If you’ve been following the teasers for MasterChef India’s latest season, you may have figured that the current edition is all about showcasing ‘glocal’ food with a molecular gastronomy twist.
That explains why Zorawar Kalra — the man behind Farzi Café and Masala Library – is set to replace Sanjeev Kapoor as one of the three judges on the show. The other two judges are chefs: Vikas Khanna, and Kunal Kapur (who returns after Season 3).
“I plan to bring a more rounded perspective to the table – right from the taste and presentation to the salability of the dish,” says the restaurateur. Kalra, who is often referred to as the prince of Indian cuisine, plans to mentor contestants on the different aspects of opening a successful restaurant, such as understanding food costing and sourcing ingredients.
Smoke on water
However, considering that all the contestants are amateur cooks, we wonder if they’ll be able to handle the complexities of molecular techniques. “A lot of my chefs (from my restaurants) are helping us behind the scenes. The contestants are passionate about food and eager to learn,” he adds.
The show, in its fifth season, features contestants from cities such as San Francisco (US), London (UK) and Dubai (UAE), apart from different corners of India. The contestants will also travel to different parts of the world to carry out various challenges.
Big shoes to fill
Was Kalra nervous replacing Sanjeev Kapoor, who is considered the biggest name in Indian cuisine? “I don’t feel any kind of pressure. I went into the show without preconceived notions. You’ve seen the promos. Do I look nervous?” he asks.
This will be Kalra’s first TV appearance, and he certainly seems to be at ease. Till recently, people in metros had heard of Kalra and his restaurants. Now, being on the show will put him on TV screens across the country. But he asserts, “The food will remain the star of the show. Not the contestants or the judges”.
MasterChef Australia will air on Star Plus every Saturday and Sunday at 8pm, starting October 1.