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Star Plus brings kids to the battle ground in Junior MasterChef

Junior MasterChef, which goes on air on August 17, promises to bring out the ‘Swaad ke Ustaad’ every weekend at 9 PM. The show will be replacing 'India's Dancing Superstars' which has just finished its current season

Sohini Sen | Mumbai | August 6, 2013

Chef Vikas Khanna, Chef Surjan Singh Jolly and Chef Kunal Kapur with the contestants of Junior Masterchef Swaad ke Ustaad

MasterChef is all set to make a comeback this August. Only this time, the people donning the chef's hat would come in small packages. Junior MasterChef will make its Indian debut on August 17, 2013 on Star Plus.

On the heels of the super success of the third season of MasterChef, Star Plus has decided to extend the brand and the idea by taking it to slightly unconventional participants. Titled ‘Junior MasterChef - Swaad Ke Ustaad’, the show will have children battling it out in the kitchen, showing their culinary skills.

Judges and Chefs Vikas Khanna, Kunal Kapoor and Surjan Singh Jolly said during the launch yesterday, "We were slightly apprehensive whether children would be able to cook or not. I mean, sure, they will make an omlette, or tea, or maybe even pakodas. But it was only after the audition that we realised that they are in no way behind the original masterchefs!"

The show will be replacing 'India's Dancing Superstars' which has just finished its current season on Star Plus. The previous seasons of MasterChef were aired during the week. But since the contestants this time are kids, the channel has decided to limit the shooting time and therefore will air it only on Saturdays and Sundays at 9 PM. The current season will run for 11 weeks.

Nikhil Madhok at the launch of 'Junior Masterchef Swaad ke Ustaad'

Talking about the show, Nikhil Madhok, Sr. VP - Marketing, Star Plus, said, “Star Plus has always been true to its philosophy of ‘Rishta Wohi Soch Nayi’. With Junior MasterChef, this ideology is exemplified. We are giving young cooking enthusiasts a reality show platform but in a whole new avatar. For the first time, kids will be challenged in a cooking competition and seen entering a territory that was once meant only for adults. You will be amazed with their talent and knowledge on the subject. With this set of young champs stepping out of the playground to take over the kitchen, you can only expect the unexpected!"

Being produced by Colosceum Media, the children will be in the age group of 8 to 12 years. Otherwise the format of the show will remain same as MasterChef India – nothing will be made easier for the kids in the kitchen.

"Keeping in mind the age group, we have introduced slight changes in the format like team tasks and double eliminations. But the difficulty level remains the same. We will, however, make sure that safety precautions are taken. Using safer utensils and cutlery is important when you do a show with kids in the kitchen," said Ashish Golwalkar, Senior VP, Programming (Non-fiction), Star Plus.

While Amul is the presenting sponsor for the show, Fiona, Pigeon and Yippee Noodles are associate sponsors.

Giving details of the promotional activities, Madhok said, "We decided to pitch it in a different way. We focused our energies on three mediums. For TV, Contract Advertising has done our promos. We are present in a big way across the Star Network. In digital we are doing three innovative things. We have created a mobile app to download recipes that are being made in the show, or you could live chat with the children and judges, and the third one is exclusive content that would be available on the app. Also, on Facebook, the kids will ask you recipes and quiz you on your knowledge. We have also partnered with Yahoo! and MSN for exclusive content. There will also be on-ground activation where we will host cook-offs between adults and kids in 10 different cities over many weekends. It's a comprehensive 360 degree campaign."

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