Chef Vikas Khanna has established himself as a top authority on Indian Cuisine, hosting sccessful cooking shows and has written more than 25 cookbooks. His book Flavors First won the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award. Khanna Sutra, My Great India and Savor Mumbai won Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
UTSAV- A Culinary Epic of Indian Festivals has become the world’s most expensive cookbook. UTSAV was launched at 68th Cannes Film Festival and has been presented to President Obama, HH Dalai Lama, Pope Francis, PM Modi and most recently Chef Vikas was invited to
Buckingham Palace to present UTSAV to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
His cooking style was called “inventive” and a New York Magazine quoted “an instinctive chef whose dishes just get it right” in a review.
His documentary series Holy Kitchens, which explores the bond between faith and food, has been showcased at Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Oxford and many other Universities and Film Festivals. His documentary “Kitchens of Gratitude” was featured at Marche du Film during 69th
Cannes Film Festival.
Chef Vikas has featured on the covers of Forbes Life, Good Housekeeping, Men’s Health, GQ and many more. He was recently awarded “Stardust Global Icon” and “Best TV Chef” by Indian Telly Awards.
Chef Vikas has been honoured with Proclamation from Mayor Bloomberg and Comptroller William Thompson of New York City. He was also the first Indian to be featured as New Yorker of the Week on NY1.
His initiatives through SAKIV have hosted fundraisers for South Asian Tsunami, Katrina, Haiti and many more with some of the most influential chefs including Daniel Boulud, Jean Georges and Alain Ducasse.
In 2018, Chef Vikas Khanna opened his most ambitious project – Museum of Culinary Arts at WGSHA, Manipal India. It’s one of a kind institution, which showcases the rich Indian heritage, history and diversity through kitchen equipment.
What made you want to become a chef?
I think it was the power of kitchens and farms. When I witness the power of food and how it was so uniting it nature, I wanted to be close to it.
Who has influenced your cooking style or your philosophy on food?
Initially it was about homecoming. Then during my admission at WGSHA in Manipal, it was South Indian cuisine that influenced my cooking style. But, it was always about home cooking that inspired me.
What inspires you or where do you get your inspiration from?
Simple rituals, cooking cooking, seasons and most importantly the spices.
What is your favourite method of cookery or preparation?
I love searing. It helps to give a great texture and restore the moisture’s inside.
What is your favourite ingredient?
What is your favourite kitchen tool?
What is your favourite section in the kitchen to work on during your apprenticeship?
I loved the butchery. The way the different parts were divided and cooked for particular recipes.
Where you like to eat out?
I love the versatility of simple street foods in any city I visit.
What would you like to see change with the cooking schools?
More focus on regional Indian cooking.
Your advice to young chefs?
Practice and Observe as much as you can. Discipline will take you forward.
What do you look for when hiring staff?
Honesty ang commitment.
What would you like to see change in the industry?
More focus on regional cuisines of India.
How do you deal with awkward guests?
What is your first memory of food that blew your mind?
Puffing of breads.
What is your favourite escape to relax?
What drives your ambition?
The thought that the opportunities don’t last too long.
What is your signature dish?
Rendered duck breasts with Pepper sauce.
How do you motivate your team?
There is a lot of explore in the food and cultures of India. Let’s bring the best to the world.
How do you think restaurants should be rated?
If you had to build the best kitchen team who would be in your kitchen all stars?
Everyone who works with discipline, honesty and devotion is a star.