Because women are no more meant for whipping cream in the home-kitchen
When we all hook up to ‘Maa k Hath Ka Khaana’, why is it that it’s only the men who are known behind the professional kitchens? Even though the culinary industry is mostly dominated by men, there are women who are breaking all barriers and marching forward. From London to Bangkok, our Indian female chefs are leaving no stone unturned in creating a storm and marking their names on the world map. Meet the women in charge of some of the renowned kitchens and their recipes which even famous critics have wooed. More power to womanliness!
Garima Arora || Gaa, Bangkok
Last year in November, India celebrated its womanhood worldwide, when Gaa in Bangkok was announced as the 2019 Michelin Guide for Thailand. The reason being the lady behind its kitchen, Garima Arora. She is the first Indian woman to receive a Michelin star chef title. For 32-year-old Garima, this honour was a long wait from the moment she stepped out from Le Cordon Bleu Cookery School in France. Since her upbringing back in Mumbai, her life in between the spices has fascinated the most for the commencement of Gaa. Her three-storey restaurant celebrates traditional Indian cuisine with modern techniques. And while your next visit to Bangkok, this one should be the first in your itinerary. The unripe jackfruit with an assortment of pickles eaten with roti-taco never fails to wow its diners. You must give it a try!
Asma Khan || Darjeeling Express, London
For her, the inability to cook and dislike for British food became the catalyst for the title of Britain’s most talked-about chef. Asma Khan, who belongs to Kolkata, opened the doors of Darjeeling Express which never saw an empty table. Back in her early days she got married to an Indian lecturer and moved to England in 1991. Later she realised how much she misses the Indian cuisine, and how much she is bored with British food. She returned to her hometown, learned all the family secret recipe and went on a journey which even Netflix was proud of documenting. Today Darjeeling Express stands strong in the streets of London’s Soho district, infusing the aroma of Kolkata in the air. So, when in London and craving for Bengali Aalo Dum and Bhapa Doi, you know where to go.
Anahita Dhondy || SodaBottleOpenerWala, India
With her crisp white chef coat, hair tied up back with a beautiful flower peeping out, Chef Anahita is often seen tossing the pan in her highly-energetic kitchen. Chef partner at SodaBottleOpenerWala, Anahita was just 23 when she started her culinary journey. For Anahita, Parsi food is her true calling. When talked about comfort food she can rely on Dhansak and Akuri any day, and that’s what she loves serving to her guests. Today, Anahita is focusing more on sustainability and zero-waste in her kitchens. Drawing attention to the Indian grains, she is also practicing the art of providing scrumptious meals made of super-foods. When visiting her restaurant, we recommend Mutton Dhansak for your craving soul.
Ravinder Bhogal || Jikoni, London
In her versatile kitchen of Jikoni, Ravinder calls it cooking without borders. This new baby of Ravinder Bhogal, Jikoni celebrates her Indian and East-African roots. Musing over her mother, Ravinder’s first swear ingredient is Indian spices. The beauty in her cooking lies in spinning the Indian menu with the Kenyan twist. So, when you step inside her restaurant, prawn toast Scotch egg with banana ketchup and pickled cucumber. Similarly, her masterpiece, Kuku Paka with saffron rice showcases the heritage of two countries. Not just a cook, Ravinder is also a well-known writer and a host. For multitalented Bhogal, cooking is always a never-ending journey where she is happily enjoying the ride.
Welcome to the 21st-century kitchen!
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