An Indian culinary legend, celebrity chef Vikas Khanna is a pioneer in the world of food, film, and art. His humble beginnings have proved to be the stepping stones of his success in the food and beverage industry, encouraging him to spread his wings, and dabble into the world of film and writing as well. 

A Legend is Born

Born in the city famous for its piety (Amritsar), Vikas Khanna started his journey into the world of food, with a banquet hall, at the age of 17.  His grandmother was his source of inspiration when it came to curating delicacies from around the subcontinent. His started with a small dream, (which was to own the best chole bhature shop in Amritsar), accompanied by a tandoor, Khanna turned his lifelong passion into an impressive career. The small town boy from Amritsar formally started his culinary education from Manipal, eventually going on to try his luck in the United States in 2000.

A New Beginning 

Soon enough, Khanna found himself in the Big Apple (New York), working for an Indian restaurant, Salaam Bombay. In his interview with the Huffington Post, the chef fondly recounts the first time he tried a different cuisine at the neighbouring restaurant, Chanterelle, exclaiming, "Main pagal ho gaya. Sab Kuch alag tha", which translates to, I went crazy (with joy). everything was different.'

Major Breakthroughs

His delightful experience trying Chef David Waltuck's food was just the start of him discovering a whole new side of Indian food. He began experimenting with traditional Indian cuisine, creating an amalgamation of flavours too good to resist. His hands had 'taste' and the ability to adapt, leading to him becoming a Michelin Star Chef with his restaurant in New York City, Junoon. 

Jack Of All Trades

There was no looking back for this talented individual, he paved his way into the culinary world, thereafter, going on to television, with shows like Masterchef India, and his own film series, Holy Kitchens. He has written several books on his art, including the famous 1200 page book Utsav, which he presented to Barack Obama. More recently, Khanna authored the brilliantly written, The Last Colour, which was made into a major motion picture, and debuted at the Cannes Film Festival 2018. Just when you thought this man couldn't do more!

An inspiration to many budding chefs who still face the stigma of cooking as a 'man', a pioneer, a successful entrepreneur, he is a man of many talents and international fame. Despite his achievements,  the celebrity chef still manages to stay close to his roots and connected to his Indian heritage. If you're lucky, you can catch him wandering the streets of his hometown Amritsar, in search of something new, or deliberating over which pastry to get at Maxim's Delhi, each time he's back home.

P.s. If you want to get a closer look at one of his projects, go check out the museum he opened at his alma mater, Welcome Group Graduate School of Hotel Administration in Manipal University. Yup, he opened a museum too!