Gaggan Anand

Credit Brambilla-Serrani

Credit Brambilla-Serrani

Gaggan

68/1 Soi Langsuan, Ploenchit Road Lumpini Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon
Bangkok, Thailand
+66.2.6521700
reservation@eatatgaggan.com

«For those who came in late… the story so far. My name is Gaggan (probably the only Gaggan in the word with 3G). As a young boy, studies were never a priority with me. Music and cooking rocked my world. But when I announced my aspiration to be a chef, many people mocked the idea. But I stuck to my guns. I arrived in Bangkok in 2007 for a short consultancy and like a typical Indian never left. Gaggan the restaurant was the result of a drunken evening with friends, where my frustration at previous jobs initiated a proposal to my current partners. They accepted and here we are».

In 2018, “the story so far” means best restaurant in Asia (a continent that also includes Japan, by the way) for two years in a row, 7th place in the World’s 50Best and 2 Michelin stars in the first edition of the Red Guide in Bangkok. An irresistible climb for this guy born in Calcutta in 1978, with humble origins and a mission, soon accomplished: giving dignity to Indian chefs and removing cobwebs from the brains of those who believe they only eat chicken tikka and garlic naan in the Subcontinent.

This is why, at a very young age, he did an internship at El Bulli with Ferran Adrià. He was charmed by the freedom of revolutionising ingredients with unseen textures and temperatures. Back to Bangkok he applied what he learnt to the cuisine of a country «made of 28 states and at least 36 culinary traditions that have no interest in political borders». All this without ever forgetting to have his Marshall amplifier playing in the kitchen. The playlist of his Progressive Indian Cuisine however does not include Ravi Shankar but Pink FloydNirvana and Foo Fighters.

Meanwhile the Gaggan galaxy has expanded greatly, as Anand has also become a patron/talent scout. In February 2016 he urged twins and ex-colleagues Thomas and Mathias Sühring to open a restaurant in a villa in the suburbs, offering Progressive German Cuisine (yes indeed, New German Cuisine in Thailand, one Michelin star). One year later he put Garima Arora, from Mumbai, at the helm of Gaa, right in front of her master’s door.

Plus he has other projects too: Wet, a wine bar serving marvellous natural wines selected by Vladimir Kajic, the Serbian sommelier working in the flagship restaurant; Meatlicious offering exceptional grilled meat, and the crazy Minara Tofuten, an izakaya specialised in tofu, «the idea, the craziest I’ve ever had, came during one of my 74 trips to Japan in the space of a few years».

A man who almost by himself invented the fine dining scene in Thailand, a country that has always been strongly associated with street food.

Yet the most awaited opening is expected in 2021. Restaurant Gaggan will close in 2020 in Bangkok and open with a very different appearance in Fukuoka, Japan, 1000 km south-west of Tokyo. «It will be called GohGan», he reveals, «merging my name and that of the restaurant of my future business-partner Takeshi Fukuyama, now at the helm of Maison de la Nature Goh [a French-Japanese restaurant in Fukuoka, now 31st in the 50Best Asia]. We realised we’re a perfect match: what he has, I lack, and vice versa. It will only seat 10 people, and will be open every other month. On the months when we’re closed, we’ll always create a new plot for the following month. It will be crazy. There will be an orchestra. Characters instead of chefs and waiters. An unprecedented concept in cooking history».

Has participated in

Identità Milano


by

Gabriele Zanatta

born in Milan, 1973, freelance journalist, he's been working as a co-author and coordinator of Identità Golose World restaurant guidebook since the first edition (2007), he is a contributor for several magazines and teaches Cuisine global trends into several institutes. twitter @gabrielezanatt