What's COOKING on TELEVISION

Food

Food-related shows and channels devoted to gastronomical delights seem to be the flavour of the small screen.

Who would have thought that food, or rather a food-related show, which started off as a one-off thing in the afternoon slot over a decade ago, will turn out to be the staple diet of some channels and the main course for three yet to-be-launched channels! While Zee is coming up with an exclusive food channel named Khana Khazana named after its most popular show, Sanjeev Kapoor, who hosts the same show, is all set to launch his own channel Food Food early next year. Alva Brothers Nikhil and Niret are also launching their food channel called Food First. To top it all, NDTV Good Times, that has 60 per cent of its programming dedicated to gastronomy, introduced its first Food Awards last week. In short, channels are now giving a whole new twist to the phrase, 'The way to a man's heart (in this case eyeballs) is through his stomach'.

"We as a nation are obsessed with food," smiles Sanjeev Kapoor, who thought of coming up with an exclusive food channel seven years ago. "That time it looked like a dream," muses the star chef, who is finally turning it into reality with the help of a Malaysian company Astro Network that makes its foray into the Indian market. Having hosted Khana Khazana for 17 long years, Kapoor has become a brand name with books, restaurants and food products to his credit. But it's with Zee that Kapoor became popular, and yet both are launching their food channels separately. "I did speak to Zee first for my channel, but not everything goes as planned. When I was ready, they were not and vice- versa," says the master chef matter-of-factly.

What's interesting is that both Zee and Kapoor will launch their respective channels with his show. While Zee's channel will start with stock episodes of Khana Khazana, Kapoor will start with Sanjeev's Kitchen and inaugurate it with his first ever TV dish Sham Savera, a palak-kofta preparation that he first made for Khana Khazana! Zee channel meanwhile, will besides Khana Khazana have shows like High On food, The Hairy Bikers Show, Saturday Kitchen Series and A Touch Of Turmeric. What's more, it has top celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, Ajay Devgn and Deepika Padukone promoting it on air. Not to be left behind, Kapoor will also rope in celebs with a show called Filmi Dabbas that will unravel what goes into the tiffins of the rich and famous B-Town folks. "I have a long list of stars, which will be revealed as the channel launches," he informs.

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