The second season of ‘MasterChef India’ is back without its star host, Akshay Kumar. And that we guess does more good than harm to it. Neither the other chefs nor the viewers seem to miss him. In his place is Vikas Khanna, the Michelin star, cute chef from New York with his unique fan following (one wide-eyed young contestant almost proposed marriage to him with a song after she was evicted — talk of misplaced priorities) and an impressive feat of having fed the Obamas.
The other chefs — Kunal Kapoor and Ajay Chopra — take their jobs of terrifying the contestants very seriously as they breathe down their necks, pump fists into their palms and generally go about building the suspense and drama. Something tells us, they are happy being important without Akshay’s starry presence. Khanna on his part doesn’t seem to have a single mean bone in his body as he most often than not flashes his winsome smile, sugar coating the criticism (maybe he will sharpen his claws in the episodes to come).
Coming to the content, the show is still a far cry from its sharper, zippy Australian counterpart. The proceedings are hardly nail-biting stuff — unless you count somebody forgetting his dish in the oven even after the time is up and the chefs are waiting for him to plate it for their approval! The focus is more on the drama than the food, a problem with its first season too. So you have contestants crying copiously, narrating stories of aborted dreams, “mere pitaji ka adhura sapna” and “my son needs me, Chef, I want to go home”…
Yet, despite all its shortcomings, it’s still a fairly good watch especially for those who love their food with a dash of drama.
Now that the show has got its 12 zaaykebaaz vying for the top spot, we hope the forthcoming episodes will get juicier and healthier. Also, if we could have Khanna sharing more of his food stories and experiences, something more on the food culture here and abroad, it would be a complete paisa vasool gastronomic ride.
It may not entirely suit your palate, but it might just tickle your taste buds.
BY: Kshama Rao