Michelin star chef Vikas Khanna makes India proud with his achievements on the home ground as well as internationally. His success story is undeniably aspirational across generations and has often been the subject of fond anecdotes in his interactions with the media. However, in his recent interaction with a leading British news channel, when the anchor took a sly dig at India while talking about Khanna's achievements, the chef hit back in the kindest way possible.
Vikas Khanna is one of the heroes at the forefront in India's fight against the coronavirus pandemic with his 'Feed India' drive to provide ration kits and food to the needy and distressed in the country. He recently organized a massive food distribution drive to provide meals and essential supplies to thousands of Dabbawalas in Mumbai as well as widows in Vrindavan. This week he launched a food drive for transgenders and differently-abled people.
Taking note of his efforts, the anchor asked, "These days you are famous. You have cooked for the Obamas, you have been on TV shows with Gordon Ramsay. But it wasn't always that way. You are not from a rich family so, I dare say, you understand how precarious it can be in India.". Khanna's response to this colonial idea of 'hungry India' has been winning hearts on Twitter as he hit back at the anchor by describing how self-sufficient India is.
Vikas said, "I understand, but my sense of hunger didn't come from India so much, because I was born and raised in Amritsar, and we have a huge community kitchen where everyone gets fed. But my sense of hunger came from New York, when I was struggling at the very bottom, and it was not easy for a brown kid who came to America with the dream of winning a Michelin star.". He added, "My sense of hunger came from New York, when I used to be at Grand Central, sleeping around. This is also post 9/11, so it was not easy for us to get jobs".
Vikas Khanna, michelin star chef, gives it back to BBC news anchor.— Harpreet (@CestMoiz) June 27, 2020
Anchor: In India, you were not from a rich family. So your sense of hunger must have come from there.
Vikas: NO, I am from Amritsar, everyone gets fed there in the langars. My sense of hunger came from New York! pic.twitter.com/u06BJDSzvj