Showing posts with label Vikas Khanna. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vikas Khanna. Show all posts

Monday, October 17, 2011

MasterChefIndia2 IndiBlogger Meet: The Whole Scoop

(I had to post this before it stops trending or before I forget; whichever's first)

I've never been on a TV Show set before. (Wait, does being in the audience of Kaun Banega Crorepati Junior some eons ago count?) Then, it's my second time on a TV Show set. And the only reason that compelled me to hit "Register" at the Indiblogger site was the pure fascination with MasterChef Australia.
Been hooked, booked and cooked (pardon the horrible pun) by the earlier seasons of MasterChef Australia, I expected the Indian version to be spicier (again, pardon!)

Alas! Akshay Kumar shattered my very hope of a TV show revolving around a culinary theme, with his constant his raving of being a chef in Bangkok (like who cares?)
Anyways, I readied myself for a chance of meeting the Chefs in person, eating free food, meeting a ton of bloggers, eating free food, visiting the famous R. K. Studios, and did I mention free food?

The day for me was long and tiring with loads of traveling for project work (If i remember correctly: Vashi-Thane-Little known place in Vasai-Vasai-Dadar-Chembur) I reached the venue. Serendipity if I could call it, met fellow blogger from the last IndiBlogger meet Viyoma (@archi_palego) of Vyo's World, right outside the sets. Trotting in, around the fancy award ceremony like tables and chairs, I sat right in the front, absorbing every drop of atmosphere on the set- I was so awestruck.

As the Bloggers congregated, my stomach churned with excitement...and hunger- I'd just remembered I'd skipped lunch. My Blog-a-ton friend @dishitd spotted me after I'd updated my facebook status via phone. Talk about IT connecting people, literally ! Anoop took the stage like the last Mumbai IndiBlogger meet

"I just can't believe I am at the actual sets of MasterChefIndia" was the first thing I blurted out when my name popped on screen for the 30 seconds of fame. I couldn't hide how awestruck I was! To think that 14 months of public speaking during my MBA would cover up my inner voice make me ready for a witty cover up. Nope. Not today.

After all the introductions, we knew what was next; the welcoming of the star chefs. Giddy with excitement, I clapped hard for chefs Kunal Kapoor and Ajay Chopra, harder for Vikas Khanna @vkhanna1. Yeah, sue me for being smitten by him! Chefs Kunal and Ajay gave their introductions and spoke on what cooking food means to them. Its not JUST a job, its a passion. Respect.

Undoubtedly, the chefs were down to earth to say the least, no airs about themselves, specially Chef Vikas Khanna. To be honest, I was expecting him to carry an american accent, but I was wrong and glad to be wronged when he spoke in flawless Punjabi while narrating his story of his childhood. Sheer Passion and right Attitude.

Then bloggers were asked to share their emotional link with food; be it a distant memory or a lasting impression; of their mums, grandmums and aunts in the kitchen, of missing their loving mum who passed, of the lingering aroma of yours truly's late grandmum's Mysorepak.....

Indeed there is a connection which we all Indians have vegetarians, non-vegetarians and jains, it's a aromatic bonding. As Chef Vikas said "Food is an emotional thing, really sacred to Indians"

After the heartening talk came the most awaited moment!
*Drumroll please*
The High-Tea !
...or as aptly tweeted then by a blogger 'High tea is for Brits, we are Indians so Chai- Naashtaa'

(Picture Courtesy: @rahul_ssg Rahul Singh)

Food was good, a bit cold by the time I clicked snaps with the chefs, around the sets and with Sanguine (@sanghitanandi). Highlight of my day was forever chatting with 'Viku'  as he spoke of how compelled he was to return to India after more than a decade when his mom rebuked and reminded him what he needs to give back to the country that made him what he was today. The recently anointed Michelin Star Chef for Junoon was utterly humble yet so chatty with me as I listened intently and gawked at him non-stop.

(Picture Courtesy: @starplus_indya)

Post all the Chai-Coffee-Nashtaa -which might I add was FREE- were the Skill Challenges set out for innocent Bloggers, perhaps some who like yours truly will more often use knifes to eat with than to cook with.

Display of skills or lack thereof was demonstrated for the Dicing an Apple, Julienne-ing a Ginger and Chopping a potato for french fries. Those with the skills were rewarded with Shoppers Stop Gift Vouchers.
I didn't win a voucher, but surely got to learn or refine my chopping, dicing and updating fancy culinary language skill. I have now sworn to win a voucher, hook or crook, next Blogger meet. Are you listening @renieravin ?

Taste Challenge didn't take place perhaps due to time crunch but the illustrious Mystery Box Challenge was played. All we had to do was to identify all the ingredients underneath and come up with a creative recipe for a dish. Hah! I could nail this, I thought. My creativity was questioned when I drew a blank !
Its not easy, I agreed with Chef Kunal when he explained how one should discard the top of head ideas when they're too simple and keep thinking with various permutations and combinations till that one idea clicks in place. And just like that he came up with Coconut and Jaggery Mousse with hint of Lemon Grass !
True master.

Not to forget the numerous injections of encouragement I got to blog about this on what the meet was all about from the start. We left after we gathered up our things got all the freebies and goody bags (MasterChef Logo print Apron, MasterChefIndia Logo Thermal sensing Mug, An IndiBlogger Tee)

I left with a memorable and wonderful experience to say the least.

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