"NFT is the new language and culture of the world."
Indian chef Vikas Khanna launched his new book, Sacred Foods of India, in NFT format.
It is a limited edition book, of which only 250 copies are available, with prices starting at $25,000.
Vikas partnered with Akshaya.io for the launch and to coincide, the platform created NFTs of the books, which will be unique for each copy.
Akshaya.io helps users claim ownership of physical and digital assets with certified proof of authenticity in India.
Vikas has now explained why he believes NFTs will become more prominent in the food industry.
On why he converted his book into NFTs, Vikas said:
“NFT is the new language and culture of the world.
“Bringing the book to metaverse is an opportunity to spread Indian recipes, history and culture beyond borders.
“Digital is the new way of consuming content and we wanted to be at par with what’s happening.
“We wanted to celebrate Indian culture with a much bigger audience.”
Vikas went on to say that NFTs will transform the food industry for the better as “our generation is between digital and the physical”.
He said: “In the past, we had to travel to different cities and meet chefs to learn how to cook. I remember a European chef wanting to shoot a recipe on video and I was shocked.
“But now I see how it has been revolutionised. Most of the content is consumed online.
“Books have become very difficult to sell as the market is shrinking and evolving in a digital way.
“In a similar way, blockchains and NFTs are going to revolutionise the food world.
“In Metaverse, it’s almost as if you are cooking along with someone in your kitchen. This experience is truly amazing.”
Vikas’ book is ‘phygital’, which is a combination between digital and physical.
“We have a physical copy of the book with a chip of the NFT and a digital copy of the book that is an NFT.
“We want the advantage of having a magnum opus in your living room – a coffee table book, which is a tribute to Indian culture.”
The chef explained through this technology, home cooks, chefs and food writers can promote cooking.
Speaking about new books, Vikas Khanna revealed:
“I have a commitment of writing 50 books in my lifetime.
“I will launch a special book called Ceremony of Aromas published by Bloomsbury very soon. That book is a visual delight, which talks about the evolution of spices, distinct flavours, and how it is used in cooking.”
Vikas has won numerous accolades, including a Michelin star for his restaurant Junoon.
On his awards, he elaborated:
“As a chef, I have a global voice and it is my responsibility to use my voice for the things I believe in and the causes I fight for.
“For me, accolades and criticism are all the same and I strive to keep working.”
“But accolades are a short-lived moment and I am humbled by it. So, I generally don’t comment on accolades.”
Vikas Khanna also gave advice to emerging chefs.
He told Hindustan Times: “Indian food has arrived on a global scale with the huge burst of Indian chefs on the mainstream stages in America, Europe, Australia and the Middle East.
“I would advise them to be very true to their craft and culture. Failures are an opportunity.
“The new generation of chefs think with a broader perspective than we did. So, remember that closed doors are in fact, turns for you to turn towards much bigger gateways.”