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Rediff.com  » Movies » 'I am happy to be known as a cook rather than an actor'

'I am happy to be known as a cook rather than an actor'

January 28, 2015 15:46 IST

Vikas Khanna'I come from a humble background and didn’t even know how to speak Hindi, let alone English. I used to feel apologetic about this until I realised that food has its own language and that kept me connected with my passion,' Vikas Khanna tells Rajul Hegde/ Rediff.com

Michelin-starred Indian chef Vikas Khanna returns as one of the judges of MasterChef India Season 4 on Star Plus.

He claims this is the first food show “with a vegetarian concept.”

"This show has opened up many gateways to food lovers and given them a platform to celebrate food and the art of cooking,” Khanna says of the popular MasterChef. 

For instance, the winners of the earlier seasons --  Pankaj Bhadouria, Shipra Khanna and Ripudaman Handa -- are "doing well in their own capacities," Khanna says. "From books to restaurants to TV shows, they are known across the nation because of MasterChef,"

Khanna himself started his career very modestly. 

"I remember the days when I started off with my bature counter in the backyard of my house with 24 plates and chairs... one of the chairs was stolen on the first day!” he laughs. His mother would stand over the open counter with an umbrella and help him with the tandoor.

"I have been in love with food from childhood and never dreamt of doing anything apart from that. I come from a humble background and didn’t even know how to speak Hindi, let alone English. 

“I used to feel apologetic about this until I realised that food has its own language and that kept me connected with my passion,” says the chef who runs a restaurant called Junoon in New York.

His next project is his 'dream book' titled Utsav that celebrates the festivals of India. He has been working on it since 2012.

“The idea is to tell you about the hidden treasures of Indian culture that the new generation of India may not be able to track on the Internet,” he says. 

He will dedicate the book to the transgender community in India. 

Chef Ranveer Brar, Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and Chef Vikas Khanna

Image: Chef Ranveer Brar, Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and Chef Vikas Khanna

Khanna has been sounded out by a Hollywood studio to make a biopic on his inspiring journey from Amritsar to the US. Khanna confirms the news but says that he will first release his biography in 2019, and then follow it up with a movie. 

He wants an Indian actor like Aamir Khan or Farhan Akhtar to play him.

Why not act himself since he has been called ‘the sexiest man alive’? 

“I don’t think I can act. I am known for my cooking skills. I am happy to be known as a cook rather than an actor,” he says.

Rajul Hegde / Rediff.com in Mumbai