‘Masterchef’ transformed my life: Chef Ripu Daman Handa


By Jigar Ganatra

The journey of a next door boy to renowned chef to now a restaurateur…

Excerpts of the conversation:

How did Masterchef India happen to you?

Firstly, while I am not from the food industry, I was always interested in cooking. I believe it was my hidden passion. I hail from a family of doctors who are well settled and sorted with their careers. They always wanted me to be serious about my life and soon my father asked me to leave for Canada for further studies. That is when I came across Masterchef auditions. I gave it a shot and to my surprise, my journey there began with a bang.

How has life changed after the show?

Masterchef has taught me seriousness. Cooking, which was once just a hidden passion, has now become a career. After the success from Masterchef, my family now believes in my passion. Earlier they did not believe in cooking as a profession, but they do now. So, I owe a lot to the show, my well wishers and my followers.

How is it to be a mentor and a TV presenter?

I was never a TV buff, as I was never allowed to watch TV regularly as a kid. Hence I was never confident about facing the camera, But with time I learnt the skill. Working with kids is an amazing experience, as I was always surrounded by their love, respect and innocence.

What do you have to say about International food formats on TV?

TV shows have changed with time. The audience isn’t aware about the cuisines, but they are keen to learn more. There are regions in India where people aren’t aware of international cuisines. Hence the formats are changing to teach the audience. The change that is being adapted today is the need of the hour. The techniques and awareness about the diversity of food is what we believe interests the audience.

What change do you foresee in the food business?

Food and cuisines have seen a transformation over the years. The audience expects creativity and an interesting platter, which has now become available to them. As a chef and a restaurateur, I see majority of the audience keen to try and experiment with new, international cuisines than taste the wide range of delicacies we have in our country.

Tell us more about your entrepreneurial venture.

I am happy to be a part on the board of directors in Venezia Enterprises. We have recently opened the first restaurant “Macchiato” - a fine casual dining café that will serve true Italian food and wine. We look forward to more such restaurants in the future.

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