Monday 6 April 2015

What’s cooking?

 Doordarshan Sanjeev Kapoor Show
Suddenly when I wake up to a lazy Sunday and my Mom insists me to take a bowl of sprouts, it occurs to me, it is not just my Mom! As our generation is falling prey to the unhealthy sedentary lifestyle and human race is getting engulfed by obesity, I still see a silver lining.
As people say the Entertainment industry is a reflection of the evolution of the societal norms and the mindset of people at mass. Similarly, I would say Food and Cooking channels and shows, reflect the way our food habit is heading. Being a die-hard foodie, I feel great spending time watching good food being cooked whenever I do not have my hands on any. So, today I felt like penning down the way I have been watching – ‘What’s Cooking?’, all these years.
I can remember those times when DD National used to be the prime channel, forget about dedicated food channels. There was one particular slot, when a chef with white apron and a big tall cooking hat will be the host along with a helping anchor or host. In front of the TV set, mummies will quickly perch on the sofas with a pen and writing pad. There will be a rhetoric- “What did he say, what did he say” just in case they happen
to miss an ingredient. Other than the glimpse of the food on pan, the presentation used to be very monotonous and it was difficult to imagine a female as a chef. Cooking was never portrayed as an art, an attractive career, experimental or fun. The kitchen and its décor used to be very boring, I would say over-organized and secluded. The Chef will talk only about the food, ingredient, method and taste.
I am glad we changed, our lifestyle has changed and the way we see food has changed to such an extent that cooking is now a coveted art and we see the artists and critics with very high esteem. Cooking was increasing becoming an experiment and for many a fun stress busting indulgence. The same is reflected in the show I am talking about. You would find both male and female chefs on the shows. They have done away with the boring aprons. They dress up like us every day. They try to cook in a way to help us believe it is no big deal without failing to show how passionate they are about nitty-gritties of their dish. What makes these channels more engaging for me nowadays is that they cover the food industry from top to bottom, for every class equally. Because a hawker on the street is equally passionate about his offering and deserves footage for the flavors he brings on the plate. Food Bloggers and food travelers need a huge applause for enabling this platform. There was a tradition of food critics visiting posh dine-ins and giving their verdict. Now there is no fuss around the travelers. Their whole and sole motto is to explore and unveil something great cooking at some corner of the country or the terrain. Checking out the places, guiding and inspiring others to go and know the place for themselves and most interestingly bringing up very informal chat with the curators, who very proudly elaborate about their inspiration and at times their ancestors behind many secret recipes. Simple people through generations keeping the old taste intact while adapting to the contemporary asks is impeccable at times.
Another fresh wave of Health Inquilab encapsulating my folks these days is again apparent when I
again stopped by these channels while chilling out at home. Every second show is talking about eating healthy. No chef will go without telling you healthy substitute for his otherwise very rich, high on calorie dish. In fact fitness meter has been designed to rate every dish after its plating is done. Some shows are exclusively sponsored by FMCG giants lining up their healthy products and chefs trying to push them into everyday routine. It is really funny to see people giving a tough fight to make healthier Ras malai and Kulfi. And everybody needs to talk about air fryer to escape the deep frying. At times I really pity a bumpy chubby chef who clearly wishes his zucchinis to be smeared in cheese, but has to keep consoling the audience that a dash of cheese used in moderation might be good for health.
To watch this wave rising newer height every day and its reflection on the food channel and blogger media is pretty fascinating. I’m loving it!

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