ASIAN OSCARS OF FOOD
Stop press: Here, in Amazing Thailand, Indians shine at the Food Oscars. This is known as a delicious coincidence: A few days ago, Hollywood Oscars and Asias food Oscars were celebrated almost simultaneously. Here in Bangkok, superstar chefs have flown in from all parts of the world to attend the prestigious Asias 50 best restaurant awards. While champagne sparkled the evening, the most delightfully innovative food did the rounds. The air was thick with excitement and suspense.
ASIA’S BEST: GAGGAN
Every square inch of the Awards ceremony hall at the W, Bangkok bristled with star-power. The Minister of Tourism, deputy Prime Minister, Celebrated chefs, restaurateurs and industry VIPs were in attendance.Asias 50 best restaurants in it’s fourth edition this year continues to grow in influence and magnetizes the best. This year, with 13 nations represented, the 2016 list includes restaurants from more countries than ever before, showcasing a rich variety of dining experiences across Asia.
Amid huge applause and hugs, the pony tailed genius Gaggan walked up to receive his award. He retains the dual titles of The Best Restaurant in Asia, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna and The Best Restaurant in Thailand, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. Ive had many a fabulous meal at his eponymous Bangkok restaurant. Here Chef Gaggan Anand draws inspiration from the street food of his home town of Kolkata, reinterpreting traditional Indian cuisine with modernist cooking techniques. His approach is inventive, adventurous and highly individual, yet respectful of India’s culinary legacy.
INDIAN ACCENT …BEST IN INDIA
Chef Manish Mehrotra and Rohit Khattar’s Indian Accent (New Delhi) was awarded the best restaurant in India (2nd year consecutively). Indian Accent rises 13 places to No.9 this year. Chef Mehrotra’s masterly evolution of Indian cuisine works magic in the delhi restaurant and has just opened in New York. Here once again I had the most delightfully delicious interpretation of Indian food which retains it’s authentic flavors.
The iconic Bukhara with it’s timeless appeal and menu that has stood the test of time for three decades was awarded among Asia’s 50 best. Helmed by the dynamic Manjit Singh Gill and JP Singh, over the years Bukhara has played host to global heads of state, royalty, filmstars and more. And in an international scenario where innovation is leading the way, it is a credit to our heritage that Bukhara is on this global list.
What sets this fine dine Japanese restaurant apart from the others is the amazingly creative and fabulous vegetarian menu. Of course the exquisite sushi and sashimi and black cod and other non vegetarian dishes are as impeccable as ever. Several Japanese chefs wield their magic along with Executive chef Amit Chowdhary. Competing with the Japanese restaurants of Japan and still holding it’s own is a matter of pride for us.
FROM LIST MAKER TO TASTE MAKER
Blazing the way, rewarding the restaurant industry and being THE foodies guide, Asia’s 50 best has come a long way. It is helmed by the dynamic and dapper Charles Reed (whose London based “The worlds 50 best” was set up 14 years ago). Devilishly handsome and efficient managing director Tim Brooke Webb, is joined now by the lovely and brilliant Helene Pietrini. William Drew, the ever-helpful and equally brilliant Group Editor of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants along with the creative and hard working Laura price, Maria Olite and the entire dream team cooked up a fabulous Asian Oscars.
P.S. Asias 50 best is held in such high global esteem that the worlds best (crowned at The worlds 50 best in London for 2015) Joan Roca of El Cellar can Roca also flew in from Spain, for the awards. He along with Ashley Palmer Watts from London’s Dinner and Peter Gilmore from Australia are exploring Thailand as part of #Asias50bestexplores. But that’s another amazing story.