Michelin-starred Chef Vikas Khanna inaugurated India’s first Culinary and Kitchen Arts Museum in Manipal today. The museum spread over 25,000 sqft, has been curated with over 10,000 objects and collectibles. First of its kind, the Culinary Museum boasts of hundreds of pans, plates, an exquisite 100-year-old ladle used to serve food at temples, vessels from the Konkan, Udupi and Chettinad regions, old seed sprinklers, rolling pins, ancient Samovars, a variety of tea strainers, chakli/murukku makers, hand press fruit juicers, pickle bottles, beautiful earthenware, an array of artistic spoons and serving spoons from Kochi, Jammu, Pune, Hyderabad, Gujarat, Rajasthan and the Northeastern states etc. In his pursuit of preserving our rich, cultural heritage, chef Khanna, over the last one decade, has been travelling and exploring the length and breadth of the country and has personally built this massive repository of our kitchens across regions, geographies, religions and cultures. Chef Khanna has also been able to restore some pieces of kitchen tools and vessels that have been lost over time — from the Dutch and Portuguese colonial era.
On the launch of the culinary museum, chef Khanna said, “The Culinary Museum has been created to preserve and showcase our rich food and cultural heritage through the lens of the kitchen.”
Some of the oldest collections include collectibles that are 700 and 600 years old, as per the carbon dating data. One of them is an iron vessel used to draw water from a well while the other one is made of wood and was used to extract oil with the help of cows and oxen in the Bishnoi community in Rajasthan.
Huge pots, water flasks and artistically handcrafted jars, ice-cream churners also find a unique place in the museum, contradicting the current era of automated machines while proving their origins and roots from Indian regions. Ladles, colourful rolling pins for making chapatis, measuring cups and weights all designed with scientific precision date back to more than 1,000 years. French and Turkish dinnerware and the silverware, showcasing intricate designs and creative patterns have been a stunning addition.
All the 10,000 plus valuables have been aesthetically displayed in the museum which forms part of the new Department of Culinary Arts building which has been designed in the shape of a giant pot.