Vikas’ recipes contain some attractive, unexpected combinations (like beet and poppy seed chutney) plus a lot of entertaining stories that take you from his time as a watchful young boy growing up in his grandmother’s kitchen in India to the chef he is today. (May I also mention that he won one round of NYC’s Hottest Chef on Eater?) I had been dying to go to Junoon, his current restaurant, since its opening in December, and thought my cousin’s birthday at the end of January to be the perfect excuse for a night of feasting. We ordered some appetizers and entrees, while Vikas generously offered us a taste of his personal favorites. I have to say, despite the amount of food we ate, I did not have an overly full feeling—all the dishes were flavorful and fresh, but not at all heavy. The 3 types of naan we tried, alone, were to die for, especially the one that had a prune and walnut filling. The night went on and on—see photos from the birthday dinner, and be sure to stay tuned for the cookbook’s debut towards the end of this year. In the meantime, check out some photos from the publisher's party.