Food Connects
Anu Kriti
FLAVORS FIRST: AN INDIAN CHEF'S CULINARY JOURNEY by Vikas Khanna Lake Isle Press, 2013, 262 pp., $ 24.95
February 2013, volume 37, No 2-3

A good cookbook is more than just a collection of recipes. It tells stories about the writer and the ingredients. It transports you to kitchens and markets both familiar and unknown. Based on these criteria, Flavors First is surely a success. If you watch Master Chef or live in New York, chances are that you are already familiar with its author, Vikas Khanna. Vikas grew up in Amritsar, watching and learning to cook from his grandmother, Biji. At seventeen, he opened a catering business and then moved to New York after studying hotel management in India. He worked his way up through the New York restaurant scene and is now considered one of the most talented Indian chefs in America.

Flavors First compiles souvenirs from Vikas’s culinary journey. There is room in it for ghar jaisi dalas well as masala-honey Cornish hen with lavender. The book contains 138 recipes in all—93 of which are vegetarian—organized by broad food groups, such as poultry, legumes, and breads.

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