India's first female Indian Michelin-star chef opens up about what it takes to be a chef in a male-dominated space
Last Updated: 02.44 PM, Dec 28, 2022
Although in a traditional society, the kitchen is considered to be an area that belongs to women, a professional kitchen is usually dominated by male chefs, and female presence in far and few in between.
However, the scene is changing, with more female chefs becoming prominent and ruling the business.
The story of chef Garima Arora is one such. She is the first Indian female Michelin-star chef and also owns a restaurant abroad.
Garima is one of the judges in MasterChef India Season 7, and she will be seen standing alongside two other celebrated chefs, Vikas Khanna and Ranveer Brar.
We had a conversation with the chef Garima to find out if she had to deal with any discrimination in the food business, especially when the number of female chefs is visibly less than their male counterparts.
Asked if she ever faced any gender politics in a professional kitchen, Garima told OTTplay, "Honestly speaking, no. I have never faced any such situation in my profession. I have been in the food business for 15 years now. For the first 10 years of my career as a chef, I always worked under male bosses and male chefs. But I never faced any untoward situations because of my gender. So, when I started my own restaurant and set up my own kitchen, I looked for hard-working people, and I honestly do not care about race, gender, or community of the person."
"In a professional kitchen, efficiency matters the most and hard work counts. Being male or female has nothing to do with hard work. Be good at your job and keep doing the good work," added the chef who is making her debut on television as a judge with MasterChef India Season 7.
Starting her career as a journalist, Garima moved to Paris to study at the Le Cordon Bleu to pursue her passion of becoming a professional chef.
She started her own restaurant, Gaa, in Bangkok in 2017, which serves modern food using Indian cooking techniques.
MasterChef India Season 7 will air on January 2, 2023, on SonyLIV and Sony Entertainment Television.