Asia ́s 50 Best Restaurants has named Garima Arora, the executive chef and founder of Gaa restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, as elit™ Vodka Asia’s Best Female Chef 2019 on Feb. 28.
Sponsored by S. Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, Asia ́s 50 Best Restaurants will hold the award ceremony on Tuesday, March 26, in Macau.
“This award [in partnership with elit™ Vodka] recognizes female chefs whose passion, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit serve to inspire the next generation of cooks,” William Drew, group editor of Asia ́s 50 Best Restaurants said in a press release, also pointing out the huge impact Arora has made on Asia’s dining scene within a short time.
Working as a journalist prior to pursuing her culinary passion, Arora attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. After she graduated from the legendary culinary and hospitality institute, her stint at chef René Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen changed her approach to cooking.
“I learnt [sic] how to think about food more intelligently. I started looking at cooking more as a cerebral exercise, thinking about what you do, why you do it and understanding your place in a community,” Arora was quoted as saying.
When she returned to Asia in 2016, Arora became sous-chef at Gaggan, the Bangkok restaurant that held the No. 1 spot on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants for four consecutive years.
In April the following year, Arora opened the three-storey Gaa, which is noted for combining traditional Indian techniques and Thai ingredients.
Going for quality, each dish at Gaa uses locally sourced ingredients and explores the connection between Thai and Indian foods. Arora’s 10-course and 14-course seasonal tasting menus reflect her cultural heritage and change every three months.
In November 2018, Arora became the first Indian woman to earn a Michelin star, which recognized her innovative, modern, playful and unpredictable cuisine at Gaa.
“I am honored that chefs and respected industry peers voting on this award recognize and appreciate our efforts,” Arora said of her new title.
A group of over 300 food writers, critics, chefs, restaurateurs and highly regarded gastronomes votes for nominees of Asia’s Best Restaurant awards based on their best dining experience of the previous 18 months. The awards have no set criteria, and the awards’ official partner Deloitte ensures the integrity and authenticity of the voting process.