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    Kunal Kapur on Masterchef India and why judging can be heartbreaking

    CHEF KUNAL Kapur hasbeen a busy man. He has just wound up shootingfor his show, Swiss Made Adventures, and is alsohosting the shows MyYellow Table and Pickle Nation. Now, after a year’s gap, the 36-year-old is back on screen as a judge on Masterchef
    India. The Delhi-based celebrity chef is all geared up for the latest season and promises it will be better than ever. He talks travelling, pickles and friendship.

    You’re back on Masterchef India.

    Yes. I missed the last season as I was travelling and shooting in the US for my other shows. I didn’t want to commit to two things and not be able to give my hundred per cent to Masterchef. But this year it is all very clear. I’m ready and fully prepared for being a judge.

    What does this season look like?

    Very interesting, I’d say. A lot of healthy competition. There are a lot of great dishes. The heroes of the show are not the judges or even the contestants. This season, the hero is the food. There will be no excess drama, only nail biting, nervewracking action as the challenges have to be completed.

    Do you see Masterchef Australia as competition?

    I enjoy both formats and shows a lot. Both are equally popular and loved. But we are going to beat Australia this time around, for sure. We are back and much bigger.

    What is it working with the other judges?

    It is great working with Zorawar Kalra and Vikas Khanna. I have a great relationship with Vikas; we are really good friends off-screen as well. Zorawar and I go back a long way; we met about 18 years ago. His father, Jiggs Kalra, whom I respect a lot, called me the next big thing at the start of my career and that was a big boost.

    What other shows are you working on?

    I have my show on NDTV Goodtimes, My Yellow Table, which is all about cooking and new recipes. Apart from that, I am also hosting the second season of Pickle Nation, where I travel around the world discovering everything about pickles. Travel show vs being a judge on Masterchef.

    Which do you prefer?

    It is a very contrasting experience. On the other shows, I am travelling, exploring and it is much more relaxed. Being a judge is more challenging. I have to be critical and it can be heartbreaking, especially when it is a family recipe or something like that. On screen (you can see) only the visuals, so as a judge I have to explain the food to the audience. But at the end of the day, both are very gratifying. It is all about meeting new people and trying new foods. MasterChef India Season Five premieres on October 1, on Star Plus, at 8 pm

    — Anagha M

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