Preservation and Celebration of Indian Cuisine: A Journey with WGSHA and Chef Vikas Khanna

WGSHA and Chef Vikas Khanna

Manipal, October 4, 2023 – India, a land of diverse cultures and traditions, has always had its heart deeply intertwined with the rich tapestry of Indian cuisine. “Uttaram yat yamudrasya himade shachaiva dakshinam. Varsham tadu Bharatam nama Bharato yatra santatih,” as stated in the Vishnu Puran, beautifully captures the essence of this country that lies between the ocean to the north and the snowy mountains to the south, known as Bharat.

Spanning over 32,87,263 square kilometers, from the magnificent Himalayan peaks to the lush tropical rainforests of the south, India boasts an ancient civilization adorned with opulent dynasties, powerful rulers, and a profound history. In India, “Our food is who we are,” and it paints a vibrant canvas with the subtle hues of spices, the artful use of grains like millets, rice, and wheat, and an array of vegetables and fruits, all cultivated within the country.

Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA), MAHE, a unit of the Dr. TMA Pai Foundation, has been a pioneer in moulding young individuals into competent professionals in the hospitality industry since 1987. In partnership with ITC Ltd., the hotel division of Welcomgroup, WGSHA has consistently set the highest standards in hospitality education and training, earning the rank of number 1 in India for hospitality studies.

In a groundbreaking initiative, WGSHA has embarked on a mission to place Indian cuisine firmly on the global culinary map through its “Centre of Indian Cuisine and Food Culture.” Going beyond the conventional understanding of Indian cuisine, this center delves deep into the intricacies of macro and micro cuisines within India. In 2021, it introduced the “Master of Arts in Indian Cuisine” program, aimed at fostering a deep appreciation for Indian food’s historical and cultural significance.

“The Centre of Indian Cuisine and Food Culture seeks to create awareness about the profound relationship between Indian food, our history, and our culture,” remarked Chef K. Thirugnanasambantham, Principal of WGSHA. “It will educate our youth about the rich historical background of Indian cuisine, tracing its development over hundreds of years, exploring the science behind the use of fresh farm produce and the art of Indian cooking. Just as ITC Hotels have championed Indian cuisine through their signature restaurants, this center will research and develop new recipes and expand our knowledge of Indian food—a small yet significant contribution to nation-building.”

Vikas Khanna, a Michelin-starred chef and a distinguished alumnus of WGSHA, stands as a global ambassador of Indian cuisine. His unwavering passion for Indian culinary traditions and his tireless efforts to elevate its status on the world stage have made him an iconic figure in the culinary world. He played a pivotal role in the establishment of a culinary museum dedicated to preserving the essence of dynamic Indian cuisine. After 15 years of dedication and hard work, this dream has become a reality. The museum is an extraordinary destination for those interested in exploring ancient kitchen utensils and unravelling their historical significance.

In a world where food culture is in constant evolution, WGSHA, in collaboration with ITC, is nurturing a new generation of hospitality professionals poised to carry forward the legacy of Indian cuisine. Through globally recognized signature dining experiences and the dedication of individuals like Chef Vikas Khanna, Indian cuisine continues to captivate and enchant food enthusiasts worldwide, showcasing the rich tapestry of traditions, flavors, and influences that have shaped it over thousands of years.


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