Award-winning Vancouver-based chef Vikram Vij officially opened Vij’s Kitchen in our Food, Nutrition and Health building on January 16, 2013. Vij’s Kitchen is a facility that provides state-of-the-art learning space for UBC students studying food, nutrition and health, dietetics, community health and multicultural exchange.
Vij and his wife Meeru Dhalwala contributed $250,000 towards the project, which along with other supporters, alumni and friends, has resulted in the complete makeover of an existing lab, originally built in 1982.
As part of the opening celebration, Vij taught a cooking class for 16 FNH students. The students prepared mutton kebabs, mung bean salad and coconut curry vegetables, among other dishes.
“We learned about the ingredients that make up Indian dishes and how different combinations and various spices can change the characteristics of a dish,” said Whitney Hussein, a fourth-year dietetics major. “Vikram’s instruction technique was heavily based on sense of touch, smell and taste. He encouraged us to try the different spices and ingredients to better understand why it was incorporated in a dish.”
The food was served by the students at a special VIP reception held inside Vij’s Kitchen. The students had the opportunity to meet and mingle with guests and share their experience.
“I am absolutely passionate about the education of young people, particularly when it comes to cooking and culinary training,” said Vij. “This educational kitchen facility will be something the chefs of the future can learn in. I am extremely proud to be a part of it.”