Chef Garima Arora, who heads the Bangkok based Gaa restaurant, has been awarded the prestigious Michelin star. It is being claimed that she is the first Indian woman to get the honour.
Feeling proud on receiving the Michelin star, Garima told IANS: "I am humbled that Gaa restaurant has been honoured with it. I am proud of my team. It feels great when you get appreciated for your hard work, and for my team and me, the journey till now has been great. Though it was painful but all the hardships were worth it."
Hailing from Mumbai, Garima launched Gaa in 2017 in Bangkok and being an Indian, she tried to bring Indian-Thai cross culture through the restaurant's menu.
Garima, who is an alumni of Le Cordon Bleu -- Paris' popular culinary school, has worked with many renowned international chefs like Gordan Ramsay and Rene Redzepi.
But before stepping into the world of culinary and cuisines, the 30-year-old chef also tried her hand at journalism. She studied Mass Media from Mumbai's Jai Hind college but it was food which always attracted Garima.
"I did journalism but it was not something which I was made for... after few years of my work in journalism, I realised I have interest for food and went to Paris for the culinary course."
Talking about her journey as chef and restaurateur, Garima said: "It is not an easy industry to be in but my family always supported me. It is a very demanding profession, but with dedication and hard work and focus, one can achieve whatever they want."
She also gave a piece of advice to young women who aspire to choose this profession.
"Be true to yourself and never apologise for choosing this as a profession. I know sometimes women in this field have to prove themselves in comparison to men but never quit fighting."
Asked if she has plans to open her restaurant in India, she said not anytime soon. But she wants to see Indian restaurants expand their culture and heritage all over the world.
"Indian restaurants are doing so good. India has a rich culture, history and heritage. We (Indians) do not have any need to adapt something from western countries, we have such a diverse culture and being an Indian chef, I will always try to expand my culture across the globe and other chefs and restaurateurs should also do the same."
(With IANS Inputs)