Food wins at Foodistan
The concept of Foodistan had been brewing in our minds for a while. We wanted to create an original concept for a food reality challenge show. The India television domain is full of imitations of western reality shows. NDTV Good Times is known for developing its own new concepts and we wanted to continue that tradition.
Foodistan is original in many ways. Firstly it brings chefs from India and Pakistan together to compete on television. Despite the great similarities in the cuisines of the two nations, there are many differences in the preparations of their food and that is displayed very well on the show.
Indian Television viewers are yet to a see a desi cook-off between professional chefs and Foodistan offers that unique opportunity to television viewers. We all might have our picks for favorite dishes from world cuisine, but nothing compares to a spicy flavorful biryani or a juicy lip-smacking chicken tikka or a rich sweet smooth rasmalai.
In Foodistan you get to see how these traditional dishes from the subcontinent are created, improvised and personalized by experienced professional chefs from the nation and across the border.
The third USP of the show is the judging panel. Vir Sanghvi, a food critic and political journalist, brings his experience and expertise from both those roles with his cutting remarks and political analogies while critiquing the competing dishes. Sonya Jehan, a Pakistani living in India, brings her experience as someone who started a restaurant in Pakistan and is not easily impressed with regular cooking. Merilees Parker, a British national and a professional chef, can understand the challenges that the 16 chefs face in this competition. Having lived in London, a city where both Pakistani and Indian communities co-exist and where one may find the best of cuisines from both the nations, she brings in an unprejudiced opinion to the judging panel.
India and Pakistan might be competing in this challenge, but we must remember that in the end it is the food that wins!
(Monica Narula is the Executive Producer of the show)