She believes that food is not about technics or flavors, it is about cultures and that a culinary industry is not easy to fit in.

On November 14, the Mumbai-born Thailand-based chef Garima Arora’s GAA restaurant in Bangkok was awarded Michelin star which makes her the first Indian woman to bag this prestigious award. Her restaurant’s maiden star will help it earn a proud place in The Michelin Guide Thailand 2019.

garima arora

image: source

Brought up in Mumbai, Garima studied mass media at Jai Hind College and worked as a pharma journalist before she left India to pursue her culinary skills. She would pick her favorites from plenty of exotic foods that her father brought back from his travels.

Talking about her time in the food industry, she has worked with some big names like René Redzepi, Gordon Ramsay, and Gaggan Anand. After working for some time at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, she moved to Dubai for two years and then worked in Copenhagen for three years at Noma, which is known to be one of the high-end restaurants in the world today.

Recalling the moment when she got the call, Arora said, “I don’t think it has sunk in yet! The moment we got the call was just perfect. It was me, my sous-chef, our PR manager, our restaurant manager, sommelier, all sitting together for a food and wine pairing. And while we were eating, we were like ‘wow this is so good’, and that exact moment we got the call. It was almost poetic,” as mentioned by a travel magazine.

In an Instagram message posted on November 14, she congratulated her team members saying-  “A shout out to the 30 most amazing people I have met over the past year and a half. Each one of them persevered, believed and always showed up. To each member of team Gaa, a big thank you and congratulations, now let’s beer pong.”

What her team looks like? Gaa’s kitchen consists of 12 team members from seven nationalities, therefore, monotony is never served on their plate.  

Dedicating a year at Gaggan Anand’s restaurant in Bangkok called Gaggan, which has held the number one spot among Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants for the past seven years running led her to build her own venture. Since then, Gaggan the chef and Garima have partnered in the restaurant Gaa in the heart of this city.

On following her dreams, in an interview, she said, “It is one of those things that need you to be physically present. There is no other way to do it. Once that is clear in your mind that this is what you want to do with your life then you can jump in and obviously everything else follows.”