Who Is Garima Arora and The New Judge on MasterChef Season 7

By: WE Staff

The new face on MasterChef India season 7 is Garima Arora, the first Indian woman to receive a Michelin star. Let’s get to know this master chef a little bit better.

The much loved cooking show, MasterChef is back on Indian screens! The new season of MasterChef India was undoubtedly being eagerly anticipated by all foodies and aspiring chefs. Even though the iconic cooking reality series MasterChef is shown all over the world, with MasterChef Australia being one of the most popular, there is no denying that the Indian version of this well-known brand is equally enthralling. Once a MasterChef fan, always a MasterChef fan, whether you watch it to learn something new, are a die-hard foodie, or just love watching those exquisitely presented and picture-perfect dishes!

MasterChef India (Hindi), a well-known cooking reality show, is now in its seventh season. Another change is that SET Network owns the broadcasting rights for this season.

The judges are the most crucial element that may make or break any season, and this time, seasoned judges Chef Vikas Khanna and Chef Ranveer Brar have been joined by a new face, Chef Garima Arora.

Who is Garima Arora?

A Michelin-starred chef, Garima Arora has made her judging debut on the most recent season of MasterChef India.

36-year-old Garima is the first Indian woman to receive the esteemed Michelin star, which is comparable to an Oscar in the culinary industry! She was born in Mumbai and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2010 in Paris. She has collaborated with several incredible chefs, like Rene Redzepi, Gaggan Anand, and Gordon Ramsay. She operates the famed Gaa restaurant in Bangkok and runs the delivery business EatWell.

In 2019 she was awarded the title of Asia’s best female chef! In August 2019, she also introduced Food Forward India, a project that prioritises the future of Indian foods.

What is a Michelin Star?

The Michelin star is given out as part of the Michelin Guides, a collection of booklets that a French tyre manufacturer named Michelin has been producing since 1900! What does a tyre manufacturer have to do with food, I'm even more perplexed. It's amazing to see how what was originally intended to be a road map for French drivers evolved into awards that can range from one to three Michelin stars based on a restaurant's excellence. There has been no turning back since the Michelin star concept was introduced in 1926 with just one star and expanded to up to three stars in 1933. Three stars indicate consistently excellent and extraordinary cooking.

To reach the incredibly high criteria is extremely difficult! The fact that it is regarded as the pinnacle of culinary brilliance is what makes it so highly prized among chefs worldwide.

Garima’s Venture into Culinary Arts

Garima's father took her to supper at the Taj hotel in Mumbai when she was 15 years old. After supper, Garima's father handed her the bill and advised her that if she wanted to eat quality food, she would need to make a lot of money.

One of Garima's earliest influences in cooking, according to her, was her father. She credits his ability to cook a wide range of cuisines while she was growing up for greatly expanding her appetite.

In an interview, Garima talked about her father and said, "If it wasn’t for him, I would never have got into food.”

Garima first spent six months working as a journalist before deciding to pursue a career in culinary arts and elevating her cooking abilities to a whole new level.

Why is her presence as a judge on MasterChef so unique?

Garima Arora is the first female judge to join MasterChef India (Hindi), and her presence on the panel will be the first time a woman has done so. Her presence undoubtedly gives the programme a new viewpoint and a sense of freshness. Additionally, this time the judging panel would include two Michelin Star chefs because chef and restaurateur Vikas Khanna had received a Michelin star for his restaurant Junoon for a number of years in a row.

What is Garima's opinion of her debut?

She said, "I am thrilled to join Chef Vikas Khanna and Chef Ranveer Brar for 'MasterChef India'. It's a one-of-a-kind show which gives aspiring chefs a platform to showcase cuisines from every corner of the country and rise above and beyond to pursue their passion for cooking.” We can definitely feel her joy, and we can't help but experience it ourselves!

We are eager to find out who wins the competition and succeeds Abinas Nayak as the winner from the previous season.

Garima’s Major Milestones in a Chronological Order

  • Garima and her restaurant received a Michelin star in November 2018, making her the first Indian woman to have that coveted title.
  • Restaurant Gaa debuted at No. 16 on the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list in March 2019, winning the award for Highest New Entry.
  • Restaurant Gaa debuted at position No. 95 on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list in June 2019.
  • Garima was honoured as Asia's Best Female Chef for the Year by World's 50 Best Restaurants in February 2019.
  • Garima started the Food Forward India programme in August 2019 with a focus on the future of Indian cuisine. The first event, which was held in Mumbai on October 17, 2019, gathered together the city's top Indian cuisine experts for a day of speeches, food samples, and panel discussions.