Interview with Chef Vikas Khanna
What’s cooking with Chef Vikas Khanna?
The Junior Masterchef judge, Chef Vikas Khanna is not only famous with adults but also extremely popular among the younger clan. With the release of his book ‘Young Chefs’ and by starring in Junior Masterchef, Chef Vikas has made cooking for kids a cakewalk.
Mocomi got the opportunity to interview the man who has put Indian cuisine on the world food map. Here is what Vikas Khanna had to say:
Q1. How did you get the idea of writing ‘Young Chefs’? Was it after Junior Masterchef?
I wanted to write something for my nieces Ojasvi and Saumya. Most of my books are on heavy cooking subjects and sometimes hard for them to understand. I wanted to create something for that age group, who are the future inspiration of our nation. The success of Junior MasterChef has truly helped us.
Q2. What was the toughest dish made in Junior Masterchef?
The last challenge to create a dish, which looks familiar, but tastes totally different was very tough. It’s a difficult task for kids as they are connected to everything familiar. But, what imagination kids have! We were pleasantly surprised.
Q3. Which is your favorite cuisine and why?
I love everything, but most importantly I love Bhutanese and Tibetan cuisines.
Q4. What should I do, if the kitchen scares me?
The kitchen should not scare anyone. It’s the purest part of a home. One thing I recommend to everyone, is to make a chai. Follow a perfect recipe of making chai and enjoy the satisfaction of creating it with your own hands. Then, jump to eggs. It would help you overcome your fears.
Q5. There are so many different ingredients. What is the best way for young chefs to remember them?
It’s not something that happens in one day. It’s like every other art or science, it takes time. Keep working towards it.
Q6. How can kids improve their cooking skills?
I think support from home is crucial. If parents or family members appreciate the food cooked by kids, half the battle is won. Always remember that encouragement is the greatest tool.
Q7. How important is presentation for eating? You work with the visually challenged- how do they experience food?
It’s crucial. My workshops with visually challenged are based on recognising flavours and textures of food and appreciating them. The senses of aromas and touch are crucial in these classes.
Q8. Parents always want us to eat healthy. How can we cook food that is healthy yet tasty?
There are so many substitutions we can make for healthier choices. For example, I use yogurt instead of heavy creams, chocolates can be combined with fresh seasonal fruits and now we have the choice of low fat for everything.
Q9. Which is your favorite dish you cooked as a child?
I loved rolling and cooking rotis. I found the process of kneading extremely gratifying.
Q10. Any cooking tips you would want to give our readers?
Cooking is a pure expression of you. Enjoy it and celebrate it with your family and loved ones.
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