Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Food Talk With Shipra Khanna

Masterchef Indian Season 2 winner Shipra Khanna speaks about her new book The Spice Route at the 2nd Pune International Literary Festival.

India and food is quite synonymous and Indian cookery shows rule the roost on television. Amidst all this jazz, we have Masterchef India which has its unique way of bringing out the best in amateur cooking to the forefront. Shipra Khanna won the Masterchef India 2 (and our hearts) with her unique style of global cuisine. After the win, she started her own restaurant, starred in her own TV show, toured the world and so on. She was in town recently to talk about her new book The Spice Route at the 2nd Pune International Literary Festival and also be a part of the special Masterchef Australia show.

Shipra Khanna
We, of course, begin with the talks of the new book she has launched – The Spice Route. Shipra narrates, “I was thinking about which way to go and wanted to do something different… just like I do with my cooking. I wanted to do something which people could read and cook as well. And that is where the whole thought of the book came from and it was compiled together very well.”

These days, it is about marketing the book to reach a wider audience. She is clear about these factors. “When I won Masterchef, everything I did or got on the plate was well-appreciated. And the basic funda of life is that if you do something from your full heart, it reaches out to people and is well-appreciated. And that is what I have done in the book. I have put in my travels, the Himachali recipes which the Himachalis wanted, etc. I put everything together and people just loved it.”

One always feels that there is an X factor which takes one from mere passion for cooking to the desire to prove yourself in that field. For Shipra, this passion for cooking made her enter this competition. “I think I am just born with culinary skills. It is god’s gift. I can’t think beyond it. I don’t have any training in this field. Whatever I learned is from my family and god made me just cook.” She prefers calling her experience in the Masterchef India competition as a spinner in her life where everything just happened. “I remember a lot of the experiences but there is one of them which I can vivdly tell. We (that is the final six or eight of us) had to get a ticket to Hong Kong. We were down to the last three and had to cook something from the entire banana tree. I don’t like bananas at all. But I quickly made a pie with different ingredients. There was kiwi, apple, chironji and stuff like that. I won and got the ticket. It was a spinner as the full tree had to be incorporated in the food.”
Speaking about the special Masterchef Austrialia show, Shipra adds, “I am going to shoot for a special show called Masterchef Travel. It is the culinary journey all over Australia and I am travelling with Cox & Kings. Whoever will be booking with them, I will be taking them on this culinary journey.”

Every chef worth his or her salt has a favourite cuisine. Shipra reveals, “I love baking like cakes, desserts, etc. I also love French cuisine as lot of baking is involved. This cuisine brings out the best in me as they bake stuff like breads and croissants You need to put in a lot of technique, efforts, hard work and then you get the result.”

In future, Shipra Khanna wants us to expect a lot from her as she is doing a lot of things. “A couple of my new books are coming out. I started with my YouTube channel and I am also doing this show to Australia. I am doing a couple of TV shows and a couple of them are already on air.” Here’s to some sumptious cooking!

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