Gag­gan Anand

Leg­endary chef be­hind Bangkok’s pro­gres­sive In­dian in­sti­tu­tion Gag­gan

Prestige Hong Kong - As Told: The Very Best In Life - - As Told: The Very Best In Life Contents -

I don’t party in Thai­land any­more. Vladimir [Ko­jic], our head som­me­lier, banned me from go­ing out in Thai­land. Ev­ery time, some chef will come up and give me shit. It’s the cost of fame. What do I do?

In Bangkok, I get my af­ter-hours food fix on the street. In Silom there’s a noo­dle joint right be­hind the Dusit ho­tel, turn left. There’s Hainanese chicken rice, fried chicken and grilled shrimp in Pratu­nam.

I like Ja­pan; noth­ing beats that. Ja­pan is ev­ery month for me. It’s foodie per­fec­tion, from 7-Eleven to the best meal. Fuck­ing good.

I love stay­ing in ryokans and home­s­tays in Ja­pan. I love B&BS in Europe, and Airbnb, es­pe­cially in Scan­di­navia. The wa­ter is good, the mar­kets are good, and the food is not in­ter­est­ing enough to eat, so you can bring things and cook at home. The in­gre­di­ents there are amaz­ing.

Ar­gentina is an in­cred­i­ble place; I love Buenos Aires. You see hip­pies, young peo­ple drink­ing wine un­til 7am, amaz­ing peo­ple, very re­laxed, very chilled. And there are great bars and great food. I like go­ing to Lon­don as a big city. I like Barcelona also a lot. I don’t like Paris. I hate Rome. Rome is the worst city in the world. Mi­lano is shit.

My favourite in­gre­di­ent has to be fruit. I love fruit, es­pe­cially Ja­panese fruits. Momo [peaches]. Stone fruits, apri­cots, nec­tarines. And I love eat­ing them raw. Fruits should be eaten raw, I hate fruits be­ing cooked. Be­cause fruits are sup­posed to be eaten raw, why do we have to cook them? I hate when you go to a buf­fet and you get fruits in a sugar syrup. This hap­pened in Mi­lan. And then they gave me a banana and a kiwi, fuck­ing hell. One comes from Africa and one comes from New Zealand.

I’m ob­sessed with knives, es­pe­cially these mir­ror knives that I buy from Ja­pan. They’re very thin; all the

Ja­panese chefs know it’s the sharpest knife ever. Very ex­pen­sive, US$2,500 each. I don’t bring them [to the restau­rant] – I’m not an id­iot – but I have six of them at home. I’ve not opened them yet; I’m mak­ing a new home with 125 square me­tres of kitchen. It’s called a mid-life cri­sis.

Mas­simo Bot­tura’s new menu [at Os­te­ria Frances­cana in Mo­dena, Italy] is the last meal that blew my mind. I’ve eaten at Mas­simo’s two times al­ready, so this was the third. The first two times I had a re­peat of dishes, and this time was com­pletely new Mas­simo, new style, and the dishes were cooked. Fi­nally, there is a chef who is cook­ing things! We go to chefs to get cooked food un­less we’re eat­ing sushi, but the prob­lem in the world is that ev­ery­one is do­ing ev­ery­thing else but cook­ing. You go to a kitchen, and there are 20 guys [putting things on the plate]. Give me a pan and fire.

Preten­sion is my pet peeve. The mo­ment they judge you [in restau­rants] – the eye­balls that go to your shoe, then the eye­balls go to your watch, then who you are, then what you are wear­ing. Now I’m fa­mous they judge me more. I wear slip­pers. Last year in a restau­rant I had to wear a jacket.

I’m a shoe whore. Onit­suka Tigers only. I just got two more; I got a Mickey & Min­nie Mouse col­lec­tion pair yes­ter­day, it’s su­per rare, and lim­ited. I have like 97 pairs. My wife and I both love shop­ping, so it’s just crazy.

“I’m mak­ing a new home with 125 square me­tres of kitchen. It’s called a mid-life cri­sis ”

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