Vikas Khanna

Vikas Khanna - Updated Mar 2023

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Updated On March 26, 2023

Amritsar, Punjab, India
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Vikas Khanna is an Indian Michelin star Chef and restaurateur based in New York City. Vikas Khanna is also a cookbook writer who has written several books and also appeared on TV shows like MasterChef India and Australia, Twist of Taste, and  Kitchen Nightmares among others.

Early Life

Vikas Khanna was born on 14 November 1971 and his current age is 49 years. He is originally from Amritsar, Punjab, India but is based in New York, the USA. His parents are Davinder and Bindu Khanna. Further, Khanna was born with misaligned feet and wasn’t able to run until he was 13. His inspiration came from his mentor Sagar Rajani who loved to cook. Sagar’s kitchen became a part of his foundational training.

Moreover, Khanna began developing recipes at a very young age and opened Lawrence Gardens Banquets to host weddings and family functions when he was only 17 years old. Also, he has two siblings namely Radhika Khanna and Nishant Khanna.

Vikas Khanna

Caption: Vikas Khanna surprises his mother during a family function. Source: Instagram

Vikas Khanna – Education

Talking about his educational journey, Vikas graduated from the Manipal Academy of Higher Education in the year 1991. Similarly, he has also attended Cornell University, the Culinary Institute of America, and New York University. Furthermore, he is also a graduate of the Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration, Manipal, India, and Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.

Later, he also received an honorary doctorate at GD Goenka University as a recognition for his outstanding work in culinary art philanthropy, altruism, and humanitarianism. It was also for his global reach as a chef.

Vikas Khanna

Caption: Vikas Khanna receiving a Doctorate in Literature (Honoris causa) from D Y Patil University. Source: Wikipedia

Vikas Khanna – Career and Professional Life

Vikas Khanna is a Michelin-star Chef, restaurateur, and cookbook writer. He is also a filmmaker and humanitarian. Additionally, he is one of the judges of the Star Plus series MasterChef India which is based in New York City. While in India, he worked for the Taj Hotels, Oberoi group, Welcome group, and Leela Group of Hotels. Later he also worked at Salaam Bombay and The Café at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York before he joined Junoon.

It is an upscale Indian restaurant in the Flatiron district of Manhattan. It received a favorable review from Sam Sifton in The New York Times in its inaugural year and has also been awarded a Michelin star by the Michelin Guide for 6 consecutive years since 2011.

His extensive multi-continent and multi-institutional training along with a deep-seated passion for the power of cuisine coalesce at New York City’s Junoon, where Khanna prepares soulful, elegant Indian cuisine. His cuisine takes the experience of having dinner to another level of appreciation.

Moreover, he has also worked with some of the most influential and award-winning chefs in the world. Some of them are Gordon Ramsay, Eric Ripert, Bobby Flay, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten among many others.

Television Shows

Khanna has appeared on several TV shows and he has also hosted some of them. One of the shows he hosted is MasterChef India season 2 in the year 2011. It is a series based on the original British version. Khanna has been hosting all the seasons of the show since then. Later, MasterChef Australia also invited him as a guest judge for one of its Season 6 episodes. Additionally, he also hosted four seasons of the show Twist of Taste on Fox Life.

In addition to this, Khanna is featured as a Consultant chef on the Gordon Ramsay TV series Kitchen Nightmares. He also appeared as a judge and an Indian-cuisine specialist on the two-part season finale of Hell’s Kitchen. Likewise, he also starred in Throwdown! alongside Bobby Flay. They were judges and guest chefs on The Martha Stewart Show.

Vikas Khanna

Caption: Vikas Khanna is an Indian Michelin star Chef based in New York City. Source: Xpert Magazine

Film Production

In addition to appearing on TV shows, he has also produced a documentary series named Holy Kitchens. This explores the bond between faith and food and the series has been showcased at Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, and Oxford Universities and Film Festivals. Likewise, his documentary Kitchens of Gratitude was also featured at Marche du Film at the 69th Cannes Film Festival.

Furthermore, his directorial debut is The Last Color. It is a film about the daily struggles for survival on the streets of the ancient city of Banaras, India. They released the teaser of this film featuring veteran Indian actress Neena Gupta at the 71 Cannes Film Festival. This film also made it to the final list of Oscar 2019 Nomination for Best Film.


Furthermore, the Michelin star chef launched the foundation, South Asian Kid’s Infinite Vision (SAKIV). He did it to focus on worldwide issues that demand urgent action, for example, Tsunami Relief, Hurricanes of the Gulf Coast, and Haiti. In collaboration with charitable institutions like Save the Children, SAKIV has hosted many events worldwide from The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt to the Taj Mahal in India.

