Vikas Khanna
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Vikas Khanna was raised in Amritsar, India where he grew up surrounded by large family feasts, the seasonal produce fresh from the fields of Punjab, and, of course, his Grandmother’s traditional home cooking. It was at his grandmother’s side that he began to learn the intricacies of Indian cuisine. He started his own banquet and catering business, Lawrence Gardens, at the age of 17 and the business is still thriving. His current restaurant work includes Junoon Restaurant, the Café at the Rubin Museum of Art, Flavors and Feasts Catering. Upon his graduation from the Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration, Vikas went on to train under renowned chefs of Taj Group of Hotels, Oberoi, Leela Group and many more. He made his way to the United States and studied at the Cornell University and New York University while getting his feet wet in the restaurant industry of New York City. He has also studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and at the Cordon Bleu in Paris. He had the pleasure of working with some of the most honored chefs in America while he was the Executive Chef of Salaam Bombay Restaurant in New York. He has received glowing reviews from the press, his gastronomic peers and also recognition from the James Beard Foundation. He has authored several books including The Spice Story of India, Modern Indian Cooking and Flavors First, which will be published in August 2011. He is the founder of Cooking for Life and SAKIV, organizations which host gastronomic events around the world in support of various relief efforts and awareness issues. He is also supporting the work of Amma, the hugging saint of Kerala, India. Her work providing relief for the victims of the earthquakes in Haiti have been a model of human compassion and fiscal responsibility. The documentary series Holy Kitchens is based on his journey to discover the spiritual foods that give us a shared identity. The first part of the series is on the Langars of the Sikhs and is subtitled "The True Business." Karma to Nirvana is the second film in the series, which explores the food sharing traditions of Hinduism. Vikas has also been a guest judge and chef on Gordon Ramsay’s television shows for Fox, Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares. Food Network, the Martha Stewart Show among others. He is the recipient of numerous national and international awards and is also an honorary member of many foundations including the World Peace Society. He was also honored with the prestigious Access to Freedom Award in 2005 from SATH, previously awarded to George H.W. Bush and HRH Prince Charles and he has also received a proclamation from the Council of the City of New York for his outstanding contribution to the city, and was chosen New Yorker of the Week by NY1. Vikas is also the Host of MasterChef India and the author of acclaimed cookbook Flavors First.

Entries by Vikas Khanna

The Magic Of Vegetarian Cooking

(2) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 8:00 AM

Indian food has infinite combinations and aromas, filled with several centuries of journeys of many dynasties and cultures. But, for me, it's always been the great Indian culinary traditions. You don't leave home without a pinch of sugar or a spoon of yogurt, a little infant's first honey taste when...

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Himalayan Food Traditions: The Roth Pooja

(3) Comments | Posted May 25, 2012 | 7:58 PM

Pooja and Sacred Foods

While working on Return to the Rivers, our upcoming Himalayan cookbook from Lake Isle Press, Vikas came across this story tucked away among his Sheela Aunty's old treasured recipes. It contains a legend about the roth pooja, which is a form of worship, and...

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VIP Dinners: What Should You Cook When the Guest of Honor is President Obama?

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2012 | 7:13 PM

We are blessed and grateful for the opportunity to cook for President Obama when he comes to New York City on the 14th of May. Any chef who gets the call to cook for the President of the United States drops everything to do it and we are excited at...

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Sikhism's Holy Kitchens: Observing Vaisakhi at Jallianwala Bagh (VIDEO)

(6) Comments | Posted April 13, 2012 | 8:20 AM

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Jallianwala Bagh, photo by Ronnie Bhardwaj


Vaisakhi is one of the most important religious festivals in India, particularly in the state of Punjab which is the heart of Sikhism. It is celebrated on April 13 by people of all faiths in India...

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Holi Kitchens: A Time and Place for Irrational Exuberance

(6) Comments | Posted March 8, 2012 | 12:17 PM

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Photo by Munish Byala

Holi, the Festival of Colors, is coming once again. Hindus in India will gather together to celebrate the end of winter and beginning of spring by throwing bright powdered pigments and spraying colored water at each other. It is spirited...

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The Holy Kitchens of Islam: Mabrouk Ramadan

(20) Comments | Posted August 2, 2011 | 10:00 AM

On Aug. 1, the appearance of the first crescent moon signalled that it is time once again for Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims around the world. It is also the time for Zakat, which means almsgiving. Zakat is about immersion in community -- giving what you can,...

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'Karma to Nirvana': In the Holy Kitchens of Hinduism

(141) Comments | Posted May 6, 2011 | 10:16 PM

"Sharing food is the highest form of Karma." --Bhagavad Gita

In Hinduism, the sharing of food is an essential part of the human experience. When there is scarcity, this sharing can mean the difference between life and death. Civilization cannot exist without it. When we share food in a spiritual...

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