The dapper celebrity chef talks about his cooking philosophy, inspiration and fitness mantra.
Good looking, humorous and full of life best describes the personality of Michelin star and celebrity chef Vikas Khanna. With his elegant style and endearing smile he looks not less than any Bollywood celebrity. Even after winning the title of Michelin star chef for his Indian restaurant Junoon in New York, he is a true Indian at heart. He believes that India has given birth to many colours and concepts. The country is a source of inspiration for him and he can’t run out of ideas. “I don’t need to go out of the Indian sphere for ideas. There is so much more to discover that within the country that I always feel surprised,” says judge of television reality show Master Chef 2.
His philosophy of food is different. For him food is just not the right mix of ingredients. Each dish that comes on the table has a long journey of memories and with each recipe there are many sentiments attached. As per the Indian culture entire family eats together. This habit not only makes you understand the family values but it also brings together everyone, and that’s the power of food that he learnt from his Biji (grandmother). He calls her his hero as she taught him the basics of cooking. In fact he mixes her favourite ingredient love in all his dishes. “Love is very important while cooking. Always cook from your heart. You can never be angry while cooking as it reflects in the dish,” says Amritsar-born and New York-based chef.
He finds langar at the Golden Temple the best place to eat because all the bruises heal here. Whenever Khanna used to visit Gurdwara with his Biji he dreamt to do something big in the food industry. And, that’s how he reached America leaving behind the successful catering career in Amritsar. He studied at CIA and unlearned his past to learn the new concepts of cooking. The journey wasn’t easy and to survive he even washed the dishes in an Amercian restaurant. Khanna says no task is big or small and being a chef you should not hesitate to clean your dishes. And, he still loves to do his own dishes.
He believes Indian home cooked food is the healthiest. Indian style of cooking and ingredients we use is different, both make a strong combination. He plans to stay as fit as it is possible to prove that Indian cooking is healthy. It is quite difficult for one to maintain muscular body when spending most of the time amid food and recipes. But still the stylish chef is often written and spoken about his lean and masculine physique and smart style sense. That is because he gym and runs regularly, moreover no smoking and drinking for the chef. “You need to be disciplined to maintain good physique. I gym and run an hour before the meal to stay in right shape,” he adds.
When Khanna is not cooking he loves to listen Jagjit Singh, Lata Mangeshkar and shabad kirtan. To de-stress himself he simply close his eyes, swipe all the jitters from mind and meditate.