Vikas Khanna

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Chef Vikas Khanna
Doctorate ceremony.jpg
Chef Vikas Khanna receiving doctorate
Born (1971-11-14) 14 November 1971 (age 46)
Amritsar, India
Education Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration
Culinary career
Cooking style Indian cuisine

Vikas Khanna (born 14 November 1971) is an Indian chef, restaurateur, and cookbook writer, filmmaker, humanitarian and the judge of MasterChef India Season 2, 3, 4, 5 and Masterchef Junior.[1] He is based in New York City. In 2011, People magazine named Khanna in the list of Sexiest Men Alive and also referred to him as "The Hottest Chef of America"[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Khanna was born in Amritsar, India to Davinder and Bindu Khanna.[3] He was born with misaligned feet and wasn't able to run until he was 13. He was inspired by his grandmother who loved to cook, and her kitchen became a part of his foundational training.[4] He has an elder brother, Nishant Khanna, and a younger sister, Radhika Khanna.

Khanna began developing recipes at a very young age and opened Lawrence Gardens Banquets to host weddings and family functions when he was 17.[5] He graduated from the Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration from Manipal in 1991,[6] and established SAANCH, a cultural festival gala, to bring together various foods and traditions from different parts of India.


He has worked for the Taj, Oberoi, Welcome group, and Leela Group of Hotels and with some of the most influential chefs of the world letting in Gordon Ramsay, Bobby Flay, Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

He has also studied at Cornell University, Culinary Institute of America, and New York University. He also appears in Marquis Who's Who in America 2012 to 2017 editions.[7]

Cultural influence[edit]

Deutsche Welle News named Vikas Khanna, one of the 10 Iconic Chefs of all time, alongside Julia Child, Jamie Oliver, Clemens Wilmenrod, Massimo Bottura and David Chang.


Khanna started a restaurant on 2 Dec 2010, in Flatiron district of Manhattan, New York, called Junoon. On 29 March 2011, Khanna's restaurant Junoon received a favourable review from Sam Sifton in The New York Times.[8]
Junoon has been awarded a Michelin star by the Michelin Guide for 6 consecutive years since 2011.

Television shows[edit]

In 2011, Vikas hosted the TV Show MasterChef India (season 2),[9] an Indian competitive cooking game show based on the original British version of MasterChef, telecast on Star Plus. He has also hosted the third season, MasterChef India (season 3) , the fourth season, MasterChef India (season 4) and the fifth season which is currently being aired.

Vikas has hosted four seasons of the show Twist of Taste on Fox Life.

In September 2007, Vikas Khanna was featured as the consultant chef on the Gordon Ramsay TV show on Fox. On 13 October 2009, Khanna appeared as a judge and Indian-cuisine specialist on the two-part season finale of Hell's Kitchen. On 23 June 2010, Khanna appeared on Throwdown! with Bobby Flay as a judge. Vikas Khanna was guest chef in the episode "The India Show" on The Martha Stewart Show telecast on 4 March 2011.[10] On 23 June 2014, Vikas Khanna appeared on MasterChef Australia as a guest judge.[11]

In early 2013, Vikas Khanna also served as a judge of a Season one and two of Nokia Lumia: Your Wish Is My App. The show was one of its kind where applicants portrayed their mobile applications, which would be ultimately sold to Nokia and Microsoft. The show aired on NDTV Profit during 2013 and 2014.

Holy Kitchens[edit]

Khanna's Holy Kitchens[12] film series explores the food sharing traditions in a spiritual context. The first film in the series True Business[13] is based on the Sikh community kitchens, known as Langars, with an introduction by Deepak Chopra. The film premiered at the Sikh International Film Festival[14] in October 2010. Other films in the Holy Kitchens series are based upon the food traditions of Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Judaism. Karma to Nirvana,[15] the second installment in the Holy Kitchens documentary series premiered at the New York Indian Film Festival in the US, on 7 May 2011.[16] In March 2012, "Moon of Eid"[17] the third film in the Holy Kitchens Series was released at Harvard University[18]


On 14 May 2012, Vikas cooked for a fundraiser hosted for President Obama at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City[19] In September 2009 Khanna bought a house across from the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.[citation needed]


Khanna launched the foundation "South Asian Kid's Infinite Vision" (SAKIV)[20] to focus on worldwide issues that demand urgent action such as Tsunami Relief, Hurricanes of the Gulf Coast, Haiti. In collaboration with charitable institutions, such as Save the Children, the foundation has hosted many events worldwide - from The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt to the Taj Mahal in India.[21][22]

"Cooking for Life" was founded by Khanna in 2001 in New York with the world’s top chefs.[23] In years the foundations has supported relief efforts around the world including 9/11, Tsunami Relief, Hurricanes of the Gulf Coast, South Asian Earth Quakes, Darfur, and Haiti.

