Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cooking Shows: India’s New Cult.

Food-related TV programmes have spawned a cooking cult in India, and many devotees are children. The third season of MasterChef Australia, which ended in November 2011, earned host channel Star World a 74 per cent market share in the General Entertainment Channels category.

TAM Media Research, an industry authorised organisation that tracks viewership, estimated that Chakh Le India had 5.5 million viewers from January 8 to April 7.

What with these shows and Zee Khana Khazana, several shows on Discovery Travel & Living, and the Food Food channel, Indian audiences' cup runneth over. Party conversations are peppered with names such as Nigella Lawson, Donna Hay and Gordon Ramsay.

What yeast does for dough, cooking shows are doing for middle-class Indians' awareness about exotic food.

Rising awareness is spurring culinary adventures. Far from being armchair chefs, many viewers are invading that former fiefdom of the matriarch and the maharaj - the kitchen. The more avid among them are seeking out workshops and classes to beef up their cooking skills.

Given rising demand, many who have culinary chops are venturing into teaching. Cooking classes are thriving, thanks to the enthusiasm stirred up by TV chefs.

Clearly, TV audiences today are a hungry mob.

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