Gaggan Voted No. 3 in Asia
Another reason to visit chef Gaggan Anand's Bangkok restaurant
“I get inspired by my visits to India. I go often and eat a lot! I take my entire team and travel to six different parts of India, record the memories on my tongue and come back and start decoding. My signature dishes include the papdi chaat, made of an exploding sphere of yogurt and herbal foam, and the decoded dhokla, carbonated and microwaved dhokla batter served with coconut ice cream.”
“Cooking isn’t a profession, it’s an art,” states chef Gaggan Anand. His passion for food almost jumps out of the phone as we talk about his culinary journey, his namesake restaurant and the fact that it is now number three on San Pellegrino's list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Born and raised in Kolkata, the former musician moved to Bangkok in 2007 with a pipe dream and no money. It wasn’t until 2010 that things fell into place - he saved enough capital and found two investors to back his ‘progressive Indian’ restaurant. Read: a modern interpretation of traditional Indian food served with a side of foam, liquid nitrogen and smoke. Think Mum’s kitchen meets chemistry lab.
Click through the gallery above for read snippets of our conversation
“Simplicity sets my cooking apart. My food is all about clean flavours. It’s also very thoughtful. My dream has always been to change the face of Indian cooking – to glorify it and make people think of it as a sophisticated cuisine. This is what I believe I have accomplished.”
“I’m glad we’re not number one. It gives us a reason to work harder. I couldn’t imagine that in three short years, Gaggan would be number three. It’s definitely raised the pressure – expectations are so much higher now.”
“My current favourite dish is one I made yesterday – a gulab jamun injected with pistachio liquid, served on snow of cottage cheese and saffron. It’ll be on the menu by the time this article is online.”
“We have to keep reinventing. For the future, we’ve decided to get rid of à la carte options and stick to the essence of what Gaggan is known for – its tasting menus serving 15, 17 or 22 courses.”