Chef Shipra Khanna On Indian Cuisine With Growing Global Appeal
Image Credit: Master Chef Shipra Khanna

Masterchef Shipra Khanna needs no introduction when it comes to young and talented Indian chefs who have carved a niche for in their home country and nations beyond borders. She is a globally acclaimed culinary expert who has been instrumental in whipping up dishes from Indian cuisine at various international festivals. To her credit, this gifted culinary genius was the winner of MasterChef India Season 2. Her meteoric rise in the international platform as a global television personality and consultant is an inspiring story for aspiring chefs. 

An alumnus of the prestigious Loreto Convent and St. Bede's, the aroma of Shipra's unique creations on the global stage comes from her travelling to over 50 countries. It exudes her passion for exploring the allure of the palate and juggling with multiple cuisines spanned across nations. She has vast experience working with Michelin to local chefs to understand cuisines and anchoring distinguished shows across the globe. Chef Shipra is the Ambassador of "MasterChef Travel ". With an invincible spirit, bewitching charm, and profound culinary skills, Khanna has been dubbed as the "Glamorous Chef". 

Chef Shipra at work, Image Source: Masterchefshiprakhanna@Instagram

Recently Chef Shipra Khanna represented India in the World Tapas Competition in Spain, where she did a Masterclass on a fusion of Indian and Spanish tapas in association with the Indian embassy as a part of the competition. "Indian food is picking up globally, and my spice trail, an exploration of cuisine across the globe, has covered over 50 countries. There's more in the pipeline! For me, nothing mimics life better than the art of cooking. To cook, for me, is to live life every moment."

Q. How has it been a journey so far as a Chef?

It has been a thoroughly incredible one, including allowing me to learn, teach, and travel. I am absolutely grateful for everything and everyone who's been a part of this amazing ride.

Q. Did you get the knack for cooking from someone in the family? Has anyone in the home inspired you, or do you try to follow their style?

Of course, I owe it to my grandmother and mother. I've grown up watching them cook and enjoy cooking, serving and feeding people, whether at midnight or early in the morning! It's never been a chore for them, and that's what inspired me to cook and serve. I mirror their love and passion for culinary art. 

Q. What was the turning point in your career? 

I guess everyone comes to this point where they're wondering what their purpose is. I am fortunate to figure it out early on; it is cooking and feeding. There have been many turning points. 

Q. Recently, you represented India in the world Tapas competition in Spain. Which Indian dishes you chose and why? 

It was an honour to get this opportunity. I curated a fusion menu for the event. The eclectic menu had Butter chicken and lavender naan canopy and also had servings of ham and cheese puchka with pomegranate caviar. 

 Q. Do you feel the pressure to represent a country on an international platform? 

Definitely, one is nervous as there are many expectations when representing the country, and food is so subjective. When catering to international audiences, one does want it to be perfect with no hiccups whatsoever.

Q. How do you want to showcase Indian cuisine to the global platform? 

Indian cuisine, for me, is not only fulfilling but also very medicinal in many ways. I ensure that it is projected well. I strive to promote this characteristic with my heart and soul. 

Roti cinnamon roll, Image Source: Shipra's Kitchen@YouTube

Q. Have you observed any misconceptions regarding Indian cuisine abroad? 

Indian cuisine for the west is all about curries, spice, and chillies which isn't true at all. Indian cuisine is way more than that, so there are a lot of misconceptions that need to be changed.

Q. How would you like to change that?

I am already on it for a long time, persistently and relentlessly. I am doing it with my recipes. You may check my page Masterchefshiprakhanna (blue tick), on Instagram and Shipra's kitchen on YouTube. Likewise, one can check my new series, 'Shipra's India, 'on my Pinterest profile, 'MasterChef Shipra Khanna,' where I'm introducing indigenous ingredients and recipes found across India and how we can use or cook them in our kitchen.

Chef Shipra Khanna in her new initiative Shipra's India promoting Indian cuisine and ingredients

Q. Can you share your present engagement as a chef?

I am shooting for my new show Chef VS Fridge and an international documentary. Besides that, I am curating exclusive menus abroad as well.

 Q. Which is your forte as a chef?

Anytime it is Indian fusion, both in savoury and desserts.

Q. Is there a new restaurant in the pipeline? A brief about it?

I don't want to spill the beans at the moment. Having said that, I can share that let's just say people will love what's being created. Let it be a little surprise.

Q. What is going to be your 9th cookbook? What can a reader expect it?

Oh, it will be the go-to book for someone with a sweet tooth. It will feature lots of easy-to-make-recipes will be there. So, readers, get ready for desserts!

Chef Shipra Khanna with her published cookbook

Q. From your international travels, what is that you have learnt that you feel India is way ahead or lacks in any way in terms of food? 

It has given me extensive exposure. I observed how more women heading the culinary industry. 

Q. Describe Shipra Khanna's signature style?

Let me use a creative acronym. i.e., KISS- Keep It Simple Shipra. It is my mantra for cooking. 

We wish to see Master Chef Shipra Khanna taking Indian cuisine far and wide across the globe and create fusion foods to promote the grandeur of foods of India.