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I dont consider myself a celebrity

(10/14/2013)

Original Masterchef talks about the changing food habits, his Bollywood debut and more No sooner he got over with his work, Sanjeev Kapoor, headed straight for the local food stalls to get an authentic taste of Jharkhandi snacks.

"This is something which I do in every city I visit. I tasted Litti Chokha and Duska here in Ranchi and found it awesome. Though I had litti before in Mumbai but what they serve here is, I guess, most authentic and healthy too," said the star chef, who was in the city for a professional engagement.

With his show still on air even after 20 years, we asked Sanjeev if he would still have become a celebrity without Khana Khazana, and remarks casually, "Yeh sab toh kehne vali baatein hain. I don't credit Khana Khazana for my popularity. I had already attained the highest possible position in the hotel industry and I was getting bored of doing the same thing over and over again. Hence when Khana Khazana was offered to me, I readily lapped up the opportunity as it was offering me a space to do something other than the regular stuff. There had been other cookery shows prior to Khana Khazana but it takes hard work to understand the format and make the show work — something which I was able to do successfully. But then, I have never considered myself a celebrity." Also, since Sanjeev has been in the industry for such a long time, we asked if the introduction of western-style fast food has somewhat dented the popularity of the Indian snacks. To which he says,"Indian's have a tendency to adopt something fast, including food of foreign origin. While fast-food may offer quick relief to satiate your hunger, the fact remains that it is the unhealthiest thing to eat. It's not only about western food. Not many know that you need to fry the noodles first before making any dish out of them, something that is rarely done. How many advertisements of Indian food chains you have seen on TV? All you see on TV is ads of pizzas and burgers, boldly declaring to provide a quick meal in a matter of minutes. They have the power to influence your minds. That's why whenever I do any show, I always keep talking about eating healthy food and doing exercises to stay fit."

Hence, to promote healthy eating among youngsters, Sanjeev is in favour of banning the sale of fast-food items in school and college canteens across the country. "These canteens are the first places where students mostly get fast food. Many colleges and schools have taken steps to control the sale of such edibles, especially fried ones, within the premises but a lot more needs to be done in this regard. The canteens should serve either proper meals or snacks like Idli, which are more nutritious and light on body too. I often go to schools and colleges and try to educate them about healthy eating," says the masterchef. Upbeat about the success of cookery shows like Masterchef series and others, Sanjeev feels that food is the ultimate entertainment available to the masses. "I had predicted in an interview long before that food will be the next big thing in entertainment. I'm happy that these shows are generating so much of interest. All this is actually helping in refining and enriching our cuisine. Now people are coming up with a lot of varieties which are healthy and deli ious at the same time," he adds.

The masterchef is also excited with his Bollywood debut in Lunch Box, directed by Anurag Kashyap's protege Ritesh Batra, which also stars Irrfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddique and Nimrat Kaur. "I'm all excited to see myself on the big screen but I'm not really eager to follow it up with meatier roles. Cameos are good enough for me as of now as I have got my hands full with so many projects at the moment," Sanjeev Signs off.

Source: The Times of India

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.