If you are fond of cooking, food, history and recipes with a twist, this is the show you must tune into this month. Gaurav Tandon, founder of KKompany, TV host and ardent foodie is back with his popular show Flavours of Ramadan and what we like about this year’s edition is that it has two of our favourite celebrity chefs imparting their pearls of culinary wisdom – Ranveer Brar and Kunal Kapoor. The episodes that were shot in Dubai a few weeks ago, will feature interesting and innovative recipes that anyone would love to serve during the Holy Month. Gaurav Tandon, in this tete-a-tete with Masala.com, runs us through the show…
What is different about this season of Flavours of Ramadan?
This season is really special as we are bringing the biggest chefs from India to cook on one platform for the very first time. Ranveer Brar and Kunal Kapoor are our chief attractions and this season will be very interesting for their fans.
How did you get Ranveer Brar and Kunal Kapoor for the show?
We have been working with Kunal on the show for the past two years on Flavours of Ramdan. I have known Ranveer from the time he was shooting for Masterchef in Dubai and we have been wanting to work together but couldn't find the right opportunity. After bringing the living legend Asha Bhosle on the show last year, it was a challenge for us to do something that was as big, if not bigger. We started thinking of what we could do…. Get an A list Bollywood celebrity, get a Pakistani A-list celebrity, shoot the show on a foreign location etc… Till I thought that if ONE celebrity chef can make a show big then what will happen if we bring TWO of them? I immediately called Ranveer and Kunal and asked what they thought of this idea and both of them were excited. That’s it!
How innovative can one get in Ramadan cooking? Do you believe traditional recipes shouldn’t be tampered with?
Let me tackle both these separately…
Well, you have to watch the show to figure out how much innovation can happen with Ramadan cooking… Just to give you an example, Kunal Kapoor has completely changed the most important and probably the oldest EID recipe, the sheer kurma. I have never seen it like this before and people are in for a real pleasant surprise when they see it. So as far as innovation is concerned, we can say that creativity has no limits.
As for traditional recipes, they have their own charm and also their own place in people’s hearts. They do a lot more than just taste good. They actually connect you to your past. They bring back all the memories that your brain associates with those particular tastes and flavors. Having said that, if we didn't experiment with what was traditional, if we didn't try to improve on it , there would be no evolution. Hence it is very difficult to say whether they should be tampered with or not but what I can say with certainty is that they should definitely not be forgotten… And for all you traditional recipe lovers Ranveer Brar brings a lot of pre-partition Punjab recipes along with his favorites from Lucknow Iftars that he went to, while growing up.
What’s your favourite cookery show on air currently?
I am a big believer in the fact that every dish has a story and you need a storyteller to sell that dish. I am a big fan of personality and character and feel it’s very essential if you are on TV. Hence I guess I love watching Guy's Big Byte that stars Guy Fierri in it. I love the way this guy looks, touches and explains food.
What do you like the most about Ramadan in Dubai?
Ramadan has got to be one of my favourite months in Dubai. This month brings in a lot of positivity amongst people residing here and I feel it has become a part of our lives. I like everything about the month whether it is the Iftars in the city which may be in lavish five start restaurants or simple meals at a friend’s home, or the fact that everyone subconsciously starts following the essential takeaways from this holy month of truth, kindness, charity, forgiveness… It is a time of the year where everything slows down and suddenly the focus is on the REAL things in life.
Flavours of Ramadan will air Friday to Sunday 5pm with repeats throughout the week on Sony Entertainment Television