There’s no running away from his kitchen

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A unique 24-hour food channel seeks to woo a mass audience, says Poorva Rajaram

EARLIER, IN DARK DAYS BYGONE, we had food shows. Now, as if by procreative mitosis, we will have FoodFood shows. Sanjeev Kapoor, 46, a household name with a face that inspires more trust than the average husband and protagonist of the 17-year-old show Khana Khazana, has announced the birth of a 24-hour food channel, FoodFood. A joint venture between Astro, a Malaysian media group, and Kapoor’s Turmeric Vision, FoodFood will be launched in early 2011.

The master chef says the idea came to him seven years ago after he saw how these channels operated in the US and the UK. Knowing how emotionally connected Indians are to food, he decided to start an Indian alternative. “Earlier, we had news in a half-hour slot and now there are 24- hour news channels. Why can we not do the same with food?”

The strategy is clear: why have reruns of foreign shows whose recipes require strange, expensive ingredients when a Hindi channel with fresh programming can extend your market reach. “We cannot be whimsical. If food reality shows excite people, we will have them along with health, entertainment, travel and education,” says Kapoor, adding, “We will be relevant to India. We won’t show the butchering of animals because we understand the sensibilities of vegetarians.” The proposed shows — Sanjeev Kapoor’s Kitchen, Firangi Tadka, Sirf 30 Minute and Ready Steady Cook —promise a safe and low-onshock value viewing experience.

FoodFood already has the puritanical edge we have been accustomed to over the years. The good news, though, is at least someone does not care about niche food and extravagant gourmet-store aspirational living.

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