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MasterChef India initial rounds consist of a large number of contestants from across India individually auditioning by presenting a dish before the three judges to gain one of 50 semi-final places.
The semi-finalists then compete in several challenges which test their food knowledge and preparation skills. In Season 1 and 2, the top 50 competed until 12 were left, with the final 12 progressing to the main stage of the show. The winner competes for a prize that includes their own cookery show, the chance to have their own cookbook published, and ₹ 1,000,000 in cash.
Season 1 of the show started airing on STAR Plus Saturday and Sunday evenings. The first episode aired on 16 October 2010, and the season one finale was broadcast on 25 December 2010. The first winner of MasterChef India was Pankaj Bhadouria, a 38-year-old teacher from Lucknow. Season 1 was hosted by actor Akshay Kumar who worked as a chef in Bangkok before his acting career, along with chef Ajay Chopra who is working as an executive chef at Goa Marriott Resort, and chef Kunal Kapur an executive chef at Leela Kempinski, Gurgaon.
Season 2 of MasterChef India premiered on 22 October 2011. The second season aired on every Saturday and Sunday evenings and was hosted by chef Vikas Khanna with Ajay Chopra and Kunal Kapur as judges. On 1 January 2012 Shipra Khanna from Shimla Nita Mehta also participated in the program. Chef Kunal Kapur was invited to MasterChef USA Season 2 as a guest judge in the semifinal.
The third season premiered on 11 March 2013 on Star Plus. Chef Vikas Khanna and Kunal Kapur however Chef Sanjeev Kapoor replaced Chef Ajay Chopra. Ripudaman Handa was declared the winner of this season.
The fourth season premiered on Star Plus on 26 January 2015. The judges are Chef Vikas Khanna, Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and Chef Ranveer Brar. Nikita Gandhi, Neha Deepak Shah and Bhakti Arora were the finalists. The judges adapted a new avatar on the day of the Finale and gave a tribute to their contestants via a song. Grand Finale of the show was held on 12 April 2015.
Nikita Gandhi became the winner of Masterchef India 2015 with Neha Deepak Shah as the first runner up.
Junior MasterChef India
India's own Junior MasterChef started on 17 August 2013 and aired on Saturdays and Sundays at 9:00 pm IST. It was called "Junior Masterchef Swaad Ke Ustaad". The winner of the show was Sarthak Bharadwaj with Sakshi Triphathi as the 1st runner up and Emmanuel Chauhan as 2nd runner up.
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