On the lookout for the rarest and most exotic and undiscovered dishes Shilpa will now cruise to the remotest parts of India in search of new recipes. In coming months and years, Shilpa hopes to spread the aroma of Indian spices and curries to every part of the world. In her new avatar as the part-owner of a reputed chain of restaurants and Indian cuisine in Britain, Shilpa Shetty is adamant to prove she is not just a glamorous name for the franchise as she was accused of being in cricket.
Shilpa intends to lend not just her name and glamorous persona to her new food-brand 'Shilpa's Gourmet Creations' she's also determined to be a hands-on mistress of spices. The lady currently more an entrepreneur than an actress, is learning as many recipes from Britain's celebrity chef Andy Varma as she can. Once she returns to India, Shilpa will enter her mom's kitchen and get to part with all her famous secret recipes.
Says Shilpa excitedly from London. "Everyone presumed I was as big a novice at cuisine. Not true. I've always enjoyed cooking. And I love cooking for my friends and family. Now with Raj (Kundra) and me becoming part of Andy Varma's chain, my interest in cooking has turned into a passion." Shilpa has now gone from skimming through trade magazines to scrutinizing recipe books. The dishy actress is learning new dishes everyday from master chef Andy Varma
Determined not to let the cynics snigger about her new role as cuisine queen, Shilpa says, "You'd be surprised to know how popular Indian food is in England. Do you know the country's favourite dish is chicken tikka masala? I want them to discover our food beyond the obvious currys and biryanis. And all our Indian snacks and meals will contain under 10 percent fat."
To discover the food of India, Shilpa is now a complete foodie. "Not eating, but preparing. Nowadays I'm a sucker for recipes." Poppadom in Memorium. That could well be the signature chant for Shilpa Shetty's new avatar as a cuisine queen.
From being called a 'poppadom' by Jade Goody to providing bonus papads with her new lineup of cuisine in Britain, Shilpa has come a long way. And she doesn't deny it. "It's true. Jade, God bless her soul, used to call me 'Poppadam' on Big Brother. It used to hurt. Today we've papad as bonus for all the snacks and meals that I'm associated with. It's really ironic." However, she stresses that her food offer is in no way homage to Jade Goody, as reported in the British press.
Shilpa is India's new mistress of spices to Britain. And she's taking her job very seriously. It looks like a sabbatical from acting for Shilpa as she gets busy in her new role as an international cuisine queen. And the best thing about her new role is, Shilpa doesn't want to go the Tarla Dalal or Madhur Jaffrey way. No instant cook books for the latest recipe Rani. Shilpa wants to go the whole hog.