Vikas Khanna opens 'Museum of Culinary Arts' in Manipal

Vikas Khanna opens 'Museum of Culinary Arts' in Manipal

International chef Vikas Khanna said that his diehard love for the ancient legacy has led him to take up the task of constructing the culinary museum.

Interacting with media persons here on Thursday, the chef said that the collections include the materials from all over India - right from Jodhpur to Mysuru and Gujarat to the Northeastern states. It is a unique blend of the cultural artefacts.

Michelin-starred chef Vikas Khanna, who has handpicked most of the stuff, states that his most favourite artefact is a 21-piece Picnic Set consisting of burners, plates, rolling boards, kadhais and even pots which are a marvellous creation indeed.

Wooden spice boxes will give senses a wonderful feeling as if something is cooking in one's home kitchen, he added.

The brain behind the museum is Khanna himself. The idea to have such a museum dawned upon him when he was living in the US, where, according to him, there are over 5,000 different kinds of museums. "Sadly, India does not have even a single museum to house utensils and other appliances to show the culture, heritage and hospitality of our country. The museum has been designed keeping in mind the delicate, yet bold food culture of the country. Every single utensil and artefact has been displayed to appeal visually," he stated.

He said that carbon dating has been done on two items which are 700 and 600 years old simultaneously. One is a metal iron vessel used to draw water from well and another one is a wood material which was used to extract oil with the help of cows and oxen from Bishnoi in Rajasthan.

The museum is spread over approximately 25,000 sqft. Plates, made by the Portuguese in India, a 100-year-old ladle used to dish out food at temples, vessels from the Konkan, Udupi and Chettinad regions, old seed sprinklers, bowls dating to the Harappan era, ancient Samovars, a variety of tea strainers, chakli/murukku makers, hand press fruit juicers, pickle bottles, beautiful earthenware, an array of artistic spoons and serving spoons from various parts of India --- Kochi, Jammu, Pune, Hyderabad, Gujarat and others --- are all there.

Huge copper pots, water flasks and artistically handcrafted jars, ice-cream churners also find a unique place in the museum and add beauty contradicting the era of automated machines, proving their origins and roots from Indian regions.

Ladles, colourful rolling pins for making chapatis, measuring cups and weights all designed with scientific precision date back to more than 1,000 years.

The Turkish dinnerware and the silverware, showcasing amazing combination of intricate designs and creative patterns are stunning.

Inaugurating the 'Museum of Culinary Arts' at Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration here on Thursday, he said that the museum, one of its kind in the country, is a treasure trove of antique culinary collections of hundreds of years ago.

Nearly 2,000 valuables that have been gathered from all over the country have been aesthetically arranged in the museum which forms part of the new Department of Culinary Arts building which has the shape of a giant pot,
similar to the ones found in Harappa.

He said that the museum is dedicated to his father who bought him a tandoor with much difficulty when Vikas was 15 years old.

He also said that these collections will be lent for major exhibitions held in other countries as well.

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