Madhuri back on telly!


By Hindustan Times

Mumbai, April 1 -- Even before Jhalak Dikkhlaa Jaa Season Five on Sony Entertainment, FoodFood Mahachallenge, a culinary reality show, will bring Madhuri Dixit back to the small screen, soon after IPL Season Four ends. She will be competing with chef Sanjeev Kapoor's team of eight male cooks with her clique of eight female cooks on the show.

Karthik Laxminarayan, chief operating officer of the channel, confirms, saying, "Madhuri is in the US currently. But she will be back in June or July for the show. It's only then that the show goes on floors and eventually, on air. We're thrilled about the concept because it's unique and open to anyone who's interested in cooking."

The channel is calling for entries from all over the country and contestants need not be professionally qualified chefs. "Aspiring kitchen kings and queens will have to send us their recipes. At the end of the month, we will close the registration and shortlist entries based purely on the recipes. Eventually, we will screen contestants and bring the number down to eight men and eight women.

Madhuri will lead the girls' team and Sanjeev will mentor the boys," says Karthik, adding that the team leaders will not be cooking on the show. "They are mentors. They have to direct their teammates, plan their course of action in every episode. The rest will have to be done by the contestants."

The channel also plans to have a panel of popular chefs and artistes as judges on the show. "We haven't finalised names but we'll rope in the best. They will be people with great understanding of and experiences with food. Till we finalise someone, it would be unfair to drop names," says Karthik.

When asked why the teams were divided on the basis of gender, Karthik reasons that the battle of the sexes is one of the oldest known to man.

"It's a fact that some of the best chefs in the profession, in hotels and other places, are men. But in 90 per cent of Indian homes, women take charge of the kitchen," he adds. "So, we had to have a culinary competition to take the battle of the sexes to another level."