In conversation with Gaggan Anand
His restaurant, Gaggan, is ranked 10th best in the world and he has plans for one in Mumbai
Update: Chef Gaggan Anand’s eponymous restaurant in Bangkok, which serves progressive Indian cuisine, has bagged the #1 spot on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list for the second year in a row.
Being the chef of Asia’s best and the world’s 10th best restaurant usually comes with a lot of pressure. But not for chef Gaggan Anand. He simply does what he does best: cooks with all his heart and his playlist on loud. We caught up with the chef over breakfast on his recent trip to Mumbai at The Four Seasons and discovered his plans for his next restaurant, which opens end of next year.
ELLE: How did you add your spin to the breakfast spread at The Four Seasons?
Gaggan Anand: Four Seasons was our angel and I was the devil – I completely destroyed their classic dishes. We did take on vada pav and made it into a charcoal vada pav, we took the idli batter and made it into a fluffy cake and we took their eggs Benedict and served it on a kulcha with sambar and Benedict sauce. We served egg bhurji in the form of a souffle which was a big hit here.
ELLE: What are the top five songs on your current cooking playlist?
GA: ‘Instant Crush’ by Daft Punk, ‘Behind Blue Eyes’ by The Who, ‘Standing Tall’ by Silly Fools, ‘Everlong’ by Foo Fighters and ‘Meethi Boliyan’ from Kai Po Che.
ELLE: Why did you pick Mumbai as the destination for your only restaurant besides the one in Thailand?
GA: The reason I picked Mumbai as the location for my new restaurant is because I’m very happy cooking here. People are generally foodies here and it has always been the trendsetter when it comes to food.
ELLE: What should we expect from the new place you’re planning to launch in Mumbai?
GA: It will be completely different from the one in Bangkok, it’ll be more fun, in competition with the one in Bangkok. I’m just a coach to Garima [Arora, co-owner of the new restaurant] – I’m putting my money in her. I will be in and out of Mumbai to help set up the place. After that, I will only come and enjoy the place, it will be my hangout. I will be living my Indian dreams through Garima’s eyes.
ELLE: What’s your signature dish – one that no one else can replicate?
GA: The Mango Snowball. Many people have tried to do it but none can come close.
ELLE: What’s your favourite restaurant in Mumbai?
GA: Swati Snacks.