Here's why chef Gaggan Anand is shutting down Asia's best restaurant

Jun 04, 2017, 06:00 IST | Phorum Dalal

Find out why Bangkok-based celebrated chef Gaggan Anand plans to close his progressive Indian restaurant, Gaggan, which has been ranked Asia's best for three straight years, in 2020

Gaggan Anand Gaggan Anand
In December 2010, chef Gaggan Anand opened Gaggan, a progressive Indian restaurant, with a team of 11. Today, his restaurant, which is rated No 1 in Asia’s Best Restaurant List and No 7 on the worldwide list, has a staff of 67 people. Any business mind would dream of expansion and cashing in on this success. But, Gaggan, the maverick chef, has “suicidal” plans. Come 2020, he plans to close it down. We prod him further:

Q. Why do you believe a restaurant becomes a brand after 10 years?
A. After 10 years you forget your passion and start franchising. I will shut shop in June 2020. It’s suicidal and every artist plans his death. I am not quitting cooking. It will be rebirth after death.

Q. What has this restaurant taught you? What is your take away?
A. Fame comes and goes, but cooking never goes away if you excel at it. I have achieved all that I dreamt of.

Q. Do you plan to move outside of Asia?
A. No. I love Asia and I love my chilli. Though, India is not ready for me.

Q. Will molecular gastronomy also have an expiry date or is it always work in progress?
A. We hate the word Molecular. We love the word Progressive cuisine.

Q. Moments that make you feel proud of Gaggan, the restaurant.
A. When people come to Gaggan, eat the food and cry, those are the most touching moments.

Q. What was the initial vision when you started Gaggan. How has it evolved today?
A. It is exactly what I envisioned it when I started. You can’t build Gaggan in one day.

Q. What are your pet peevs when it comes to guests?
A. Worst KOT (Kitchen order ticket) I have ever received was no curry, no coriander, no chilli, no spice, no turmeric. So, I asked: 'Why did you come to eat at Gaggan?' I made the person a Fish porridge.

Chef confidential
Favourite dish at Gaggan: Yogurt Explosion

A song that keeps you going in the kitchen: Come as you are by Nirvana

End the day with: peaceful drive home with loud music

Reaction to a bad review: Laugh. If its genuine, then take a picture and send it to the team and then work on it.

Favourite restaurants: Tickets, Tenzushi, la maison de la nature goh, el cellar de can roca, ultra violet

Favourite cuisine: Indian, Thai, Japanese, HK Chinese

When not thinking about food, it's: Music

Being on World 50 Best list means: Without it I am nothing

One advice to newbie chefs: Cook, cook, cook and cook and only cook

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