Utsav – A Culinary Epic written by four times Michelin starred Chef Vikas Khanna was launched at the world’s biggest and most sacred temple of art and creativity – The Cannes Film Festival. Utsav is the world’s largest collection of festivals, ceremonies, sacred ingredients and the first cook book to get launched at the Festival. His Excellency Dr Mohan Kumar, India’s Ambassador to France unveiled Utsav along with Mr.Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing Officer Mastercard, the gorgeous Bollywood actress Ms.Sonam Kapoor and the author, documentary film maker, philanthropist Chef Vikas Khanna .
The exciting premiere was attended by select invitees of the Festival and was organized at the India Pavilion on the French Riviera. Post the launch at the Cannes Film Festival, 12 copies of Utsav in beautifully created boxes that represent India’s varied art and culture will be presented to World leaders across the globe. The first limited edition of the book will have hand written notes from global luminaries and will be auctioned with a prestigious auctioneer. The proceeds will go to Smile Foundation towards the cause of NUTRITION FOR EDUCATION Campaign which is ably supported by Chef Vikas Khanna as a Goodwill Ambassador.
“It is a huge triumph for creativity when a book gets showcased at the world’s biggest platform for creativity and art. It is great for India since it offers a great opportunity to help us build our pride as a country rich on culture and heritage. With both India and France sharing similar effort, it is equvivalent of gastronomic diplomacy.” said Honorable Ambassador Dr Mohan Kumar.
“Utsav is the world’s collection of festivals and ceremonies and am super excited to be a part of this launch as I enter my fifth year of being at Cannes” Said Bollywood actress and fashionista Ms Sonam Kapoor. The common link between the gorgeous actress and Chef Vikas Khanna is that they both support the same charity Smile Foundation through their charitable endeavors.
“People around the world have a true passion for food and cooking and with this exclusive book we believe Utsav has captured India’s priceless and iconic culture. At Mastercard, we understand how creating unique experiences unlock a work of priceless possibilities and in this case connects to a true passion for international cuisine.” said Mr Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing Officer – Mastercard.
“It is our pleasure to have committed individuals like Chef Vikas Khanna as our Goodwill Ambassador for the cause of NUTRITION FOR EDUCATION campaign and his initiative to donate the auction proceeds of his first book to this cause which will help us benefit a lot of children .UTSAV is a piece of sheer hard work and dedication and Smile Foundation wishes his all the best in his endeavours.” says Mr. Santanu Mishra , Co-Founder and Executive Trustee – Smile Foundation
Chef Vikas Khanna has taken 12 years to compile Utsav as he researched and captured festivals that have got missed or have been left to just community sharing today. Weighing almost 15 kilos in a beautifully box with gold foiling, Utsav is an eclectic combination of celebrations, ceremonies, traditions and culture. Chef Khanna has travelled extensively across the country over the last few years – from capturing a Chapchar Kut in Mizoram, a Hornbill in Nagaland to Shigmoutsav in Goa to Losar in Ladakh to Pongal or Onam in South India. At the same time, he has also showcased the scale and grandeur around the mo.0re renowned festivals e.g., a Diwali, Id, Teej, Durga Puja. Utsav captures more than a hundred festivals, ceremonies and sacred ingredients that have been used scientifically as well as mythically in our rich heritage.
Said Chef Khanna, “ Utsav for me is solely about India’s pride. I have tried to explore the India that we all love and are proud of but have somehow forgotten over the years. I have tried to bring out our magnificent heritage and culture as I tell the India story through the festival lens. Utsav is my tribute as a son to my motherland .”