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Such is the popularity of Reza Mahammad that he is a sought-after commodity at South Africa’s Good Food & Wine Show every year.
His Food Network show, Reza, Spice Prince of India, is an extension of his success as one of the UK’s top Indian restaurateurs.
As much as viewers appreciate his cooking tips and culinary dishes, they also adore his flamboyant style and charismatic personality.
Now for the good news – his next series will be shot in SA, where he will explore the local gastronomic secrets of the Indian communities.
And Food Network has commissioned the reputable production house, Rapid Blue, which shot BBC Entertainment’s Come Dine with Me: South Africa series.
Kee-Leen Irvine, managing director and executive producer, said: “Rapid Blue is totally thrilled to be commissioned by Food Network to produce Reza’s next series. We have met Reza briefly and, apart from him being a celebrity chef and one of the UK’s top Indian restaurateurs, he is just such a vibrant, adventurous character. I’m really excited to be producing his 10-part 24-minute series.”
With MasterChef SA and Come Dine with Me: South Africa proving a hit with viewers, I asked Irvine if Rapid Blue is tackling more shows in the genre.
“Cooking programmes have always been part of the television landscape, but recent years have seen an even bigger increase in the appetite for ‘culinary content’. Rapid Blue aims to be at the forefront of culture and trends so food will always be part of our content development,” she responded.
Renowned for helming shows such as SA’s Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance?, Strictly Come Dancing, The Weakest Link, Go South and Don’t Forget the Lyrics!, I asked Irvine about the challenges of working on food shows as opposed to game or variety formats.
She shared: “Every show brings different thrills and different challenges. When it comes to this genre, there’s certainly a fair amount of effort and skill required to make food look appetising on camera, but we’re confident that, with our expert chef and team, we will get it right.”
In the meantime, Irvine said they were working on another reality series, Business Coach.
“It is aimed specifically at helping entrepreneurs grow their business, which in turn assists in accelerating job creation,” she explained.
• The celebrity chef’s South African series is expected to air on Food Network (DStv channel 185) in the latter part of this year.