Cookery show: Recipe for unseen side of cricket icons

India’s all-time great all-rounder Kapil Dev has potential to deliver dialogue with the finesse of his swinging deliveries. When Indian dressing room comes to imitate, even Sachin can be at receiving end. The men who rule cricketing world in white or blue flannels can leave you gasping for breath with their experience. That’s what will unfold at the cookery show ‘Taste Match’, driven by Sandeep Patil, who as the generous host of the show will also treat his guests with his recipes and culinary skills.

The weekly show, produced by BBC Worldwide India, will be broadcast from April 8 at Living Foods at 8 pm will also be simulcast by & TV. The concept was developed by Chandra Mohan Puppala and Amit Shah of Coherent Media Works Private Limited. The show host, Sandeep Patil readily accepted the proposal for the show and came with valuable inputs. The team, then supported by Patil, worked in tandem to bring the concept to the dining table through your TV screens.
In an Exclusive chat with InsideSport, Sandeep Patil and Amit Shah shared various aspects that make Taste Match different than any other cookery show.

InsideSport: How did the idea of doing a cookery show with cricketers came up?
Amit Shah: For this, entire credit goes to Sandeep Patil. He is a complete foodie. He normally invites his friends to his farm house (near Mumbai) and cooks for them. When he was in West Indies, as a part of the selection committee, we approached him. We thought to bring his passion for food on screen. We gave him a proposal and we were quite sure that he will accept it because of the concept, it is based on. As we expected he not only said yes but came up with few good ideas also. We all know his cricket skills. We can see him giving expert comments on cricket on news channels but you will get to see a different kind of spark and happiness on his face when you will see him talking with his guests on show about food. He really enjoys that. The entire idea is inviting guests to the show, having chat with them and sharing some never heard experiences of their life.
Sandeep Patil: It all started from Nairobi, I started going there in 1987 and I continued going there for 17-18 years. My liking for cooking started from there itself. They have a tradition in their parties, where only male cooks. I always had this love for cooking but never got a chance. To avoid junk food every day, I started cooking different dishes from there itself.

IS: Who all are part of the show?
AS: Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath, Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, K Srikkanth, Syed Kirmani, Kapil Dev, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan, Sourav Ganguly, Virat Kohli, Ajay Jadeja, Parthiv Patel, Hardik Pandya, Ajinkya Rahane, and many more. We are expecting few international cricketers also as they will be here for IPL.
SP : All my friends who will be coming as a guest in a show have already tasted food cooked by me so many times. We meet very often but of course they are coming with me on any show like that first time so it has been a completely different experience for me also.

IS: What different we can expect?
AS: It’s cricket craze everywhere already because of IPL and with this show people would love to watch their favourite cricket stars in a new avatar. You might see them singing, playing an instrument or delivering a dialogue from a movie. Like in one of the episode, viewers will get to watch Kapil Dev delivering Deewar movie’s famous dialogue, Khush to Bahut Honge Tum, in a typical Bachhan style. Shikhar Dhawan imitating Sachin Tendulkar’s famous Ai-laa. We all know Suresh Raina’s skills as an all-rounder on ground but now we will get a chances to see that he is equally good when it comes to kneading the dough.
SP: During the shooting we shared some light moments. With most of them, like Kapil and Gavaskar, I share a special bond. Players like Jadeja and Ganguly knows me since the time they used to play under 19, what I am trying to say is we have spend a lot of time together so we have lot of interesting things to share. They all are familiar of my passion for cooking.
They will be coming, talking, sharing some interesting things and of course eating a food cooked by me.

IS: What is the story behind the name Taste Match – with the tag line Khiladi wahi Khel naya?
AS: Our guests on this show are all those who have represented our country in cricket. We have always seen them showing their magic on cricket pitch but through this show, viewers will get to watch their never seen lighter side. When we were finalizing the name, we were thinking of something which they can relate to. They all love cricket more than anything else so we played with words and came up with this. The tagline also suggests that these ‘khiladis’ are here to play a different game.
IS. So do we also get to see Patil the cook on the show?
SP: I never claim that I am a good cook but I can cook almost 200 dishes now. My passion for cooking has become my hobby now and now it has increased to such an extent that my wife, who is a far better cook than me, I don’t allow her to come in the kitchen. Even nowadays when I am shooting a cookery show, I have to be in the kitchen.
Today also before speaking to you, I have made mutton chop (laughs) because for me cooking is the most relaxing thing.
I feel at my age you need some source to rejuvenate yourself and for me cooking is that medium. From Cricket to coaching to cooking , beautiful journey for me.