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Bollywood films where actors have donned the chef's hat

Actors in Bollywood often play cooks onscreen and when they have, they've left a lasting impression on the viewers’ minds

After playing the quintessential lover (albeit with drinking problems), in Aashiqui 2, Aditya Roy Kapur will soon be seen playing a Lucknowi chef in his forthcoming film with actor Parineeti Chopra, Daawat-e-Ishq.

 Daawat-e-Ishq

Kapur is hardly one of the first actors to do so — Hindi cinema is replete with actors who have donned the chef’s hat and done wonders with it. Not everyone managed to recreate Rajesh Khanna’s charm in Bawarchi, but actors have sure tried. hitlist remembers instances where actors have worn toques and played with knives in the kitchen.

Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana (2012)
Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana (2012)

Director: Sameer Sharma
Lowdown: Kunal Kapoor played a reluctant chef in this crazy drama, where he ends up inheriting his grandfather’s dhaba. His dilemma is that he doesn’t know the secret recipe of a chicken dish that made the dhaba click in its heyday. So he embarks on a quest to find the same.

Chandni Chowk to China (2009)
Chandni Chowk to China (2009)

Director: Nikhil Advani
Lowdown: In the film, Hera Pheri (2000), Akshay Kumar, who was a chef and a waiter in Thailand before becoming a Bollywood star, cooks for his fellow roommates. But in the action comedy, Chandni Chowk to China, he plays a chef in India, who takes up martial arts in China.

Salaam Namaste (2005)
Salaam Namaste (2005)

Director: Siddharth Anand
Lowdown: Saif Ali Khan plays a meticulous Melbourne-based chef who eventually falls in love with his carefree roommate (Preity Zinta). Interestingly, his character is shown to be scared of blood but has no trouble whatsoever with cooking non-vegetarian fare.

Ramji Londonwaley (2005)
Ramji Londonwaley (2005)

Director: Sanjay Dayma
Lowdown: R Madhavan’s character is that of a village simpleton who is gifted with culinary skills. Fortunately, he gets a job as a cook in London but ends up losing his job and his passport. Left with no other option, he begins to work illegally as a cook in the UK.

Hero No. 1 (1997)
Hero No. 1 (1997)

Director: David Dhawan
Lowdown: In a rich man’s house, Paresh Rawal’s domestic help goes missing and Govinda’s character replaces him. The latter does so in order to stay close to his lady love. Karisma Kapoor, but ends up spending quite a lot of time in the kitchen preparing food for the large family.

Break Ke Baad (2010)
Break Ke Baad (2010)

Director: Danish Aslam
Lowdown: The story of this coming-of-age comedy begins in India and moves to Australia, where the protagonist, played by Imran Khan, channels his love for cooking by starting a restaurant. It soon becomes evident that the character’s culinary skills help shape his friendship-turned-into-love story.

Duplicate (1998)
Duplicate (1998)

Director: Mahesh Bhatt
Lowdown: In this action comedy, Shah Rukh Khan plays a chef. He bags a job as the head chef of a hotel where he falls in love with the manager, Juhi Chawla. What happens later is a case of mistaken identity where the chef is mistaken for a criminal and vice versa.

Cheeni Kum (2007)
Cheeni Kum (2007)

Director: R Balki
Lowdown: The protagonist, played by Amitabh Bachchan is a self-centred, French-bearded, pony-tailed man with only one passion in his life: cooking. That’s until Tabu walks into his London restaurant and changes his life for the better.

Kuku Mathur Ki Jhand Ho Gayi (2014)
Kuku Mathur Ki Jhand Ho Gayi (2014)

Director: Aman Sachdeva
Lowdown: In the film, Sidharth Gupta’s character loves to cook; his bhindi pakoras are what the neighbourhood aunties adore him for. He dreams of opening a restaurant someday. The only trouble is that he doesn’t have the money to fulfill his dreams.

Indie effort

Today’s Special (2009)
Today’s Special (2009)
Directed by David Kaplan, this food-based movie has Naseeruddin Shah playing a mentor to an aspiring chef in New York. He does so while dispensing some unforgettable life lessons.

The Masterchef
Short film

Director Ritesh Batra (of The Lunchbox fame) has an upcoming short film titled The Masterchef. It’s about a young shoeshine boy who dreams of becoming a gourmet chef when he has a chance encounter with India’s most popular TV chef. The film will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in October.

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