Gaggan Anand has walked away from his two Michelin star restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok and says he will open in a smaller venue, possibly in October.
The larger than life character Gaggan has closed his flagship restaurant after a dispute over shares with business partners. A closure had been planned for next year but the sudden pulling down of the shutters came as a surprise to staff and customers as reservations were cancelled.
Anand, who studied under Ferran Adria at El Bulli redefined Indian cuisine since opening his restaurant in Bangkok in 2010 where a 25-course meal in a colonial villa costs 8,000 baht (US$270). Gaggan held the title of Asia’s best restaurant in the 215, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
“I am tired. I am laughing. I am crying. I AM JUST A HUMAN,” he said this week in an Instagram post in which he apologized to customers and said “64 rebels” had walked out with him.
“At the age of 41 the biggest lesson I learned was never leaving anyone behind!!” he wrote, admitting he gets “too emotional sometimes”.
Gaggan had already committed to closing his eponymous restaurant next year in order to open a restaurant in Fukuoka, Japan with chef Takeshi Fukuyama, it is not clear if recent developments will affect that plan. Gaggan will, however, open a smaller restaurant in Bangkok, with just 40 covers. He remains as ambitious as ever though.
“In 10 years I will be one of the greatest chefs of the 21st century. A world star. Every year, at least 20,000 tourists already make the trip to Bangkok to try my cooking.” - Gaggan Anand
Free-spirited Gaggan is used to doing things his own way and while the chef has enjoyed over a decade of phenomenal success with Gaggan, the fact that he is walking away on his own terms should come to no surprise to anyone who knows the ebullient chef.
“I wanted to own more shares in the establishment, to have more control, but my partners have refused,” said Gaggan. An Instagram post by the chef claims that he owned a 25 per cent minority stake.res
However, in his next venture Gaggan’s daughter will be the biggest shareholder, “so you can be sure, my next venture will be driven from love and pure passion.”