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Music and cooking are stress busters


It may come as a surprise to the readers to learn that celeb chef Sanjeev Kapoor's interests and skills extend beyond conjuring dishes and indulging the palate. India’s biggest culinary star who transformed food show entertainment is a huge fan of music when he is not sharing his secret recipes on television. He likes to play percussion, especially the drums and spends his free time jamming on classic rock songs with pals like Shankar Mahadevan of (SEL) Shankar-Ehsaan- Loy (“He loves to cook and calls me maestro”).

Kapoor’s musical taste, like many urban middle class of his generation developed with a staple diet of classic rock acts and Hindi movie songs. But as it is with most creative people, Kapoor’s passion for music, like his love for music, is eclectic. His playlist includes diverse artists and genres from Blues based rock like Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin to peppy Bollywood tracks like ‘Batameez Dil’ (from ‘Yeh Jawaani, Hai Deewani’) to the works of Indian Classical music singer Geeta Dutt.

“I respect all kinds of music as I respect food. I try and focus on the good in every song like I do for every dish, and I usually find something positive- in the tune or the pattern. I can listen to all types of music when I am cooking or trying out a recipe. What music and cooking does is keep you relaxed and that’s when your creativity is at its best. Both activities are relaxing. Thought flows and I can do wonders then,” Kapoor explains to

He however avoids the predictable (and often disastrous) trap of trying to connect the two sensuous art forms either by getting ‘inspired’ or ‘fusing’ the themes, origins or the moods of his playlist and recipe list.

He in fact likes to listen to something ‘familiar’ when he’s cooking or working on a recipe.

“Predictability works. I like to have music whose flow I know while working. I don’t try consciously or ‘force’ myself to be influenced or inspired by music while I am cooking- I don’t try and make it a task to connect a Blues song being played to the dish I am preparing. Creativity comes from things around you that you may not be conscious of.”

Kapoor’s entrepreneurial spirit has not only transformed the country’s food show industry but has also been promoted India’s cuisine. His hit series ‘Khana Khazana’ is telecast across 120 countries with more than 500 million viewers making him the Indian equivalent of (the late) Keith Floyd, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and Nigella Lawson.

He has extended his repertoire to lifestyle and territories a la Anthony Bourdain, with a new international travel food show “Out of the World” series (from August 16) on FoodFood channel. His culinary adventures on the new show will take him to East Africa, Greece, Monaco and Canada. One can be sure he’d take time to learn a few new rhythms to show his jam pals.

“Both music and food are stress busters. My philosophy is; like food, music is something to live for. I let things flow for both- although I don’t try to connect music with the food I cook I let things flow. Sometimes you realise things which you hadn’t thought of, but it was there,” he concludes. 


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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 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.