Additionally, in 2018, he built the first Culinary museum of India at his alma mater Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration, Manipal. He also founded Cooking for Life in 2001 in New York. This supports several social causes along with the world’s top chefs. Likewise, Vision of Palate is his award-winning workshop. He developed it to educate people with visual disabilities about the sense of taste, flavor, and aromas.

Then on 14 May 2012, he cooked for a fundraiser hosted for President Obama at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. He is also the goodwill ambassador for Smile Foundation and additionally supports the cause of malnutrition in India. He has pledged to raise 1 million US dollars for the same.


Khanna is also recognized as a famous cookbook author and has published a number of exceptional cookbooks that the world has ever seen. Amongst all cookbooks that he has written, a few of the cookbooks which received international gratitude include Savor Mumbai, Modern Indian Cooking; Shaken & Stirred – A Non-Alcoholic Drinks Book, and World Feast – My Favorite Kitchen.

He rose to utmost fame after he published a cookbook of 1200 pages titled “UTSAV- A Culinary Epic of Indian Festivals”. The cookbook is considered amongst the most costly books written as it costs around INR 8 lakhs for a single copy. The book weighs around 16kg and has been written with golden ink.

Awards and Recognitions

Vikas Khanna is a world-famous chef and hence he has received several awards and recognition in his home country as well as internationally. His previous workplace, Junoon, received Michelin stars for 6 consecutive years. It is given by Michelin Guide. Similarly, Deutsche Welle News and Gazette Review listed him among the “Top 10 Chefs in the world”.

The GD Goenka University awarded him with a Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris causa) Degree, and DY Patil University honored him with Doctorate in literature (Honoris causa). Similarly, James Beard Foundation Awards nominated him for his book Return to the Rivers in the year 2014.

He also received the Rising Star Chef Award by Star Chefs for his role in shaping the future of American Cuisine in the year 2011, “The GQ India Man of the year” award in 2012 by GQ Magazine, “The access to Freedom Award” in 2005 from SATH, and Shining Star Award from Just One Break, Inc.

Moreover, he has also appeared in several magazines. People magazine featured him in the list of “Sexiest Men Alive” in November 2011. Then he appeared on the cover of Men’s Health India Magazine in 2012. Additionally, he was voted “New York’s Hottest Chef” in a poll conducted by the New York Eater blog and he received a proclamation from the New York City Council for his outstanding contribution to the city and was subsequently chosen “New Yorker of the Week” by NY1.

Vikas Khanna

Caption: Vikas Khanna received the “Lifetime Community Impact Award” in November 2017. Source: Twitter

Relationship Status

Vikas Khanna is most probably single at present. He has not shared any information on his social media that may hint at his romantic affairs. Also, Khanna might be more focused on his career as a chef and also focusing on his philanthropic works rather than involve in affairs, rumors, scandals, and controversies at present.

However, he has been a part of rumors and scandals in the past. There were rumors that he had hooked up with Shipra Khanna, the winner of  MasterChef India season 2. But he was quick to deny this rumor. Similarly, there was another rumor a few years ago that he had an affair with the author, actress, and model Padma Lakshmi. However, he denied this rumor as well.


The Michelin stars chef entered the house to judge a cooking task and treat the winners to mouthwatering dishes cooked by him on Salman Khan’s show Big Boss. He appeared on the show in January 2020 and fans accused him of favoritism.

Vikas Khanna took to his Instagram to share a picture of Asim Riaz feeding him while inside the house. Along with the picture, the chef wrote a long post talking about his experience in the house and the vicious comments he had to face later on. After visiting the Bigg Boss house, he shared a picture of Asim feeding him on his Instagram story. He also cautioned he picture mentioning that Asim’s gesture humbled him.

After being accused of favoring Asim and receiving a lot of hate for the post, he clarified in a series of tweets why he was moved. He wrote:

“When housemates are living in Bigg Boss for months without luxuries and when given a Michelin Star meal, it moved me that Asim fed me first. I’m not a part of any team, but we must honor a humbling moments in life. This gratitude is what defines us as human.”

Body Measurements

Talking about the chef’s body measurement stats, Vikas stands tall at a height of 1.84 meters or 6 feet but his exact weight is unknown. Similarly, his chest-waist-biceps size is 40-32-12 inches respectively. Other than these, there is no information regarding the chef’s dress and shoe sizes. Similarly, he has dark brown hair and eyes of the same color.

Social Media

The Michelin star Chef has a personal account on several social media platforms. He joined Twitter in November 2009 and so far has 2.2 million followers. Similarly, on his Facebook page, he has 1.4 million followers, and on his Instagram handle @vikaskhannagroup, the chef has shared 1,651 posts to his 1 million followers as of August 2020.

Vikas Khanna – Net Worth 2023

Moving on, Vikas Khanna’s net worth estimation as of January 2020 is around one million dollars. This means that Khanna has a net worth of over ₹7 crores. This is calculated on the basis of Khanna’s several assets.