Gaggan AnandAlways rebelling, never standing still
What does it mean when someone says, “That’s Gaggan, being Gaggan!”? That means Gaggan Annand is in the kitchen, making magic happen. For the winner of “Asia’s Best Restaurants” from 2015-2018, cooking is life. And if you ask him, in this life cooking can take you beyond the ordinary.
“I want to create dishes that are impossible.”Gaggan AnandAsia’s best restaurant 2015 - 2018
For the owner and chef of the famous “Gaggan” in Bangkok, inspiration can be found everywhere and especially in music. Gaggan loves rock music and is a drummer himself. That would explain why all his dishes just have a uniquely special flow and rhythm.
Flow is a gateway to a place beyond ordinary
Flow, I believe, is freedom. So many decades, we chefs have been told what to do. Today’s world is more progressive, more modern – now we can finally think out of the box and mix flavours, ingredients and cuisine in every way we want.”
Gaggan has always pushed the boundaries of what’s possible. When he realized he wasn’t free to express himself as a chef in other restaurants, he opened one himself. Since then he’s only been successful. And as there are no creative limits for him, he doesn’t feel like he should hold back his team or guests – everyone from the staff can share ideas and there is also no etiquette for the guests at “Gaggan”. His simply wants everyone to explore their creativity and their taste.
“When we create dishes, we have no creative process. We have no rules.”
Gaggan and Azuma-san
Gaggan was heavily impressed by the ice sculptures by Azuma Makoto, witnessing how an artist was able to create something so unseen. He knew right away he had found a creative partner with whom he could intuitively collaborate and achieve impossible heights.
Creating the impossible: Cooking with the Dialog Oven
“We as chefs, we are magicians, but we need our right magical equipment” – and in Gaggan’s case, that is the Dialog Oven. Inspired by Azuma’s ice sculptures, he composed a dish that plays with both, ice and fire. The result? A crab leg cooked on one side and completely raw and filled with ice on the other side, not only demonstrating his creativity, but also the appliance’s unique feature.
Annand also couldn’t refrain from including a signature touch of his heritage when working with this new technology. Using curry as the base flavour, the crab leg was cooked on one side. On the other side, using the technology of the Dialog Oven, the leg was wrapped with foil and stayed uncooked, meaning the ice cream he put inside didn’t melt!
“We can even compete with gods because of the technology that we have. And that is why today, cooking is not as ordinary as it was before.“