World Chefs: Khanna hopes to inspire with book, TV show

Tue Oct 4, 2011 11:59am EDT
 
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Celebrity chef Vikas Khanna hopes his latest book and television show will inspire home chefs and children in his native India to express their culinary talents .

The 39-year-old, who was born and raised in the northern city of Amritsar, now lives and works in New York City where he opened his restaurant Junoon.

Known for his global spin on modern Indian cuisine, Khanna took over as host and judge of "MasterChef India," which is beginning its second season this month.

Khanna spoke to Reuters about growing up in India, his new cookbook "Flavors First" and fasting during Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting.

Q: Are there dishes in your new book that reflect the food you grew up eating?

A: "Most of the dishes in the beginning are from my grandmother. I feel the regions are not as important as the seasons. That is one thing I learned so much when I was in France. I used my grandmother's tastes and concepts and took them to another level after I was taught by these chefs in the Western world."

Q: What are your early food memories?

A: "One good thing about growing up with an extended family and not a very wealthy one was that there was very little privilege of going out to eat. It would have to be a very big occasion for us to be going out. But over here, it's a way of life. Eating at home here is a big deal."   Continued...

 
<p>Celebrity chef Vikas Khanna poses in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/Andrew Blackmore-Dobbyn/Handout</p>