Chef Vicky Ratnani says his latest competitive cooking show, Chef Vs. Fridge steers clear of any TV stereotypes and aims to shine the spotlight on the country's emerging talents.
Judged by Ratnani and hosted by actor comedian Gaurav Gera, the Zee Cafe show pits contestants against each other to amp up their creativity with limited available resources.
Ratnani said the show doesn't fall into the trap of playing to the gallery with heightened emotions to get viewership despite having contestants from varied background.
"The show is all about food, creativity and fun. It's not stereotyped, it is not melodramatic. The show is about facts, creativity and love for food. There are no tears. It is a real show, where nothing is hammed or faked out," says the 52-year-old.
According to the chef, a good cooking show is the one where viewers are not just entertained but have something to take away from.
In the case of Chef Vs. Fridge, Ratnani said, the recipes on the show were "genuinely good" and accessible, offering its viewers a chance to "learn a lot."
According to the makers, Chef Vs. Fridge will feature a "mystery fridge" that presents surprise ingredients to the two contesting chefs who will be tasked with the challenge to cook up a storm.
Ratnani said the show's idea was to showcase a "new talent pool in the country" and highlight one's creativity despite a crunch of resources.
"It implies less wastage, boosts creativity, (teaches) learning to live with whatever resources are available. On the show, we have chefs from smaller resturants, some self-taught chefs, some of them even writers. The contestants are truly fascinating."
The coronavirus induced nation-wide lockdown last year saw many people turn to cooking, either for luxury or for survival.
Social media was flooded with pictures and videos of people trying new recipes and first-bakers showing off their latest preparations.
Ratnani said 2020 was a landmark year, where people looked for comfort in cooking and it taught them a lot more than a new recipe.
"The idea (last year) was to create good vibes and morale so that even those who aren't good cooks, are learning to cook. People learnt how to live with limited resources, respect their environment. There was hardly any wastage at people's homes because they were smart to know what, when and how much to buy."
The show is set to air from Sunday.