(RestaurantNews.com) Garima Arora, executive chef and founder of Gaa in Bangkok, has won the title of elit™ Vodka Asia’s Best Female Chef 2019. Arora will be presented with her award at the ceremony for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, on Tuesday 26th March 2019 in Macao.
In partnership with elit™ Vodka, the 50 Best organisation is committed to celebrating role models who demonstrate a progressive vision for gastronomy. William Drew, Group Editor of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, says: “This award recognises female chefs whose passion, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit serve to inspire the next generation of cooks. Garima Arora has had a huge impact on the dining scene in Asia in a short period with her brilliant blend of Indian traditions and Thai ingredients.”
Arora worked briefly as a journalist before pursuing her interest in the culinary arts. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu Paris in 2010, she worked at Noma in Copenhagen, learning alongside legendary chef René Redzepi. Recalling her two-plus years at Noma, she says the experience forever changed her approach to cooking. “I learnt 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.”
Returning to Asia in 2016, Arora was appointed sous chef at Gaggan, the award-winning Bangkok restaurant that has held the No.1 position on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list for four consecutive years. In April 2017, the chef opened Gaa, a three-storey restaurant located opposite Gaggan that celebrates a modern tasting menu using traditional Indian techniques. Showcasing her creativity and culinary inspirations, each dish is made from locally sourced ingredients and explores the connections between Thai and Indian food, from fruits and curries to sauces and spices. The menu is a reflection of Arora’s cultural heritage as well as the community that surrounds her.
Diners choose between a 10- or 14-course tasting menu, which changes quarterly to reflect seasonal specialties. The result is a dining experience that is innovative, modern, playful and unpredictable. In November 2018, Gaa earned its first Michelin star, making Arora the first Indian woman to win such an accolade.
Accepting the prestigious Best Female Chef title, Arora said: “This award is a validation of our team’s hard work and commitment to excellence. I am honoured that chefs and respected industry peers voting on this award recognise and appreciate our efforts.”
Frances Gaillard, International Marketing Director for Stoli Group, overseeing elit™ Vodka, adds: “Garima has accomplished so much in such a short time – a true testament to her diligence and to her distinctive fusion of cuisines learned in some of the finest kitchens in Europe and Asia. We are pleased to be the latest to recognise this rising star in the gastronomy world.”
elit™ Vodka Best Female Chef Award
The elit™ Vodka Best Female Chef Award – which features as part of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants – celebrates and rewards successful women who have risen to the top of the gastronomic world.
- Previous holders of the Asia’s Best Female Chef title include Duangporn ‘Bo’ Songvisava from Thailand (2013), Lanshu Chen from Taiwan (2014), Hong Kong’s Vicky Lau (2015), Margarita Forés of the Philippines (2016), May Chow from Hong Kong (2017) and Bongkoch ‘Bee’ Satongun from Thailand (2018)
- Winners of The World’s Best Female Chef Award include Ana Roš, Dominique Crenn, Hélène Darroze, Elena Arzak, Anne-Sophie Pic and Clare Smyth
- In Latin America, the title has been held by chefs Pía León, Leonor Espinosa, Kamilla Seidler, Roberta Sudbrack, Elena Reygadas and Helena Rizzo
How the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list is compiled
The list is created from the votes of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of over 300 leaders in the restaurant industry across Asia, each selected for their expert opinion of Asia’s restaurant scene. The panel in each region is made up of food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and highly regarded ‘gastronomes’. Members list their choices in order of preference, based on their best restaurant experiences of the previous 18 months. There is no pre-determined checklist of criteria, but there are strict voting rules.
Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants works with professional services consultancy Deloitte as its official independent adjudication partner. The adjudication by Deloitte ensures that the integrity and authenticity of the voting process and the resulting list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants are protected. To see more details on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants voting process, visit http://www.theworlds50best.com/asia/en/our-manifesto.html
Notes to Editors:
William Reed Business Media
Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list is published by William Reed Business Media, which also publishes The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, launched in 2002, and Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, launched in September William Reed Business Media is entirely responsible for the organisation of the awards, the voting system and the list.
Main sponsor: S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna
S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna are the main sponsors of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna are the leading natural mineral waters in the fine dining world. Together they interpret Italian style worldwide as a synthesis of excellence, pleasure and well-being.
Host Destination: Macao
Part of Macao’s magic as a tourism destination lies on its gastronomy. Alongside Macao’s dynamic restaurant scene, Macanese cuisine stands as a centerpiece on the city’s culinary experiences and just like Macao it results from a fusion of east and west cultures blended over the centuries. The city’s unique cultural background mix has been endorsed with the inscribing of The Historic Centre of Macao in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. This singular legacy has been highlighted once again with the recent designation of Macao as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, opening a brand new avenue of development led by gastronomy and creativity, as the destination paves the way to develop into a world centre of tourism and leisure.
Official venue partner: Wynn Resorts
Wynn Resorts is the recipient of more Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Awards than any other independent hotel company in the world. Wynn Palace, which opened in August 2016, is the second luxury integrated resort from international resort developer Wynn Resorts in the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, following the launch of Wynn Macau. Located in the Cotai area, it features a 28- storey hotel with 1,706 exquisitely furnished rooms, suites and villas, versatile meeting facilities, renowned luxury retail, 11 casual and fine dining restaurants, Macau’s largest spa, a salon, a pool and extensive casino space. For more information on Wynn Resorts, please visit Wynn Palace https://www.wynnpalace.com/en or Wynn Macau https://www.wynnmacau.com/en.
Award Sponsor: elit™ Vodka
With a platinum score of 97 points from the Beverage Testing Institute, elit™ Vodka is the world’s highest- rated white spirit and is drinking pleasure at its most precise. Every stage in the creation of elit™ is a fusion of passion and precision. elit™ is a single-source vodka, with each of its high-quality grains being harvested at its estate in Russia’s Tambov region before traveling to Latvijas Balzams in Riga, Latvia, where they are blended with artesian well water. The spirit then is filtered twice through super-fine quartz sand and Russian birch wood charcoal and brought down to -18 degrees Celsius through elit’s signature freeze-filtration process. The result is a luminosity as remarkable as the liquid inside and a spirit without equal. Learn more at http://www.elitultraluxuryvodka.com/ or by following us on Instagram at @elit_Vodka and on Facebook at elit.vodka.official.
Miele – Premium Partner, Official Kitchen Appliance Partner & Presenting Partner of the #50BestTalks and sponsor of the ‘Miele One to Watch Award’
American Express – Official Credit Card Partner and sponsor of the ‘American Express Icon Award – Asia’
Estrella Damm – Official Beer Partner and sponsor of the ‘Chefs’ Choice Award’ Valrhona – Official Chocolate Partner and sponsor of the ‘Asia’s Best Pastry Chef Award’ Douro Boys – Official Wine Partner
The Dalmore – Official Whisky Partner Gin Mare – Official Premium Gin Partner Cinco Jotas – Official Ibérico Ham Partner
Aspire Lifestyles – Official Concierge Partner Taipa Village – Official Cultural Partner Frontier Tojo – Official Sake Partner
Champagne Delamotte – Official Champagne Partner
Seedlip – Official Non-Alcoholic Spirits Partner
Sustainable Restaurant Association – Sustainability Audit Partner
Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants – social media
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