Bangkok’s Restaurant Gaa, led by Noma-trained, ex-Gaggan sous chef Garima Arora and an international team of chefs, has been awarded its first Michelin star, by the Michelin Guide Thailand.
Speaking on the occasion, Garima Arora said, “I’m incredibly humbled and so proud that Restaurant Gaa has been recognized by the esteemed Michelin Guide. It’s such a coveted accolade a restaurant can be granted, and I’m delighted that the dedicated efforts of my wonderful team have been recognized by this highly-regarded organization.”
Restaurant Gaa launched in April 2017 and was born out of Chef Garima’s determination to synergize the connection between India – her native country – and Thailand. The establishment stands by the belief that food should reflect the richness and variety of its land and the moment in time. Here, the food captures the vibrancy of Bangkok and its amalgamation of cultural influences. The team makes it their mission to explore interesting ways to transform local, seasonal humble ingredients into something that’s unheard of and completely new.
At Restaurant Gaa, it is all about the transformation of ingredients. In an in-house room dedicated to fermentation, this is where the team uses the combination of craft and science to explore local ingredients in order to create new flavour palettes. All of the condiments used in the food were born here, start to finish, from the cultured butter to fish sauce, with no fillers or MSG. The food tastes different and more complex because of the different path taken to achieve the flavours.
For the last decade, Garima has worked alongside many world-renowned chefs such as Gordon Ramsay in 2011 and René Redzepi from 2013 to 2015. In the fall of 2015, she packed her bags once again and relocated to Bangkok to join the Gaggan restaurant group. As she explored the jungle and tribal markets of Thailand, she grew more and more inspired by its abundance of produce and incredibly rich flavours.
Garima Arora’s culinary journey all began in her family’s humble kitchen in Mumbai, India. She was mesmerized by her father’s joy as she watched him recreating dishes from his frequent travel. From that point on, she knew that she would one day open her own restaurant and it was only a matter of time. Despite her love of food, it took her some time to return to the kitchen. She first enrolled at Jai Hind College where she graduated with a degree in Mass Media. Garima worked briefly as a journalist before returning to her culinary roots. She left Mumbai for Paris to study at Le Cordon Bleu and since then never looked back.
At 30 years old, guided by her desire to serve contemporary and culturally relevant food, Garima opened her restaurant, Restaurant Gaa, in Bangkok. Her mission is to discover novel ways to transform locally harvested and seasonal ingredients into personal culinary experiences. *
Way to go Garima! We congratulate you!