I am scared of replacing Akshay Kumar: Vikas Khanna
New Delhi: Multiple award-winning chef Vikas Khanna, who has replaced Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar as the host-judge of Master Chef India season 2, says he is scared to take the superstar`s place.
Though the 39-year-old Michelin Star awardee is nervous, he says will be himself on the show and will not carry the burden of living up to the star power.
"I am scared to replace Akshay Kumar. He is a huge star. I am nowhere near him. But I will be doing what I do best on the show. I understand that TRP is important, but all I can say is that it is a food show and let food be the hero. I don`t have to live up to the star power. I am a chef and I will be one throughout the show," Vikas told reporters.
The US-based chef also said that it was his mother`s request to accept to do the show on Star Plus. "This show is a tribute to my mother and to all those mothers who cook for their family. She wanted me to be part of the big show so that I can inspire many youngsters to follow their dream to become chefs," he said.
Although this is his first TV show in India, Vikas was the consultant chef on the Gordon Ramsay show `Kitchen Nightmares` in the US. He also appeared as a judge and Indian cuisine specialist on the two-part season finale of `Hell`s Kitchen`.
He has also hosted a dinner for the Hindu-American Seva Charities conference held at the White House. His recent book `Flavors First` won accolades from US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Vikas, who was born in Amritsar with misaligned legs and feet, wasn`t able to run until he was 13. He says his life is nothing short of a fairytale but it did involve a lot of struggle.
"I went to the US in December 2000 with nothing except my visa and little money. I had to start from scratch as a dishwasher, because the owner would not let me cook. I accepted the job but never lost hope. People back home thought that I would come back but I didn`t. I stayed back and kept on trying my luck. God has been kind to me. There has been no looking back ever since," he said.
Vikas, who started out organising kitty parties at his restaurant Lawrence Gardens in Amritsar, making `chole bhature`, still serves the dish at his New York restaurant `Junoon` on special occasions.
"Indian cuisine should be worshipped because it is cooked by women at home. I can bring tears to anyone by making them eat my food and that is an achievement for me," he said.