Amrita Raichand became a household name and face after the Whirlpool ad campaign. Armed with a flair for natural acting, lovely screen presence and a million dollar smile, she is now a celebrity chef on FoodFood channel. On the occasion of women’s day, we caught up with her and had a little chat.
Q:1 You started your career as an actress and appeared in several TV ads and shows. Did you always want to get into the television industry? How did you parents react to it and was it an easy journey getting in?
Call it destiny or the hidden desire to be in the media all through my growing up years, that even though I hailed from a small town with no hope of ever coming face to face with all the glitter of the industry, my entire family moved lock, stock and barrel to Mumbai in 1995 and just like that, I got noticed during my college festival Malhar, at St. Xaviers College, bagged my first ad and became the face of PONDS Dream Fairness cream…the rest like they say, is History☺
I come from a conservative family so I was given the boundary of staying only in advertising. As long as I would come back home and to my books, as long as I was continuing doing something else along with my modelling in advertisements I was allowed to continue doing the same..
I guess with me there was no question about it not being easy as things just fell into my lap and touchwood so far the journey has been truly beautiful and yet evolving…
Q:2 You are one of the most iconic faces of ‘Whirlpool’. How did that opportunity come about?
My mentor(Sanjeev Bhargava) and those days the Head of the creative dept of FCB Ulka that had the account of Whirlpool had spotted me in my Ponds Ad. He thought that I totally fit the bill as the face of the brand but was apprehensive about the fact that being so young, would I be able to carry off the image of a mother of two small kids?? He finally got in touch with me only to be pleasantly surprised that I was up for it. Today when people ask me why I agreed, I tell them that right from the beginning I had no aspirations of entering mainline cinema as I really didn’t think I was cut out for it…also I absolutely adore kids so playing a mum was a natural instinct although I was just 19yrs old then…I agreed…a few auditions later, Sanjeev, my director Piyush Punjuani and I made a super team, we brainstormed, strategized and the output was there for the country to see.
Q:3 What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in your television career?
I started doing television shows much later in my career, which was after marriage. My husband is extremely supportive and was absolutely open to letting me exploit my talent. I enjoy acting, love being front of the camera but luckily for me it was never a do or die situation… I did work if I liked what was offered to me as I was never overtly ambitious. I have to thank God, I have a great family, a lovely home and am comfortable, financially and emotionally so basically a very content person…hence the only challenge I faced was the one I posed to myself…and that was to always try and excel in whatever I did…otherwise I did not face any adverse challenges…touchwood.
Q:4 Being in the television industry also means one has to be ready to receive feedback or comments that can often be nasty at times. Did such a thing ever happen with you? If yes, how did you deal with it?
Luckily for me I have never had terrible things said about me. I don’t think I am a threat to anyone…☺
Q:5 Today, you are a celebrity chef with FOODFOOD. From acting, to cooking, what prompted this transition?
My love for food, Punjabi upbringing and the fact that I am a mother…all these things put together along with yet another mentor’s efforts transformed me into a chef who is so loved today. When Chef Sanjeev Kapoor offered me this cookery show, MUMMY KA MAGIC I thought It would be impossible for me to pull it off as being a good cook is one thing but being a chef and hosting a cookery show is really different ball game altogether…well he totally believed in me and convinced me to do it and today I feel this is what I want to do for the rest of my life…☺ The show allows me to explore my culinary skills through my experience of motherhood and create dishes that appeals to kids in a more personal manner, that they can go up to their mothers and say that this is something that they would like to try instead of just being a recipe show.
Q:6 You were awarded the ‘Best celebrity host award’ at the 7th Golden Star Awards 2015. Who and what factors do you credit this award to?
The award was for best celebrity chef / food award…. I credit this to my Mom who taught me how to cook and Chef Sanjeev Kapoor for discovering that talent in me and showing it to the world and of course to God as without HIS grace u can never get anything in life…
Q:7 You focus on tasty, yet nutritious snacks for children on your show. Tell us a few dishes you would recommend to our readers.
There are so many of them and it would be unfair to name just a few. I would recommend everyone to go to our website foodfood.com and check out all the recipes on the MUMMY KA MAGIC PAGE..I am sure everyone will find all the recipes that appeal to their kids taste buds and palette.
Q: 8 You took an acting course at Anupam Kher’s acting school recently. Will we see you back on TV shows?
I always believe that you should mix your Craft with Science, technology and training. I took up the acting course not recently but few years back when I was doing a lot of work in TV and films.
And now that I have got so much recognition and praise in the food space, I am going for an advance Course in Culinary Arts abroad to further my skills as a Chef. Like I said earlier I like to excel or atleast try to.. in whatever I do..
Coming back to the question, yes ofcourse if there is a great role in films or TV, I would definitely consider.
Q:9 You started off with marketing, went on to act, and now have even gotten into the food industry next. What are you future plans? Any thing you’re particularly eyeing?
I am planning to stick to my first love which is food and lets see where that takes me …
Q:10 You are undoubtedly one of the most famous and successful television personalities in our country. On the occasion of women’s day, would you like to share any tip or success mantra with our readers?
First of all do only what you love to do and then when u do it, be professional, punctual and work hard at it…one can never achieve anything without hard work…my Guru says “ God loves the sweat of a hard days work on the brow” And finally leave the rest to Him. If its meant to be…it will happen…☺
I’ve always enjoyed writing but the professional route to it happened by chance and I’m loving it! I literally have a billion dreams, one of which is to own an amusement park someday! I love to eat and often dream about pizza in my free time.