Portrait of an actor
as an artist
Dadamoni visited important galleries abroad and kept himself abreast of art developments across
the world. In this painting, he has recreated a rural scene, which Jaffrey conjectures he must have
come across on his various travels in India.
Nude in Black and White
“Although ours was a very conservative family. We were not prudes who could not
appreciate nude paintings. That was the kind of upbringing we had,” recalls Jaffery
Dadamoni used still life as a means of practice and possibly to learn light, shade and
form, says Jaffrey.
self, she says.
Singh made it to the final four, creating a
mix of dishes that alternately wowed or dis-
gusted the judges. “The experience was
amazing and intense,” she says. “I built a
rapport with the judges and converted each
criticism into a critique.”
The most important one was to go easy
on elaborate dishes. In one of the episodes
the judges criticized her for covering an
already-excellent sponge cake with nuts.
“Restraint is the hardest thing for a chef,”
says Singh with a laugh.
But she has learned her lesson and toned
down her cooking. Her favorite dish and
obsession - Butter Chicken Tacos – consists
of fewer ingredients than it did before the
show. “You want to taste each ingredient in
the dish,” she says. “You do not need 25
ingredients muddled together.”
But, the contestants were indeed a dis-
parate group of people. Each episode fea-
tured a fresh set of rivalries and friend-
‘Cooking up an
ships, staple fare for reality shows, which at
times seem stage-managed.
Singh dismisses the assumption. “The
judges really filter people’s personalities,”
she says. “So, the contestants are who they
are regardless of the situation.”
Singh says she was misunderstood when
she was mentoring Kramer (
) and pushing him to do his best.
And, then there were her facial expres-
sions and physical stances. One could be
forgiven for thinking it was an act. Except,
even in real life, she nudges, points, and
makes faces. “Can we talk about that
please?” she laughs. On the show, they
might seem irritating. In person, however,
they are charmingly childlike.
Awkward facial expressions and friction
with contestants apart, Singh is not one to
shy away from ambition. “I am not a back
of the house girl,” she says, pointing to the
chefs beyond the glass partition. “I want to
cook in front of you and with you.” So,
Singh wants to be a television anchor,
teaching cooking and exploring street food.
“I like to work with people and teach them
what I have learned,” she says. Her favorite
food includes simple Butter Chicken and
an elaborate Duck Masala is the cra-
ziest dish she has cooked.
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