Set life is a whole different world and most of the times, the final product that you see on your screen is what makes me believe in magic.

There is a notion of glamour and glitz when you hear: ‘I’m on set right now’ or that ‘I’ve got a shoot schedule’, but the reality is far from it. There is excruciating hard work more than anything, which requires us to be on our feet from early hours till late at night, along with countless other factors. Recipes are developed and rehearsed days beforehand, and the production team has strategised perhaps a month or so prior to the shoot day. While on set, you begin to question yourself: am I a messy cook for using my hands to dip the apple into the batter? Am I pronouncing ingredients the right way? Is my accent coming out too strong (I have spent almost 8 years to get rid of it, but when I’m nervous, those years don’t count), should I explain this more in detail or is the basic enough? And then there’s the issue of trying to look good and hoping to God that your sensitive skin doesn’t flare up under those harsh yellow lights (but it does), sweating through the Spanx and praying that the heavy audio-mike set that is clipped on behind doesn’t slip down. All this, while memorizing lines and ingredient amounts, and controlling the mind to random, but vital, questions such as: are my cuticles or nail polish chipped, has my hair flattened out or frizzy, is there lipstick on my teeth, has my make-up melted off under this heat, and finally a regret of not going on a liquid diet beforehand. The final thought process ends at a desperate desire to just go home to my parents’ bed and order a very large double cheese pizza.

Let me assure you, there is nothing glamorous about it.

But the experience is one you just cannot shrug off – honestly, nothing beats the satisfaction of coming home after a gruesome schedule and knowing you produced some very good work, did something out of your comfort zone and went out ‘there’. I meet interesting people on set, I discover new ideas and a world I never imagined I’d be a part of. It’s a humbling experience and offers a good reality check – that there are miles to go in my career, and I’ve got to keep at it for this very reason.

So both these two recipe videos are of freak shakes – a milkshake that is topped with ‘freaky’ toppings and a very unfamiliar concept for me – it’s a trend and something that is far too good looking for it’s own good – a few notches away from the homestyle of Kitchen Therapy. When I sat with the team at IFN, they discussed how much fun this would be – but for my conservative mind I hesitantly agreed and came up with a few versions, including one with a unicorn-theme. But these were the recipe that had the entire crew giddy with excitement and the non-film-crew members from the office next door came in eagerly asking when that would be shot. After a gruesome shoot schedule of back-to-back episodes, we decided to keep the freak shakes at the end to pump everyone before pack up (‘pack up’ has a whole new meaning of relief to me nowadays!). This excitement on set and with the crew was a gentle reminder of why I do this – to see the happiness and joy of feeding people around me. It’s about venturing into new worlds, albeit a trendy young one at times, but to see the intriguing eager faces at the chance to dip into the whipped cream and play with all sorts of confetti.

So go ahead, knock yourselves out with two freak shakes: Chocolate Orange Brownie Freak Shake and a Cookies & Cream Hot Chocolate!

And never say never!