Kumar cooks up 'Masterchef India'

Former cook to host show bowing Oct. 16

NEW DELHI -- Star Network's flagship Hindi channel Star Plus will bow the Indian version of “MasterChef” on Oct. 16, judged by top Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar.

Star's English entertainment channel Star World has been airing the international versions of “MasterChef” here.

“MasterChef India” will feature 12 contestants who will compete with each other while chefs Kunal Kapoor and Ajay Chopra will judge the show along with Kumar.

“International versions of MasterChef have gained a huge fan following in two of the world's biggest markets – U.K. & Australia. Hence bringing the format to a country like India, where diverse cuisines exist, was only a natural choice. With superstar Akshay Kumar at the fore and larger-than-life cooking challenges we hope to unearth the best talent in the country with this show," Star India executive vp, marketing and communications Anupam Vasudev said,

Kumar, who briefly worked as a chef before he pursued his acting dreams, added, “I am very happy to be returning to my roots after so many years. My two favorites -- 'cooking and camera/entertainment' -- are coming together and I am excited to be a part of it. I have been following the international version of MasterChef regularly and I am glad that Star Plus is bringing this great and interesting challenge to the Indian audience.”