From having misaligned legs in childhood to becoming the world-famous Chef Vikas Khanna, here is the journey of Vikas Khanna that you never discovered.
Michelin star chef Vikas Khanna biography
Born on 14 November 1971, Vikas Khanna is a Michelin star Chef, restaurateur, cookbook writer, filmmaker, and a humanitarian. He is based in NYC and yes, he is also a judge in MasterChef India. Having been born in Amritsar, Chef Vikas Khanna had misaligned legs. His mother got him operated but still had to face many hardships due to not being able to walk like normal children and wearing shoes with braces. Finally, when he was 13 years old, on 29th March 1984 he ran for the first time in his life. During this time he was inspired by his mentor, Sagar Rajani.
chef Vikas Khanna – Vikas Khanna biography
Sagar Rajani loved to cook and it was his kitchen that became a part of Khanna’s foundational training. At a very young age, Vikas began developing recipes and opened up the Lawrence Gardens Banquets to host weddings and family functions. He was only 17 years old at the time. Then, he graduated from the Manipal Academy of Higher Education in 1991. Talking about education, Vikas Khanna also studied at Cornell University, Culinary Institute of America, and New York University.
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Following his graduation from Manipal, Khanna worked for the Taj Hotels, the Oberoi Group, the Welcome group, and the Leela Group of Hotels. He then worked at Salaam Bombay and The Cafe in New York and then joined Junoon. Working with Junoon, Vikas Khanna received a Michelin star and his popularity thereon grew multifold. He also worked with influential and award-winning chefs of the world which include Gordon Ramsay, Bobby Flay, Eric Ripert, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Vikas Khanna Achievements – Vikas Khanna biography
Aside from Michelin star for Junoon, Vikas Khanna has received a number of awards and recognitions.
From being recognized as one of the Top 10 chefs in the world by Deutsche Welle News and Gazette Review to receiving a doctor of philosophy degree by GD Goenka University and Doctorate in literature by DY Patil University, the list of achievements for Vikas Khanna kept growing. In 2005, Vikas was awarded with the “Access to Freedom Award” by SATH. In 2011, for his role in shaping the future of American Cuisine, Vikas Khanna was awarded as the ‘rising star’ by Star Chefs. Fun fact, in November 2011, he also featured on the list of the Sexiest Man Alive by the People Magazine.
In 2012, Vikas Khanna was named GQ India Man of the year by GQ Magazine. Then, in the same year, he also featured on the cover of Men’s Health India Magazine. His book, ‘Return to the Rivers’ was nominated for the James Beard Foundation Award in 2014. Facts about Vikas Khanna also include that he was voted as New York’s Hottest Chef in a poll conducted by the New York Eater blog. He received the ‘Shining Star Award’ from Just One Break and he was also proclaimed for his outstanding contribution to the city by the New York City Council. He was also chosen as ‘New Yorker of the Week’ by NY1.
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Chef Vikas Khanna on TV
Talking about TV, in 2011, Chef Khanna hosted the second season of MasterChef India. He has since been hosting all seasons of the show. Apart from this, he also appeared as a guest judge in Season 6 of MasterChef Australia, Hell’s Kitchen, Throwdown! With Bobby Flay, and The Martha Stewart Show. Now, talking about hosting shows, Vikas has also hosted four seasons of ‘Twist of Taste’ on Fox Life. Then, he has also featured as a consultant chef on the Gordon Ramsay TV series, ‘Kitchen Nightmares’.
Chef Vikas Khanna the producer
Not only TV, Vikas Khanna is also a producer. Khanna produced ‘Holy Kitchens’ which was showcased at Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, and Oxford Universities & Film Festivals. His documentary, ‘Kitchens of Gratitude’ featured at the 69th Cannes Film Festival at Marche du Film and his directorial debut, The Last Color’s teaser was also released at the 71st Cannes Film Festival. This film also made it to the final list of Oscar 2019 Nomination for the Best Film.
Vikas Khanna – the Philanthropist
Now, you’re probably thinking it is a lot to process in but there is more. Apart from being a chef, a producer, a host on cooking shows, there is one important thing that Vikas Khanna has been doing for years, and that is philanthropy.
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Vikas Khanna launched the foundation ‘South Asian Kid’s Infinite Vision’ to bring the scope on worldwide issues that demand urgent actions like Tsunami Relief, Hurricanes, etc. Then, in collaboration with charitable institutions like Save the Children, Vikas Khanna has hosted many events worldwide.
In 2001, Vikas Khanna, along with the world’s top chefs founded ‘Cooking for Life’ which supports several social causes. He also built the first Culinary museum of India in 2018 and was also awarded for developing the ‘Vision of Palate’ which educated people with visual disabilities about the sense of taste, flavor, and aromas.
Quite recently, with the rise of the coronavirus outbreak, Chef Vikas Khanna also took up the responsibility of providing food supplies in many cities of the country.
View this post on Instagram
Ramadan Mubarak In the last 3 weeks I’ve seen the most beautiful face of humanity, and how willingly people go out to of their way to help the ones in need. I started this entire chain of creating food supply for so many cities in need by asking a simple question from thousands miles away. “Would you please help?” And the answer was always. “YES”. By next week we would reach 100 Quintals of dry ration distribution in more than 30 cities, masks, sanitary napkins and PPE. ❤️ Please call or check on your local Old-Age Homes, Orphanages, Ashrams, Hospitals etc if they need dry rations. I pledge to do my best to be there. Thank you Ma for giving me energy to do this. #Pune #Varanasi #Ghaziabad #Jodhpur #Mijwan #Vrindavan #Bhopal #Patna #Udupi #Mangalore #Delhi #Dharamshala #Kholapur #Meerut And many more….
The details for the move started by Khanna are mentioned in the post below:
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July 10th, 2020. Milestone for #FeedIndia from 7000 Miles away. 100 Days 20 Million Meals 2.5 Million Sanitary Pads 200,000 Slippers 28,000 PPE Kits 100,000 Masks To celebrate this moment I’ll be doing a live #TwitterChat at 7 PM (IST) and 9.30 AM (EST) Just post your questions/comments at #FeedIndia and I will do my best to answer. ❤️🙏🏼🇮🇳💪🏼 Twitter account link in Bio…
Their journey for doing so began in April 2020 and on Rakshabandhan (3rd August 2020), Vikas Khanna reached the milestone of providing 25 million meals.
4 Months. 25 Million Meals. Power of Solidarity. Pledging 10 Million Meals for Street Vendors all over India. #FloodRelief #FeedIndia #JaiHo
Song writer by my fav ❤️@manojmuntashir pic.twitter.com/QSSgikXunO
— Vikas Khanna (@TheVikasKhanna) August 4, 2020
He is an inspiration to millions of aspiring chefs world-wide.
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