Where is the Best Food in the World?

Magic Mushrooms @ Gaggan Bangkok: Mushrooms in the shape of a log, Edible Soil
Magic Mushrooms @ Gaggan Bangkok: Mushrooms in the shape of a log, Edible Soil

Where is the Best Food in the World?

When I’m asked where the best food in the world is, I respond very confidently. I have authority on the matter. I have put in the man hours and thoroughly investigated the matter.

I have eaten in many 3 Michelin Star Restaurants.. when I say many, I’m talking 20+ across five countries , in Italy, the USA, France, Japan and the UK.

Now that the eating good food ‘credentials’ are out of the way, back to the question at hand:

When I’m asked ‘where the best food in the world?’, with confidence, I always answer with an explanation, ‘Hands down Asia!’


 

I have eaten the very best, prepared by the best. Asia trumps all of this. In particular India. Asia has the best food in the world.


Eating in India:

The whole experience of eating in India in particular is ethereal. Mixing food with your fingers is a feeling like no other. Many of my peers have turned their nose up when I have tucked into my rice and sambar with my fingers… I don’t care, they will never experience this feeling, a feeling of being connected and one of true bliss. Food tastes better eaten with fingers.

Asia and India have been catapulted onto the world stage as San Pellegrino has recognized Indian chef Gaggan Anand as Asia’s best chef with his Bangkok restaurant Gaggan ranking first place at ‘The World’s 50 Best’ Asia.

Asia and India have been catapulted onto the world stage as San Pellegrino has recognized Indian chef Gaggan Anand as Asia’s best chef with his Bangkok restaurant Gaggan ranking first place at ‘The World’s 50 Best’ Asia.

Magic Mushrooms @ Gaggan Bangkok: Mushrooms in the shape of a log, Edible Soil
Magic Mushrooms @ Gaggan Bangkok: Mushrooms in the shape of a log, Edible Soil

Street Food India:

Before I continue let me tell you a little personal story of my first experience eating with my hands:

One dark morning, before the chickens had even woken the sun, I was on a road trip through South India, very hungry and with a long drive ahead. In the distance, a light shone, as I got closer, a small cafe, it looked like it had chai tea. Just what I needed.

Not only were they making steaming hot, spicy chai tea, they were serving fresh idly with sambar and chutney. It was packed, it was still dark outside, I remember thinking, where did these people come from, are they on a road trip like me, or is this the time they eat breakfast everyday?

Buying 'Lemonade' in Tamil Nadu India
Buying ‘Lemonade’ in Tamil Nadu India

I can remember watching others eat and trying to copy them I was using only two fingers (rookie mistake)! Fast forward two months later, I was like a real Indian eating with all five fingers on my right hand, mixing and enjoying all the flavors the way they were intended to be eaten!

Heaven: Idli and Chai for Breakfast Hampi India
Heaven: Idly and Chai for Breakfast Hampi India

There is truly no greater experience than mixing all the accompaniments and curd with rice and dipping a finger into a tangy, chilli mango pickle as you go… Oh the food! My mouth is salivating from the memories (where I’m writing this answer from and I have no chance at eating this food tonight).

If you have never experienced real Indian street food you have never lived. The senses are awakened, the scents, the sounds, the flavor profiles are other-worldly. They never ever keep the road side and street food until the next day like many other countries do.

In India its always fresh, hot and delicious. From the sticky sweet halwa, freshly fried pakora, vada, the pani puri that explodes with flavor in your mouth (I like mine with a kind of chili water poured in) to the delicate momos, and the quickly and accurately pulled paratha… the list is endless. Now my mouth is not only watering, my tummy is rumbling!

Don’t even get me started on the cardamon, kulfi or the sweet condensed milk barfi laced with cashews. mmmmmm….

Indian Dessert Kulfi Ice Cream
Indian Kulfi Ice Cream

I’ve barely touched the surface here. You need to really go and see and eat everything for yourself. After filming the Travel XP series ‘Backpack’ in India, I made a little clip myself on Indian Street Food. Check it out (the monkey is super cute and drank the palm drink).

Having a quick ‘pick me up’. I adore Indian Chai (Check out Tata in the background..so sweet he was being an ‘extra’ for me)… 😉


 

I think I literally spend my down-time in India looking for different foods and delicacies to try.

Back to the topic of Asia having the best food…officially. Its now recognized you know!

Indian Cuisine and Fine Dining:

Gaggan Anand, from Kolkata is now officially recognized as the best chef in Asia, serving up some of the best food in the world.  Anand is internationally recognized by the key establishment and authority on everything gourmet, San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best.

Gaggan, not formerly trained, owes all of his success to his mother, whom he would watch and assist in the kitchen. Only in his 30’s Gaggan is officially No.10 Chef in the world and as previously mentioned, No 1 In Asia/Australia.

Meeting Chef Gaggan:

I was fortunate to meet with Gaggan in Australia recently where he was the celebrity guest at the Margaret River Food and Wine ‘Gourmet Escape’ in Western Australia.

To be honest, I wasn’t ‘fortunate’ I went to the event with the intention to meet Gaggan and interview him, which I did. (interview TBC…)

Gaggan not only gave me the opportunity to interview him, he invited me to film a in his Bangkok kitchen and on his farm. I am in pre-production, planning this shoot from Bangkok to Kolkata.

Gaggan, who learned Indian cuisine from his mum, was given the 1 in 1 million opportunity to work alongside molecular gastronomy master Ferran Adria at famed, El Bulli in Roses, Catalonia.

Gaggan Anand’s fertile imagination and culinary wit are played out in a lengthy but always fun tasting menu which balances the soulfulness of Indian street food with hyper-modern cooking techniques to unrivalled effect.

Gaggan is bringing Indian cuisine to the world stage and pushing the boundaries, the only way is up for Gaggan and Indian cuisine and I want to be on the ground documenting it!

Bangkok and Gaggan here I come…

Gaggan from Kolkata is putting Indian cuisine on the fine dining map with his deconstructed Indian molecular gastromy being officially recognized as the world’s best!

Since writing this post I have eaten at Gaggan in Bangkok as documentary research and for the shear uniqueness. I am a huge Ferran Adria fan and Gaggan trained in molecular gastronomy with Ferran so of course it was going to be spectacular.

ango Uni Sundae @ Gaggan
I can die now: Mango Uni Sundae @ Gaggan

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, Where is the best food in the world? I absolutely loved eating at Gaggan in Bangkok and recommend anyone and everyone to put this San Pellegrio World’s Best on their bucket-list.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
More from Sommer Shiels

The Last Asiatic Lion Reserve

Asiatic Lions Gir Forest – Gujarat, India The Last Asiatic Lion Reserve...
Read More

5 Comments

  • Good that you covered the south India esp Tamil Nadu. I believe the most healthy and tasty foods comes from India. Thanks and good to know you enjoyed. If you try a dish per day, 5 years will not be enough for you to cover all the dishes in India.

  • Dear Sommer,

    I have loved your comments on India, on both Indians and Indian food. I am so glad you could enjoy all that and I admire your love for India. I would like to know if you also tasted some really good fine dining food in India and where?

    Warm regards, Harsh

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *