Mumbai-born Garima Arora has emerged as a shining star in the realm of culinary excellence, rewriting the narrative of how food is perceived. Her extraordinary journey has led her to achieve a remarkable feat at the age of 32 – becoming the first Indian woman to earn a prestigious Michelin Star.
Early Life and Passion for Cooking
Born on November 9, 1986, to Anil Arora and Neetu Arora, Garima’s love affair with cooking began in her childhood. As a young girl, she joyfully assisted her mother in the kitchen, and with her brother Nauroze Arora, she explored the enchanting world of flavors and spices. Garima is happily married to Rahul Verma, a pilot, and they share a daughter.
From Journalism to Culinary Pursuits
After completing her Bachelor of Mass Media in Journalism at the University of Mumbai, Garima briefly dabbled in the field of journalism for six months. However, she soon realized that her true calling lay in the culinary arts.
Culinary Journey and Education
Garima’s quest for knowledge took her on a whirlwind of experiences, working at renowned restaurants both in India and abroad. She honed her skills at establishments like The Oberoi hotel chain and the Michelin-starred restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok. In pursuit of excellence, she earned a grand diploma in cuisine and patisserie from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris in 2010. Her culinary journey continued as she collaborated with renowned chefs such as Gaggan Anand, Gordon Ramsay, and René Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen.
The Birth of GAA
In April 2017, Garima Arora realized her dream by opening her own three-story restaurant, GAA, in Bangkok. GAA’s unique concept seamlessly blends modern tasting menus with traditional Indian techniques, captivating diners with a symphony of flavors. The recognition for her dedication and artistry came in November 2018 when GAA earned its well-deserved Michelin Star.
Laurels and Recognition
Garima Arora’s accomplishments have been nothing short of historic. Not only did she become the first Indian female chef to be awarded the prestigious Michelin Star, but her restaurant GAA also debuted at an impressive No. 16 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2019, receiving the Highest New Entry Award. She was further honored as Asia’s Best Female Chef by World’s 50 Best Restaurants in the same year, firmly establishing herself as a leader in her field.
Empowering Indian Cuisine: Food Forward India
In August 2019, driven by her passion for Indian food and its future, Garima launched Food Forward India. This initiative brings together some of Mumbai’s brightest culinary minds for engaging events that prioritize the evolution of Indian cuisine.
Beyond Culinary Achievements
Garima’s influence extends beyond her culinary prowess. She became the first female judge on the popular cooking show, MasterChef India, and her inspiring journey has been featured in numerous magazines and television shows, earning her international acclaim.
A Symbol of Empowerment
Garima Arora’s journey stands as a testament to the power of determination, talent, and vision. She continues to shatter barriers and reach new heights of success, symbolizing empowerment in the culinary world. Her net worth is estimated at Rs 40 Crore, reflecting her immense achievements and impact.