Kitchen museum to showcase India’s culinary traditions

Friday, Apr 8, 2016,13:54 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | A futuristic building shaped like a giant ladle is how Michelin-starred chef Vikas Khanna’s culinary museum is set to look like in a few years from now. For at least 15 years, the Amritsar-born chef has been collecting pots and pans besides other utensils from India for the upcoming one-of-its-kind museum in Manipal, Karnataka.

It is a very big project I want to preserve all of our country’s rich culinary history. There is no other place in the world, believe me, which has such diversity. And what better way to do it than with food, says Khanna on his visit here recently. The MasterChef India judge and celebrity face of Junoon, a modern Indian flagship restaurant in New York with a branch in Dubai, has been with anthropological zeal scouring for old kitchen utensils during his visits to India and emerging with finds that he says will make one cry with joy.

You can find in my treasure trove vessels from Kashmir, Jammu, Pune, Hyderabad, Kochi, the list goes on. For the past 15 years whenever I visited India I have been carrying a piece of it back in the form of kitchen utensils. Be it ladles, colourful rolling pins for making chappatis, measuring cups or a huge variety of tea strainers from different regions of the country, says Khanna.

A graduate from the Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration, Manipal University, the chef wanted to repay his alma mater and tied up with it for the USD 4 million ‘Culinary Arts and Culinary Museum’. For the groundbreaking ceremony held recently, Khanna invited the now over 80-year-old Ganghadhar Rao, under whom Khanna used to learn art and sculpting. This is my guru dakshina to him. Long time ago when I was a student in Manipal, I used to visit him at his shop on the roadside and learn from him, his family was my real family then.

After leaving the campus I lost touch with him. Some time ago I came down from the US to Udipi but got to know that he had moved from there after his home was demolished in a road widening exercise. It is only recently that we managed to get in touch, Khanna says.