Irfan Pabaney (left), Antoine Lewis, Sourish Bhattacharyya & Anjay Chopra (clockwise from top)
Remember a time when the women of the family would gather on weeknights to catch their favourite cookery show on TV? At an age when food shows are ordinary, we realise that a generation may not have watched the man who started it all. It was soon after Sanjeev Kapoor's shows became popular that we saw the rise of the TV chef.
The lure of stardom has got many a chef today take to television to launch their food dream. This week's Adda With Kalyan saw celebrity chef and former MasterChef India judge, Ajay Chopra, food writers Antoine Lewis and Sourish Bhattacharyya and restaurateur and chef, Irfan Pabaney discuss if television is keeping chefs away from the kitchen.
Delhi-based food columnist, blogger and founder member of Delhi Gourmet Club, Sourish Bhattacharyya believes that TV chefs have opened up the kitchen and enthused a generation of youngsters to fulfill their dream. "What I do object to is the fact that even before they can cook their first dish, they want to become a TV chef!" he says.
Food and wine writer Antoine Lewis, who is a trained chef feels that the trend is not a media-driven one. He quips, "Today's generation is not willing to wait to move up the ladder or take the effort to learn their domain."
Owner and chef at Mumbai's The Sassy Spoon, Irfan Pabaney believes in counselling his team of chefs from time to time. "I ask them to be patient and learn their craft because that's what will hold them in good stead," he says. The restaurateur was approached by a TV channel almost 12 years ago to do a cookery show.
What appears to be the issue in today's time is that television is in your face, which makes people question the competency of a restaurant chef. But the eternal truth lies in what Sourish swears by, "Let food do the talking!"