Television on our Plates

The Indian media has found the next big thing. After a staple diet of cinema, family based entertainment and reality shows, viewers are now getting a taste of channels, shows, websites and magazines dedicated solely to food. Dedicated food channels like Food Food are being highly acclaimed and websites such as Zomato.com and Burrp.com are expanding business remarkably.

From being a marginalised topic of discussion, food has now made its way into the daily conversations of the educated urban being. Cookery shows on television have now been re-established as ‘food shows’ and books on food are now seen flooding book store shelves. Many magazines on food have also secured their spots in the mainstream media, such as Food & Nightlife. Food is no longer considered a necessity for living, as it has adapted the characteristics of a luxury commodity.

Another change that has come about in terms of media dedicated to food is that homemakers are no longer the only audience. With their combination of ruggedness and exotic glamour, food-based content is tailored to cut across sex, age and geography. They offer a combination of cuisines and lifestyles. With recipes available on the Internet and cooking methods demonstrated on You Tube, producers and hosts have to find ways to create unique matter that draw viewers, and stands out from the clutter.

In lieu of this I want to present to you my list of the top 10 food shows airing on Indian television, both national and international. –

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1. Masterchef Australia
My top most choice has got to be the show that introduced me and the nation to this modern genre of “food programmes”. Although Masterchef from other countries has also aired in India, nothing beats the brilliance and grace of the Australian version, atleast not for me. With the most talented contestants and friendly judges this show ought to be number one.

2. Rachel Allen: Bake
Now I love to cook, and specially bake, besides my culinary qualification specialises in patisserie, hence Rachel Allen: Bake on TLC just has to be one of my favourites. From the classes in her school to the chefs that she visits, it is all super helpful and interesting for anyone who enjoys baking. This earns the show the number two position on my list.

3. Nigellissima
Although this show is relatively new, I have grown to like Nigella through her previously aired shows such as Nigella Bites, but this show is one of her best work. The show features her take on Italian cooking. The recipes are simple and look so appealing that you can’t help but try them out yourself.

4. Highway on my Plate
Who hasn’t heard about Rocky and Mayur? They make all our Indian holidays so much more, easier in terms of determining the places where we should eat. This show is an essential watch while making travel plans. I have tried and tested their reviews on several occasions, and trust me, they never let you down.

5. Man vs Food
The only word I have for this show is ‘epic’. Every time I see Adam Richman complete a next to impossible food challenge successfully my eyes tend to pop out in disbelief. His hot chilli challenges make my stomach burn and during every challenge I’m on my toes. The new ‘Nation’ series of the show is also equally interesting, although I preferred when he took up the challenges himself and didn’t make others do so.

6. Masterchef India
Although the first season of the Indian chapter of Masterchef was a huge disappointment, with the entry of Chef Vikas Khanna in season two and three my perception has altered to a certain extent. I do like the show now but only enough to put it on number six in my list. I’m hoping the standard of the show increases with subsequent seasons.

7. Fast Food Mania
This show features known and unknown fast food joints around the world and the stories behind them and their food. The show is really intriguing. Getting to know about Dominos Pizza, KFC, etc. is a very interesting experience. The show is a must watch for all fast food lovers. The host Jon Hein is sure to keep you hooked.

8. Food Paradise
Now I know that I live in India and I really have nothing to do with the best pizzas, donuts, sandwiches, diners, etc. found in the US. But the show is so beautifully knitted together that I just can’t help watching it. Even though I may or may not ever go to even a single place I saw on the show, the time invested on it was definitely worth it.

9. Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals
I’ve been following Jamie Oliver shows since Oliver’s Twist and they just keep getting better and better with time. This show is an adaptation of his book with the same title. The speedy simple recipes are not just a delight to watch but also snappy to try yourself at home.

10. Tea Time
This show hosted by Chef Rakesh Sethi, is one of the shows on Food Food that I do time and again enjoy. An Indianised version of snacks and deserts is what we often need in order to make life so much more easier in the kitchen. When imported ingredients are tough to find, the tea time recipes can be life savers.

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