Just a few hours back we were all excited about chef and author Vikas Khanna coming to Mumbai to promote his movie Buried Seeds and children’s book A Tree Named Ganga, and now we just found out that the masterchef has announced that he’s launching India’s first living culinary museum.
4 Million Dollar Baby
The Michelin-starred chef will be the founder and curator of the USD 4 million venture. “Life is so much about a second chance and survival. I think that saving even just one of a kind is… a victory. Most of the pieces (displayed) are so iconic that they are being showcased as a witness to our culture,” he told IANS.
“The idea for a museum came to me after I started living in the US, which has over 5,000 museums. There is a museum in the US to showcase how the computer was invented, somebody has put together one on the origin and developments of making glass. It is fascinating to know how the glass in your hand has been made. They have spent billions of dollars to showcase their culture and I thought our children too need to understand their heritage and culture,” Khanna explained.
Spread over an area of 25,000 sq. ft., the building is shaped like a giant Harappan pot and will display over 10,000 utensils.
The structure of the museum is rather interesting. According to Hindustan Times, the museum already holds a bunch of curated items like plates made by the Portuguese in India, a 100-year-old ladle used to dole out food at temples, vessels from the Konkan, Udipi and Chettinad regions, an old seed sprinkler, bowls dating to the Harappan era, an ancient samovar.
“My New York apartment was literally overflowing with them. There were so many rolling pins, utensils of all shapes and sizes, tea strainers of different types — people didn’t even know what some of these were used for. One can find vessels from Kashmir (and cities like) Jammu, Pune, Hyderabad, Kochi and so on,” Khanna, who has been collecting “bartans” (utensils) all his life, said.
“I have one of the oldest Indian Jewish Seder plates (the focal point of the proceedings on the first two nights of Passover), unique churners, and measuring and weighing tools are really fascinating”, the chef said adding that the museum will let people donate their unique utensils, which will be displayed after a screening process.
Once it is in full swing, the museum plans to loan utensils to museums in New York, Madrid, Tokyo, Beijing, London and many more cities around the world to showcase our heritage,” Khanna said. “This would help us to bring these pieces of art, culture, traditions and evolution to global attention,” he added.
Khanna’s culinary museum will open its doors to the public in April 2018.