Move over the floods, because the state definitely has. A cruise circuit, a focus on the Malabar region and infrastructural development are next on Kerala’s tourism agenda
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OT Staff: Settle the eternal debate—Delhi, Kolkata or Mumbai for its street food?
Gaggan Anand: Kolkata. I was born there.
OT Staff: A Japanese dish you won't get enough of when in Japan (he opens GohGan soon)
Gaggan Anand: Soba noodles. They are so different in every part of Japan.
OT Staff: One favourite Indian, Thai and Japanese ingredient each...
Gaggan Anand: Chilli and mango. Japan has Miyazaki mangoes, the most expensive in the world; Thailand has nam dok mai and India has alphonso. The three countries have three different chillies too. So I’m from a mango-chilli land, living in a mango-chilli land and moving to a mango-chilli land.
OT Staff: A song you enjoy cooking to...
Gaggan Anand: ‘Everlong’ by Foo Fighters (the live version from Skin and Bones).
OT Staff: Favourite restaurant in your hometown…
Gaggan Anand: Kewpie’s because it is one restaurant that hasn’t changed its food.
OT Staff: Punjabi food or Bengali food?
Gaggan Anand: I like puchka the Bengali way and dahi papdi chaat the Punjabi way.
OT Staff: The wackiest food idea you’ve ever had…
Gaggan Anand: ‘Lick it up’, a dish where you lick the plate. We don’t just encourage it, we force you for that. You can’t eat in our restaurant without licking the plate otherwise you go home. We call an Uber for you. There’s no pretense in my restaurant. Maybe I won’t get another Michelin Star for it, f*** it. I’m happy with my Pirelli tyres.
OT Staff: Number three (Michelin Star) is on its way?
Gaggan Anand: Or Number two is going away (laughs)
OT Staff: Describe your cooking in three words.
Gaggan Anand: Sex, lies and videotapes.
OT Staff: What are you up to when not in the kitchen?
Gaggan Anand: Playing drums or with my daughter, or travelling.
OT Staff: Something someone told you that really helped your cooking?
Gaggan Anand: Ferran Adrià [of elBulli fame] told me to use his technology and create my own cuisine. I’m not a copy or a mimic—if he was Moses, I’m just carrying the commandments. He made the tools and the art; I’m just using his art to make my tools.
OT Staff: Cooking as an art or cooking as a science?
Gaggan Anand: Both. It’s a mix.
OT Staff: When the time comes, which country will you retire to?
Gaggan Anand: Am I not doing that in the next two years? I die when I stop cooking. You need seasons. You need winter to show off your jackets, and summer to show off your body.
OT Staff: Best country for a foodie to visit…
Gaggan Anand: Every country. Then the foodies become more knowledgeable. If you think your country makes the best food, you’re the biggest idiot. Every country has its own culture and its own food—except Dubai.
OT Staff: A learning from your travels that has helped with your cooking…
Gaggan Anand: Touch raw food and make it rawer. In India there’s no raw dish. Sushi is the biggest disaster of this country.
OT Staff: In food, modern reinterpretation or traditional fare?
Gaggan Anand: Both. Nostalgia, memory, fantasy. Jimi Hendrix, then Eric Clapton, then Guns N’ Roses and hopefully not Justin Bieber.
OT Staff: The next big thing in the culinary world?
Gaggan Anand: I can’t say that. I don’t think one thing can become the next big thing and if we stupidly give the fame to that one big thing, we’re idiots.
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