Asia’s Best Female Chef for 2019 shares her travel essentials

Rising Bangkok culinary star Garima Arora's passion, precision and practicality also underline her travel style

1 Knives: “Dull knives are a major pet peeve. I travel with my own set of Takamura knives in a handmade leather case (a gift from a friend).”

2 Tote: “Totes are great for tossing stuff in.”

3 Water: “I don’t eat on planes, so extra water is a must for me to stay hydrated.”

4 Books: “Long-haul flights are great for tucking into a good book.”

5 Smartphone: “To stay connected. But it’s always cracked because I’m always dropping it.”

6 Wine: “Wherever I go, I carry back a bottle or two for my dad’s collection.”

7 Sunglasses: “Because you’ve always got to have a good pair of shades!”

8 Perfume: “It’s a lovely fragrance. It also brings back memories of my childhood — my mum used it all the time.”

9 Berocca: “Multivitamins are great for an extra boost of energy in the kitchen, or while traveling.”

10 House keys: “To remind me of my big cozy couch, favorite TV shows and simple, home-cooked meals waiting for me back in Bangkok.”

. . .

Garima’s travel tales

The executive chef and founder behind newly Michelin-starred eatery Gaa on why she travels

What’s your first foodie memory?

Garima: My dad came home from his work-related travels and cooked elaborate meals. I remember an apple tarte Tatin (a pastry with caramelized fruit), in particular. I wondered how he got those apples inside — it was magic. After that, I knew that I wanted to become a chef.

How did you start out?

Garima: I began as a journalist for print media in Mumbai. But my dream was to be in the kitchen. So, I quit the job and took off to Paris to study at Le Cordon Bleu.

What makes your kitchen wardrobe?

Garima: I wear a chef’s jacket, black pants from Uniqlo and black Birkenstock mules.

What’s one reason why you travel?

Garima: I travel for food! Anywhere I go, for work or pleasure, it’s about sampling street food and trying out high-end kitchens.

Food cities on your bucket list?

Garima: Seoul, Taipei and everywhere in Mexico!

This article first appeared in the March 2019 issue of Smile magazine.

Written by

Rachna Sachasinh

Photographed by

Leigh Griffiths

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