Name to know: Garima Arora Advertisement

Name to know: Garima Arora

Meet the ex-Noma chef who's bringing a slice of Bangkok's celebrated Gaggan to India

By Arshie Chevalwala  March 3rd, 2016

Seven years ago, halfway through her journalism career in Mumbai, Garima Arora packed her bags and moved to Paris to train as a classic French chef at Le Cordon Bleu. The decision paid off when just a few years later, she landed an internship at Noma in Copenhagen (twice named the World’s Best Restaurant by British magazine Restaurant) — and found that not only was she the sole woman in the kitchen, she could also alchemise Nordic ingredients into nuanced Indian flavours. “Noma is a tough kitchen to be in; you don’t have any fixed supermarket to run to and nature’s your supplier. Plus, everyone else there is a six-foot-something Finnish man, but you find a way.” Currently she’s preparing to run “progressive Indian cuisine” chef Gaggan Anand’s Mumbai outpost (scheduled to open this year) and figuring how to bring her experience at Noma to bear on the food. “There, it was a lot of fermenting and other techniques, very little actual cooking. And that’s what’s interesting about Indian food too — our aunties and grandmas have always had these beautiful cooking secrets of fermenting, pickling and slow cooking (dum), which are going to get wiped out with that generation.” She won’t say exactly how she plans to marry the two yet, except that, “A smart chef would take those and make it their own.” 

Garima Arora will be at The Coalition to talk about her experience being in the kitchen of the world’s best restaurant, Noma.