Vision of Palate is his award-winning[24] workshop developed to educate people with visual disabilities about the sense of taste, flavor and aromas.

Smile Foundation[edit]

Khanna is the goodwill ambassador for Smile Foundation and supports the cause of malnutrition in India.[25] He has pledged to raise 1 million US dollars for the same.

Personal life[edit]

Khanna is single. In an interview with Hindustan Times he said that he looks forward to having a family one day, but nothing as of now.He is a contributor to Deepak Chopra's Intent[26] and The Huffington Post.[27]


The G D Goenka University honored him with a Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) Degree.[28]

He was conferred with his second Doctorate in literature(honoris causa) by D Y Patil University.[citation needed]


  • Ayurveda - The Science of Food and Life
  • Mango Mia - Celebrating the tropical world of Mangoes
  • The Cuisine of Gandhi - Based on the beliefs of the Legend
  • The Spice Story of India
  • New York Chefs Cooking for Life - Cookbook
  • Modern Indian Cooking
  • Flavors First: An Indian Chef's Culinary Journey
  • My Great India Cookbook
  • Khanna Sutra: Food Lessons in Love
  • Everyone Can Cook
  • Savour Mumbai
  • Young Chefs
  • Return to the Rivers - Recipes and Memories of the Himalayan River Valleys with HH the Dalai Lama
  • Bliss of Spices - The Essence of Indian Kitchen
  • Hymns from the Soil- A Vegetarian Saga.
  • Amritsar'- The Flavours of the City
  • The Magic Rolling Pin
  • World Feast - My Favourite Kitchen
  • MasterChef India Cookbook - Best of Season 1, 2 and 3
  • "Shaken & Stirred- A Non-Alcoholic Drinks Book"
  • "Timeless Legacy- His Holiness the Dalai Lama"
  • The Milk Moustache
  • "UTSAV- A Culinary Epic of Indian Festivals"
  • "Indian Harvest-Classic and Contemporary Vegetarian Dishes"
  • "Essence of Seasoning - My All Time Favorite Recipes"
  • "Cocktails, Punches, and Shrubs (April 11, 2017)"
  • "My First Kitchen"
  • "A Tree Named Ganga"
  • POEATRY - Poems from the heart of kitchen and farms


He was featured on the cover of Men's Health India Magazine - October 2012.[33]

  • Awarded the "Rising Star Chef Award by Star Chefs for his role in shaping the future of American Cuisine" (2011)[34]


Recently named among the top 10 chefs in the world by

He was voted "New York's Hottest Chef"[35] in a poll conducted by the New York Eater blog.

On 29 July 2011, Khanna hosted dinner for the Hindu American Seva Charities Conference held at the White House organized by Anju Bhargava, who is a member of President Barack Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.[36]

Khanna was featured in the Top Sexy and Successful list of Anokhi Magazine in their 5th Anniversary Issue.[37] Metro New York featured Khanna as Hottest Chef Around.[38] In November 2011, Vikas was featured in the list of Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine.

Khanna has received acclaim for his cooking style from the James Beard Foundation,[39] and received the "Access to Freedom Award"[40] in 2005 from SATH, and The Shining Star Award from "Just One Break, Inc."[41]

He has also received a proclamation from the New York City Council[42] for his outstanding contribution to the city, and was chosen "New Yorker of the Week" by NY1.[43]

His book Return to the Rivers[44] was nominated for the 2014 James Beard Foundation Award[45]

Vikas Khanna has also been featured in Online Food and Wine Magazine[46]

Recently the chef is named as the brand ambassador of Gadre Marine Exports.[47][48]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
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  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 June 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  5. ^
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  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 March 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Holy Kitchens
  13. ^ True Business Archived 19 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ SIKH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2010: FEATURE Vikas Khanna’s Holy Kitchens - True Business
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 April 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011.  K
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 June 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 January 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  20. ^ SAKIV
  21. ^
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  23. ^
  24. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2009. 
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  36. ^ The Economic Times: Vikas Khanna: Man behind Junoon, the famous Manhattan eatery with over three months wait list. 1 December 2013. Accessed 12 February 2015
  37. ^
  38. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 August 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2009. 
  42. ^
  43. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 May 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  44. ^
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  46. ^
  47. ^ "Gadre Marine Export signs chef Vikas Khanna as brand ambassador". Financial Express. Financial Express. 6 November 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2015. 
  48. ^ "Gadre Marine names chef Vikas Khanna as brand ambassador". Economic Times. Economic Times. 19 Nov 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2015. 

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External links[edit]