. Some of the top contenders to replace Akshay include NRI chefs Atul Kocchar, Vineet Bhatia and Vikas Khanna,” says Ajit Andhare, CEO, Colosseum Media Private Limited, who is producing the show.



The aforementioned contenders are all globally renowned chefs and are currently being trained for the show. Season One of the cooking reality show on Star TV saw Akshay as the host.



Akshay

The other two hosts, Chef Kunal Kapoor from a restaurant called Diya at The Leela Kempinski, Gurgaon and Ajay Chopra from The Westin Mumbai Garden City will continue to host the show. “Season Two will have 20 to 26 episodes,” says Andhare, insisting that that having a real chef as opposed to a celebrity will not change the show’s appeal.

Worldover, most cooking reality shows have real chefs as hosts. British chef Gordon Ramsay is a brand by himself. “It’s time we have an Indian chef build a connect like that.

A format like this doesn’t necessarily need a celebrity to generate eyeballs. Since food reality is a new concept here, we just needed a celebrity to generate that initial connect. There is enough drama just in the concept. Also, besides Akshay, there aren’t many celebrities who have a background in cooking.” In Season One, Akshay had managed to rope in actor Katrina Kaif and filmmaker Farah Khan as celebrity guests for the show too. Will his absence mark the possibility of having such high profile guests? “Getting celebrities if needed, is not a problem for the channel or the production house. If we need them, we will get them for an episode or two,” he adds.

1 Chef Atul Kochhar
He appeared on various TV shows in the past. Lives in London and has cooked for Prince Charles. Is currently writing his third book, Curries of the World. Awarded two Michelin stars

2 Vineet Bhatia
Based in Chelsea, UK, Bhatia has been awarded one Michelin star. Is the chief Chef of Rasoi; was awarded the Chef of the year by Evening Standards, also bagged Best in Britain Award.

3 Vikas Khanna
Was voted New York’s hottest chef. Has been invited to whip up ‘spiritual food’ for Barrack Obama on July 29. His documentary series Holy Kitchens frames his journey to discover spiritual foods. He published his third book Flavors First.