Chef Arora: India’s first woman with a Michelin star

Chef Arora: India’s first woman with a Michelin star
Restaurant Gaa via CNN
Indian Chef Garima Arora's restaurant, Gaa, is in Bangkok, Thailand, and her mix of Indian and Thai flavors has earned her a Michelin star.

Chef Garima Arora just became the first Indian woman to win a Michelin star.

Her Bangkok restaurant Gaa, which opened in May 2017, quickly earned praise for Arora’s tasty and artful mix of Indian and Thai cuisine and has now earned one coveted Michelin star in the Michelin Guide Bangkok, Phuket and Phang-Nga 2019.

One popular dish on her tasting menu brings together grilled unripe jackfruit, roti and homemade pickles. Another combines blue crab and macadamia milk.

Responding to news of the Michelin star, Arora thanked her team via Instagram. “Each one of them persevered. believed and always showed up,” she wrote.

Arora grew up in Mumbai and drew inspiration early on from her Punjabi family, particularly her father, who loved bringing home exotic foods.

She started her career as a journalist but was quickly drawn to cooking. She studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris before working her way through stints with the UK’s Gordon Ramsay, René Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen, and Indian chef Gaggan Anand.

Anand was an early investor in Gaa and has two Michelin stars for his own nearby restaurant, Gaggan.

Gaggan and Gaa are now two of 27 Michelin-starred restaurants in Bangkok and Phuket recognized in the new guide. Ten new spots made the list including Gaa, Canvas, PRU and Suan Thip.

“This year’s guide is a reflection of the growing talent in Thailand’s culinary scene with many new restaurants added to the selection, including 13 specializing in Thai food, reinforcing Thailand’s reputation as a go-to destination for gastronomy,” said Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guides, in a statement on their website.