September 23, 2011 11:00:48 am
Not appetising enough
Friday,8.00 pm,Food Food
Madhuri Dixit-Nene,Sanjeev Kapoor
After we were bombarded with a plethora of cookery shows and reality series like Master Chef and Top Chef,when Sanjeev Kapoor thought of launching a hunt for the countrys first Super Chef,we had enough reasons to get excited. Firstly,this was the first time Madhuri Dixit-Nene was hosting a food show,secondly,the promos looked promising and thirdly,we believed that this programme would be different as Kapoor is known for doing things in his own inimitable style.
But honestly Amul Food Food Maha Challenge – India Ka Super Chef failed to match up to our expectations. Though the promos showed Dixit and Kapoor indulging in friendly banter,giving us an impression that the programme was about the age-old battle of the sexes and between people who follow rules in the kitchen and those who cook instinctively,the show turned out to be something else.
It proved to be a mish-mash of Master Chef and Top Chef with some novel elements added that dont offer anything new to viewers. Let me explain: To start with,Dixit and Kapoor inform us that in total there are 16 contestants (eight male and eight female) who were selected after auditions from various cities of India. Then they are divided into two groups and given a mentor each. So while the female team is given a male mentor,the male team gets a female mentor. In the first round,all the contestants have to rustle up their signature dish (something that they have cooked quite often for their family or friends) within an hour. Each one of them is then judged on the basis of that dish. The winner and the runner-up in that round are later given a chance to lead a team and cook a three-course meal for some special guests on the show. The team that loses out in this round is up for elimination. Three of the weakest members of that team are then nominated and one of them is finally eliminated.
The basic problem with this show is that everything is done at a frenetic pace without giving proper emphasis on any aspect. For instance,we are never told on what basis the contestants were selected. It would have been better if the first episode was dedicated only to the auditions and the preliminary rounds as that would have given us an idea what kind of contestants had participated, what inspired them to do so and why they want to be a Super Chef.
Then,the final 16 contestants are not given a proper introduction. Apart from their name,age and the place where they hail from,we are not told anything else. As a result,we are unable to connect with them. It would be nice to know them on a personal level like what do they do for a living,when and how did they first start cooking and how did their families react to them being chosen for Maha Challenge.
Also,the role of the mentors are not explained clearly. We know that they are supposed to guide the contestants but unfortunately in the hour-long episode except for one instance (where a contestant had cut his finger and the mentor gave him first-aid) we dont see anything to that effect. Mentors giving useful tips to the participants,motivating them or reprimanding them would have made for interesting viewing.
As far as the recipes are concerned,we are left clueless. Apart from the basic introduction when a contestant explains to the hosts what he or she has rustled up,we dont learn anything about the ingredients or the intricacies involved.
Coming to the hosts,Madhuri looks ill at ease. It seems the diva,who is known for her confidence and million-dollar smile,is at a perpetual loss of words. Sanjeev Kapoor,on the other hand,is quite confident and camera-friendly. The huge set is also a welcome change from that of other cookery shows.
Over all,the show fails to make an impact and compels us to reach out for the remote.
Verdict: Strictly avoidable.
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