New York: Vikas Khanna, renowned Michelin star chef, and Akshaya, a Metaverse, NFT, and digital twin platform, proudly release Sacred Foods of India, a “phygital,” or physical and digital, cookbook Non-Fungible Token.
Khanna, restaurateur, cookbook writer, filmmaker, humanitarian, and host of MasterChef India, developed the vegetarian cookbook from a compilation of more than 100 holy recipes that are a tribute to Indian heritage, culture, and diversity. The recipes within showcase foods of different religions to highlight how people can better understand one another and celebrate diversity and democracy, closing the divide that exists today.
More than your average cookbook, Sacred Foods of India is nestled inside an antique-styled solid maple and walnut wooden box with Swarovski crystals. It also contains an NFT, created by Akshaya, stored in Ethereum Blockchain with access to a digital twin-component providing a certificate of authenticity and ownership to the physical copy. With just over 250 copies in existence, Khanna’s limited-quantity work with Akshaya is revolutionizing the cookbook space.
“I wanted to combine the digital and physical into this one-of-a-kind collectible like no other cookbook author has done before,” said Khanna. “I am proud to share this innovative work of art, the incredible history and flavors of Indian cuisine within, as well as the compelling stories that make these sacred, uniting recipes so special.”
The groundbreaking partnership between Khanna and Akshaya is the first of its kind, blazing a new path for how food, which is elementally physical, can become part of the digital world via NFTs and digital twin. As part of Khanna’s overarching mission with Sacred Foods of India, this kind of partnership allows people to unite over food in new, unexplored ways. The benefits of connecting over food no longer have to exist only at the dinner table.
The US launch of Sacred Foods of India was celebrated in honor of the 75th year of India’s independence at the Indian Consulate in New York on Tuesday, August 23. The event, hosted by the Consulate General, Randhir Jaiswal, featured speeches from dignitaries, contributions by the Indian Diaspora to the world, and the cookbook was on display for viewing.
Sacred Foods of India is a passionate compilation of traditions and cultures followed during the preparation of prasad and/or foods served at religious places in India for many centuries. The 420-page book lists 108 holy recipes from 66 Hindu temples, five gurudwaras, five mosques and/or dargahs, two prominent Buddhist monasteries, one Jewish synagogue, and one church.