In a flip side of an event on November 14, a feather got added to the cap of ‘Garima Arora' as a badge of honor in the shape of ‘Michelin Star' award. With this prestigious award, she is now the first Indian Woman to have established a restaurant which won a Michelin Star, earning a position of pride in "The Michelin Guide 2019".
Garima's past ventures and her passion for food
Garima had studied Mass Media from Jai Hind College, Mumbai and had pursued a career as a pharma journalist, only to find her passion in the culinary world. Later, she left her job at a Newspaper agency and took admission in Le Cordon Bleu in Paris; to follow her passion for cooking and food. After the completion of her degree, she worked in Dubai for a couple of years, and later, took a job in one of the most popular and high-class restaurants of all time, Noma, in Copenhagen.
The reason behind the career choice
When asked about the secret behind her choice of pursuing a career, so different from her venture of journalism, the talented and hard-working chef revealed that she owes her passion for food to her dad. Being an extensive traveler, her father would come back home and prepare exotic dishes for his family which he had tasted during his adventure. Her family is a Punjabi also contributed to her passion as she would discuss food with her family. Being a Mumbai-based woman, she found out that she is more inclined to the culinary realm than anywhere else, and this revelation had helped her in determining her future.
The eminent coworkers
She has, since the start of her career, worked with various famous chefs like Gaggan Anand, Gordon Ramsay, and Rene Redzepi. Gaggan Anand's restaurant, Gaggan, holds an eminent place in the list of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants for last seven years, and working with him has also shaped the footing of Garima, as she said. She later opened her own restaurant GAA in Bangkok, in which she had partnered up with Gaggan Anand several times ever since.
On receiving Michelin Star
On questioning her about how she feels after receiving such a prestigious accolade, she responded with great excitement and gladness. She said, winning the Michelin Star is a "huge stamp of approval" for her restaurant, team, and herself. She also talked about the Indian cooking technique of pickling which had influenced her a lot. She loves to fuse strong flavors and tastes in her preparations, which has become a massive hit.
An insight into the culinary industry
According to her, the culinary industry is a tough place to stay. It is an industry which demands mental preparation, regardless of gender, where you are expected to put in your hard work when everybody else is celebrating holidays and festivals. The physical presence is highly required to achieve success and to stay in this realm; one is needed to have determination and strong-headed to what he/she is up for.
Garima Arora's GAA
In her restaurant, GAA, the kitchen restaurant holds a team of 12 skilled chefs, coming from seven different nationalities, who dedicate their time in preparing these delicious exotic dishes. Among many loved dishes in the menu, the one that has earned quite some fame is the raw jackfruit dish which she serves with roti and different kinds of a pickle by its side. On being asked about the recipe, she replies with that no one in Thailand eats unripe jackfruit, but it is a normal thing in India. "This dish is about combining not only technique or flavors but, also cultures", she concludes.