Click to play this Smilebox collage

Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
Personalize your own free picture collage

I am so pleased and so so honored that I was one of the judged on Sanjeev Kapoor’s FOOD FOOD Maha Challenge. I was so nervous at first but Chef Sanjeev made me feel right at home. So a little background: Chef Sanjeev Kapoor started his own full-time food network in India earlier this year. The Food Food Maha Challenge is a reality show in which contestants are competing for the title of best chef in India. I was asked to be one of the judges in the last but one episode (so I still dont know who won but I did have my favorites)

All the judges were treated like royalty by everyone on the set! I don’t think I have ever felt so special. The contestants were amazing. Even under such duress, they helped each other out where they could. I was asked to judge a very interesting challenge: Each contestant was asked to write out their personalized five-course menu. And then go and  pick ingredients for that menu. Once they got their ingredients, Chef Sanjeev came on stage. No one could have been prepared for what he did next. He looked at them and told them to switch ingredients with the person standing next to them BUT no, they could not have the menu that went along with the ingredients! So now, the contestants were stuck with ingredients that they had not picked and did not know what the original plans were for those ingredients. What an amazing challenge.

We tasted over 40 dishes and had to give our opinion on each. I had to speak in Hindi and had to constantly watch myself as I kept going into English!

I am so honored to have been there and thank the team for having me.

Here are some photos of the set, some of the photos and of course of the folks on the set. I cannot wait to see who wins:

You may also like...


  1. What an interesting challenge to give them!

  2. Really great stuff, Monica!!!

  3. While having to switch one’s chosen ingredients but not his/her menu with another does throw a wrench in the plan, at least the ingredients each chef chose would likely be a rational collection that dishes could be cooked from especially by talented, experienced and creative chefs. This is an interesting take on chef competitions but perhaps not as difficult as those on the Food Network where they give each chef an often bizarre combination of ingredients that no one in his/her right mind would ever voluntarily choose. I’m not suggesting what they did in India was easy, just perhaps easier.

  4. Monica, I couldn’t tell from any of the photos, but I’m curious. Did any of the chefs use a pressure cooker during the competition? I’ve read that just about every home in India has a pressure cooker. At the least they’re apparently far more prevalent than they are in the U.S.

    And last but not least. Congratulations. Getting to judge the competition must have been a phenomenal experience.

  5. Congratulations, Monica!

  6. Monica,
    This looks like great fun. They couldn’t have picked a better judge.

  7. all I can say is WOW!! switched the ingredients?!! LOL.. I wish I could see all of it:)

    BTW: Love your suit and congrats!!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.