India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
Verve People
February 12, 2012

Homegrown chef!

Text by Nasrin Modak.

Her tasty recipes changed it all for small-town girl Shipra Khanna and post the MasterChef India win, there is just no looking back

As a little girl in Shimla, Shipra Khanna loved to paint. She often bragged that her talent was waiting to be discovered by the world. Little did she know then that it would be her aptitude for cooking that would bring her fame. A failed marriage led to severe depression and gloominess that lingered, “Everything seemed dark and nothing was working my way.” To snap out of it, her mother suggested she apply to Masterchef India 2, thinking it would divert her mind. “I was skeptical but decided to give it a shot.”

In good times and bad, food was the only constant in her life. It was a stress buster but she didn’t realise it was her core strength. “All housewives cook at home and so did I but that it was a hidden talent, I only realised after winning the title.”

The contest has given Shipra a new lease of life and a brand new identity. “It’s like starting all over again. I wasted my life in marriage. After it failed, everyone thought I would be dependent on my parents. The negative comments hurt and often stuck around. The contest was my cloud with a silver lining. A strong believer in God, Shipra believes that He listens to every prayer.

On a day off, Shipra loves to enjoy every bit of it, playing music, holding hands and sometimes dancing with her two kids who live with her ex-husband. When she gets time off, she either meets old friends and goes lunching with them or reads the newspapers and magazines and watches television.

She would like to do more television shows including travel and food related series, write a book and brush up her skills as a chef. She wants to explore the tiny towns of Himachal Pradesh – Chamba, Dalhousie and Kullu to see their sights and sample their flavours. In this chapter of her life, the keyword is to ‘explore’.

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