Cookbooks have never been considered a part of “literature” but now times have changed and so have the avatars of cookbooks, says Masterchef Vikas Khanna.
“Chefs were never referred to as icons of culture earlier but now they are. Food is an important part of culture and now our literature as well. A chef being here is an example of it,” he said on the sidelines of ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival.
The Michelin star chef believes, it has been difficult to categorise cookbooks in fiction or non fiction category so far, but over the years they have formed a category for themselves.
“When I wanted to publish one of my cookbooks in America, the publishers denied saying that there is no market for them. Indians buy the clichookbooks priced $2-6 and expensive cook books don’t have a market in India,” he said.
The 43-year-old chef, who is hosting the latest FOX Traveller’s culinary-cum-travel show “Twist Of Taste 3”, said he has vowed not to do any cookbooks from now onwards.
“You would never see me doing a cookbook with a collection of recipes in future. I wish to do different books now, which would be related to food of course but will not be the clichormats,” he said.
The chef, restaurateur and filmmaker is based in New York city and established his Indian food restaurant ‘Junoon’ in 2005 in Manhattan which became a success there. It was in 2011 that he got to host the ‘Master Chef India Season 2’ and became a household name in India.
Mr. Vikas, who has already authored over 20 cookbooks, each of them targeted at a different audience, is coming up with a new book titled ‘Bliss of Spices’ in March.
“Next I would work on the concept of vegetarianism in India,” he said.
According to Mr. Vikas, marketing of cookbooks hasn’t been an important factor in India before.
“I am going for a tour for my book, “Return to he Rivers” which contains a forward by the spiritual guru Dalai Lama on January 29. After touring Europe, US and Canada the tour would conclude on February 25 at the White House,” the chef said.
Mr. Vikas is here at the five-day festival which concludes tomorrow for a talk around his book, ‘The Bliss of Spices’.
He was in conversation with the ‘Shiva Triology’ fame author Amish Tripathi.