Food competitions are my guilty pleasure. I love the thrill of creating magic in the kitchen, being put on the spot and come out with a star on a plate. Whether it’s chef Gordon Ramsay or Matt, George or Gary from Masterchef Australia – you may call me a fan. I watched Masterchef Pakistan in great excitement and offered my full on support to the favorites. Which is why when I heard about Sprite Spice Wars, I was a little bit curious. After a long YouTube marathon, I’m here to bring you all the reasons you need to watch the show, especially if you’re a big time food fanatic like me.
Let’s talk about the judges
Shahnawaz Khan, trained in the culinary arts in France, is the chef extraordinaire who has experience working at Michelin Star restaurants. Maha Jawed, the mogul behind catering service Fatsos, not only runs her independent business but also offers services as a consultant. The third judge needs no introduction, especially since he has already competed in Masterchef Pakistan. Rayyan Durrani is the force behind Simple Dimple, Jucy Lucy and Loco, three of Karachi’s very flavorsome restaurants. Call me a fangirl and I’ll happily take it.
Along for the ride, there are also mentors aimed to help smoothen the ride for the contestants.
There include Raza Ahmed as a mentor from Lahore Pan-asian success, Bamboo Union (a personal favorite). Noor Zehra with Sarrak Pe Karrak as her claim to fame and the not-so-conventional Arsalan Riaz from Pow.
With auditions and food tastings across campuses all over Pakistan, 12 teams eventually made the cut.
The rounds seemed intense with cooking counters and meets with judges.
After which each team had to go through the grueling round of making their elevator pitches.
From pasta to burrito lasagna to nutella chai to gappay shots to live tepanyaki counters and a whole lot of fusion food, there was a range of different ideas coming from the entrepreneurs. The ideas were out-of-the-box but some lacked expertise, some finesse and some didn’t pay attention to their pie charts (shout out to all the college presentation days!)
The five episode saga includes real cook-offs spanning over an hour and brutal feedback from the judges and lots and lots of mirchi.
Not to forget the surprise box challenge where contestants were thrown by multiple ingredients and given ten minutes to create something using Sprite.
Another round included nailing your food delivery which judged the contestants based on a very real business situation.
With a guest appearance by Rachel Viccaji, but of course.
There was some music and some food, some very intense kitchen shots and near misses or disasters.
The finale episode aired the past weekend with finalists managing their own food trucks and orders from a very real crowd.
With a notable guest appearance by brand ambassador Momina Mustehsan.
And a live performance by Shamoon Ismail.
Sprite Spice Wars has proved itself as a fantastic platform for budding entrepreneurs hoping to make their culinary dreams come true. The whopping prize of 50 lac is enough to push past the initial investment and loopholes and allow the future chefs and business owners to focus solely on creating good food joints.
As for the winners, I won’t announce it because, no spoilers. Watch the show now and find out.
This post has been sponsored by Sprite.