Neither Bollywood Nor Politics: Chef Vikas Khanna Only Wishes To Explore The Varied Dimensions Of Food
Vikas Khanna, one of the most recognised Indian celebrity chefs on the global stage, wishes to stick to the world of food and have no plans of entering Bollywood or politics in the near future.
With his multi-hyphenated career - that of a chef, TV show host, filmmaker and an acclaimed writer - one may expect him to make a cameo or a full-fledged appearance on the big screen. But, in an exclusive interaction to News18.com, he makes clear that he has no such plans. “I just want to stick to food and explore the varied dimensions of food. I want to show the next generation of chefs the depth and heritage of Indian cuisine”.
“Neither will you see me in Bollywood nor politics”, adds the celebrity chef who was in the capital for the Quaker Bring Your Tastiest Bowl Finale.
He further cites an incident from his reality show Master Chef India where even actor Ranveer Singh came up with a “perfect role” for him to which, he shyly quipped, “it takes me half an hour to speak even a single dialogue”.
Khanna, who desires to leave behind a legacy that goes beyond his cookbooks, has his roots in Amritsar, where he realised his profound love for food and cooking. “When you see huge langars (communal common kitchens in Gurudwara), you understand the power of food. No matter how many differences exist, when people sit to eat, everybody bows down. So I started noticing these little things and that was the beginning of my love for food.”
Now that he owns award-winning restaurants all over the world, particularly in New York and Dubai, Khanna recalls the first time he cooked. “Tea for my grandmother and split red lentils (chai aur masoor ki dal banayi thi biji ke liye). I always thought if I can cook, I’ll become equal to everyone. Neither was I good in sports, nor anything else; so cooking was my lifeline”.
While it is known that Indians love to gorge on junk food, what’s worth all the attention is how Indian cuisine has its foundation in Ayurveda - something not many people are aware of. Stressing on the fact that Indians have always been smart eaters, he sheds light into the purity of home-cooked delicacies that exists even today. “We used to be very smart eaters. Look at our history – the grains we used to eat and how Ayurveda was the only foundation of our cuisine. With so many centuries of influences – kingdoms coming in – of course, there has been some adulteration. But even today, our home-cooked meals are not adulterated. It’s pure; wheat flour, few ingredients and it’s simple. We were very smart eaters, we’re still smart eaters – at home.”
The celebrity chef, who’s credited for taking Indian delicacies around the world, modestly speaks of the heritage that Indian cuisines boasts. “The native Indian food has a depth, a comfort, and a unique heritage. If we don’t appreciate and if we don’t follow, who else will?”
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