Madhur Jaffrey on Filmmaker Ismail Merchant & FoodBy kamla bhatt • Jan 25th, 2013
Category: Bollywood, Books and Authors, Diaspora, Entertainment, Featured, India, People
Madhur Jaffrey says “I am just an actress, who loves to cook.” Food and acting are her twin passions. She is the author of many cookbooks and was featured in a BBC series Flavors of India, where she took us around India on her culinary adventures. After a 17 years break from TV Madhur is back on BBC with Curry Nation, a 10-part series on impact of that all-popular Indian curry in the UK.
It was acting that brought her to the USA. After training as an actor in the UK, Madhur moved to New York in the 1960s and has lived there ever since. It was during this time she started collaborating with filmmakers Ismail Merchant and James Ivory. Merchant was studying business at New York University, but he had big dreams about bringing Indian culture to the US points out Madhur. Her collaboration with Merchant-Ivory started with Shakespeare Wallah (1965) and continued for the next 40 years. Shakespeare Wallah was produced on a shoestring budget by Merchant and directed by Ivory. Madhur won a silver bear at the Berlin Film Festival for her performance in the film.
In Part-2 of our interview Madhur talks about what it was like to live in the USA in the 1960s and source for ingredients for her Indian kitchen. Indian food was relatively unknown in the USA during the 1960s. She also talks about her friendship and collaboration with Merchant, and his fascination for food and how he could rustle a wonderful meal without any fuss. In fact, Merchant was famous for rustling up a simple and tasty meal for his crew whenever a film was under production.
In case you missed, you may want to listen to Part-1 of our interview with Madhur Jaffrey.
Photo courtesy: Madhur Jaffrey’s website