In a society where women are considered as good cooks instead of a good chef, Garima Arora, a Mumbai based chef broke the stereotype when she became India’s first women chef with the Michelin Star.
Garima Arora has a restaurant “GAA” in Bangkok, Thailand. It is a three-story restaurant that celebrates a modern tasting menu using traditional Indian techniques. Her parents, once back home from their tour, used to cook the dishes they had eaten on the trip with the traditional ingredient, and that inspired a lot little Garima back then.
She recalls growing up with her grandmother as her parents were always out for their work. They used to organize events internationally. Her grandmother introduced her to several traditional ingredients.
Her parents, once back home from their tour,
used to cook the dishes they had eaten on the trip with the traditional ingredient,
and that inspired a lot little Garima back then.
Before pursuing cooking as her profession, Arora worked as a journalist. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu Paris in 2010, she worked at Noma in Copenhagen, learning alongside René Redzepi. She started as a sous chef at Gaggan in 2016, which has been in the number 1 position in the list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants for four consecutive years.
In 2017, she introduced her venture to her adopted home city Bangkok. Thailand being very close to her heart, reminds her of her roots. She says, “They use a lot of dry spices up north, and that is because the dry spices come from India.”
Speaking of her Michelin Star, she mentions it has only given her the motivation to keep trying her best in what she has been doing. She accepts that for a woman, it is indeed difficult to manage the schedule between work & personal life, and hence, she has arranged her staff in such a manner that all of them can work in their flexible hours.
Her restaurant GAA, is all about creating new recipes
through the traditional methods & ingredients from around the world.
Her restaurant GAA is all about creating new recipes through the traditional methods & ingredients from around the world. It is a beautiful amalgamation of locally harvested, seasonal ingredients, and foreign cuisines. Since its opening, GAA has become one of the hottest restaurants in Thailand, which couldn’t even spare but attract celebrities like Hollywood director Michael Man & Bollywood star actor Sunil Shetty.
When asked about her signature dish, she said there is a dish on the menu named “Corn,” which is very famous amongst her customers. It is made from famous Indian snack “bhutta” collaborated with butter along with ripe jackfruit.
Garima Arora gives credit for her success to her diverse team that has members from 8 different countries. Despite this diversity, the team goes along really well. She said there are times when she chills around with her team, where they open a bottle of wine, order pizza, and have a session of laughter. Besides that, she finds comfort in nachos.
Garima expressed her love for nachos,
saying I can eat nachos at any point of time in a day.
Arora mentioned, she looks forward to opening a restaurant in India in the future. However, right now, she is in love with Thailand. It makes her feel like home there.