Inspiring culinary excellence

Khanna pointed out that creating an experiential restaurant is vital for success and highlighted the scarcity of quality manpower as a significant industry challenge.
Indian celebrity chef Vikas Khanna. (File photo)
Indian celebrity chef Vikas Khanna. (File photo)

HYDERABAD: The renowned Taj Deccan Hotel recently played host to an engaging event titled “Taste of Success,” featuring the acclaimed Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna. This event was meticulously organised by FLO Hyderabad and curated by the prominent chef and entrepreneur Shankar Krishnamurthy, associated with Fusion 9.

During the conversation, which began with Vikas Khanna’s vision to elevate Indian cuisine to the same global popularity as Italian and Chinese cuisines, he emphasised the need to bridge the gap between Indian and other international cuisines by blending Indian cuisine with culture. He stressed the importance of imparting Indian culture and traditions to the younger generation, along with training in Indian cuisine. He encouraged aspiring Indian chefs to continually innovate and enhance the Indian dining experience.

As a well-established chef both in India and abroad, Vikas Khanna addressed the prevailing Western media perception of Indian food as unhygienic, greasy, and unhealthy. In contrast, he championed the nutritional and medicinal value of Indian cuisine, asserting that “we are what we eat.”

When asked about the challenges within the food industry, Khanna pointed out that creating an experiential restaurant is vital for success and highlighted the scarcity of quality manpower as a significant industry challenge.

In the course of this engaging conversation, Vikas Khanna shared insights into how he identifies talent in the Master Chef India series, noting that individuals hailing from smaller cities often possess the killer instinct to excel and outperform. He also touched upon the significance of alumni in building great institutions and recounted his experiences with requests to cook wherever he goes. Drawing from his four decades of experience, he discussed how the food industry has undergone significant evolution during the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasising the emergence of new food ventures. He also revealed the difficulties faced by these ventures, with a notable 60% of them having closed down.

Ritu Shah, Chairperson of FLO Hyderabad Chapter, underlined the significance of food in Indian tradition, stating, “Food, in our tradition, is something holy. It’s not just about nutrients and calories; it’s about sharing, honesty, and identity.”

She went on to highlight that the food industry plays a pivotal role in everyday life, at various levels. The event brought together a diverse audience, including FLO members representing a wide spectrum of individuals from the food industry, ranging from large corporations to small, homegrown enterprises. 
The occasion was not just a celebration of culinary skills but also aimed to inspire the broader adoption of the principles championed by Chef Khanna within the food industry and beyond.

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