Former MasterChef star Rishi Desai brings desi cooking home
Telling us that the show is for ‘everyone who even remotely likes to cook’, Indian-born Rishi Desai, who shot to fame in season five of MasterChef Australia, introduces us to Stay-Home-Chef, his latest enterprise. “As Indians, we love to entertain. We almost run out of recipes because each house only has that much expertise. This show aims to share recipes from across the country,” he begins, adding that his aim in terms of ingredients was to make sure that it was available in Kolhapur, Maharashtra. “Because if it is available in my home town, then it’s certainly going to be available in every other city or town in India,” quips Rishi.
Each episode will tackle a different concept, so it was easier for viewers to keep track. “Luckily TLC gave me the freedom to do what I wanted. I picked a particular theme for each episode,” he explains. You can expect the topics to range from low-calorie dinners to Indian cuisine with an international twist. “But my all-time favourite is the one where I teach Kolhapuri cuisine. Especially the mutton. It is, was and always will be my favourite kind of food to eat and cook,” says the author of Modern Indian.
While filming it has been thoroughly exciting, especially since we hear that the crew got to eat what Desai cooked on it, the chef says it was also grueling. “The hardest part is keeping up the energy. You have to be as peppy at 6 pm on location, as you were at 9 am,” he tells us. But for someone who began to cook an ‘exotic two-minute Maggi noodles’ when he was all of five, we imagine it was a breeze!
— Aakanksha Devi
Favourite ingredient: Garlic and chilli. I am paralysed without those.
An Indian dish that cannot be modernised: Biryani. It needs no upgrade or update or internationalisation.
Top cuisine: Authentic, fiery Sichuan food.
Last meal on Earth: Singapore chilli crab.
Over-rated food concept: Plating for the sake of beautification. Everything on a plate must complement each other. It should be there for a reason apart from beauty.
Premieres June 4, every Thursday at 9.30 pm on TLC.