THE CULI­NARY MU­SEUM OF SEC­OND CHANCES

CHEF VIKAS KHANNA TAKES YOU ON A PRI­VATE TOUR OF HIS NEW MU­SEUM IN MA­NI­PAL, THROUGH WHICH HE CEL­E­BRATES IN­DIAN TRA­DI­TIONS AND HIS OWN OP­POR­TU­NI­TIES IN LIFE

Hindustan Times - Brunch - - Humour - Text by Veenu Singh // Pho­tos shot ex­clu­sively for HT Brunch by Prab­hat Shetty

A fter a beau­ti­ful drive from Man­ga­lore to Ma­ni­pal, chef Vikas Khanna, in a cream kurta pyjama, is ex­hausted be­cause of his tir­ing sched­ule. As I try di­rect­ing the driver to­wards the mu­seum that we’ve come to ex­plore, Vikas in­ter­rupts, and di­rects him to The Udupi Shri Kr­ishna Matha, about a 20-minute drive from Ma­ni­pal. I won­der why, at 5am, we are do­ing a de­tour. Vikas senses my cu­rios­ity, and smiles, “I find so­lace here.”

Start­ing the day on a spir­i­tual note, Vikas basks in the pu­rity and sense of peace that Sri Kr­ishna Matha of­fers. He men­tions, “Peo­ple said I had found my Golden Tem­ple here.”

Go­ing down the mem­ory lane of his col­lege days, Khanna in­sists we have break­fast at the Mi­tra Sa­maj eatery within the Matha com­plex. “It is re­ally the best break­fast you can have!” he says, and we in­dulge in some idli with sam­bar and ke­sari halwa. He was clearly right about the de­li­cious meal!

We feel slug­gish af­ter the meal, but as ex­hausted as he may be, Khanna’s eyes light up as our In­nova stops in front of the Mu­seum of Culi­nary Arts. He beck­ons me to lis­ten to his first anec­dote and I’m just as ex­cited as he is when he gets out of the car and, all en­er­gised, and ready to take us for an ex­clu- sive tour to show off the fruit of his five years of ded­i­ca­tion to put to­gether this culi­nary won­der.

I fol­low Khanna as we walk into the mu­seum that is de­signed to look like a pot from the Harappa Civil­i­sa­tion era. I gape when he in­forms me that the mu­seum has 1,600 culi­nary items, of­fer­ing in­sights into the way grains were stored, food was cooked, and the met­als that were used to make the ves­sels in In­dia.

Khanna shows me a 32-piece me­tal­lic pic­nic set that he got from

“PEO­PLE SAY ‘I HAVE AN AN­TIQUE FRENCH POT’. BUT IN IN­DIA, WE THINK OF UTEN­SILS AS MERE ‘ BARTANS’!”

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