While at its heart, Indian food is casual and comforting, a highly skilled chef can bring the inherently seasonality, heritage, and complexities of flavour to the forefront. Indian fine dining may not have the same strong representation as its European or Asian counterparts, but it’s no less entrepreneurial and exciting.
The velvety richness of shahi paneer The roaring heat of a vindaloo. The comfort of butter chicken or a dal makhani. Some of India’s best chefs have brought their favorite childhood dishes to kitchens around the world and turned a home-cooked classic into a Michelin Star meal. Others have elected to remain near their roots, elevating both tradition and technique to create a luxury dining experience that you can only find in India.
Go directly to the source and uncover some of the best Indian food in Delhi on Luxury Gold’s Essence of India tour. Enjoy a luxury dining experience in Delhi as well as an intimate foodie walk through the street markets with a local chef.
5 Michelin Star Chefs From India
There are few luxury dining experiences that rival a meal at a Michelin restaurant. From the elevated to the elegantly refined, these five chefs from India have proudly earned Michelin stars for their interpretations of Indian cuisine.
Chef Atul Kochhar
One of the most prominent Michelin starred chefs from India, Chef Atul Kocchar was the first Indian chef awarded a star. His first Michelin star came at London’s Tamarind, followed by a second star nearby at Benares. Today, Chef Kocchar owns a number of restaurants throughout the UK and one in India.
Chef Garima Arora
Chef Garima Arora followed Chef Kochhar’s history-making Michelin star by becoming the first Indian woman to earn the same honor. Restaurant Gaa’s modern Indian fine dining restaurant flaunts traditional Indian cooking techniques with a contemporary appeal in hopes to reform the way classic Indian food is discussed.
Chef Alfred Prasad
As the youngest Indian chef to receive a Michelin star, Chef Alfred Prasad maintained the Michelin star at London’s Tamarind for years. He’s famed for revolutionizing British Indian cuisine and currently oversees Shiuli contemporary, healthy Indian menu in Twickenham.
Chef Vikas Khanna
Dreams of culinary greatness fueled Chef Vikas Khanna’s journey from his home in Punjab to the Big Apple. His restaurant, Junoon, in New York City has boasted a Michelin star for eight consecutive years, impressively receiving it within Junoon’s first year. Junoon continues to let timeless tradition and contemporary interpretation fuels its Indian cuisine.
Chef Manjunath Mural
Once the head of The Song of India, Chef Manjunath Mural was the first chef to bring a Michelin star to a Southeast Asia Indian restaurant. The Song of India closed its doors in Singapore, but not before Mural’s four year run with the star. Chef Mural now continues sharing his skills in Singapore with elevated Indian cuisine at ADDA and decidedly “unauthentic” Indian cuisine at Long Beach’s Cali Chilli in the United States.
Diners have no doubt sampled some of the finest Indian food in the world outside of India’s borders, though no one has ever eaten at a Michelin starred restaurant in India itself. Michelin has yet to dedicate its efforts to a proper Indian guide which is why the country lacks Michelin stars.
But that does nothing to stop many of India’s award-winning chefs from showcasing the country’s depth of cuisine in their own backyards.
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Where to Dine With the Most Awarded Chefs in India
They may not be Michelin star chefs in India, but these notable men and women have wowed the country’s dining scene through both bold innovation and a strong command of traditional Indian culinary techniques.
Thai Naam | Mumbai
Chef Ananda Solomon
Those craving Thai food might find the best in the world at Thai Naam in Mumbai. Though Chef Ananda Solomon hails from Pune, this pioneer brought authentic Thai cuisine to India after spending years in Thailand working in both food stalls and royal kitchens. His efforts and experience were championed at Mumbai’s Thai Pavilion where the chef eventually retired. Not one to sit on his hands, he’s cooked up a new venture in the form of Thai Naam.
Thai Naam is regularly stocked with spices and produce from Thailand, offering up stir-fry and Tom Yum soups so traditional that you’d forget you hadn’t boarded a flight to Thailand at Mumbai’s international airport only a few kilometres from your table. Tasting Thai in India may initially seem like a sin, but trust that Chef Solomon’s mastery of the cuisine offers a deeply satisfying experience akin to ordering the best Indian foods in Great Britain.
Indian Accent | New Delhi
Chef Manish Mehrotra
Regularly regarded as one of the best restaurants in Asia, Indian Accent success is driven by Chef Manish Mehrotra at the helm. He cooked under Chef Ananda Solomon at Thai Pavilion in Mumbai and aims to reinterpret nostalgic Indian plates at Indian Accent in New Delhi.
With a sister location in New York City, Indian Accent is acclaimed for its exciting take on Indian food. The menu is an adventurous affair as seasonal produce from the region is mixed with global ingredients to leave a diner lost in the reminiscence of tradition and the joy of modern exploration. The Chef’s tasting menu is a playful assortment of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian offerings like caramelized carrot khaman, duck ghughra, and summer corn chaat.
Suvarna Mahal | Jaipur
Chef Raghu Deora
As the Executive Chef of Rambagh Palace, Chef Raghu Deora is charged with the unenviable task of mastering the most regal of India’s dishes. Crafting these rivaled dishes is all in a day’s work thanks to his unrivaled skill developed over a three-decade career that’s stretched from East China, Hong Kong, and Singapor to Jaipur.
Without question one should expect a luxury dining experience upon setting eyes on Rambagh Palace. This opulent estate houses Suvarna Mahal in the original palace dining room, allowing you to sample the flavors of Hyderabad, Awadh, Punjab, and Rajasthan beneath dazzling chandeliers and other Renaissance-style decor.
The royal Indian menu is as refined as can be at Suvarna Mahal, presenting the absolute best of India on a plate. Rajasthani lamb curry and Awadhi Murgh Korma are among the main courses tempting you to ignore the eight other pages on the mouthwatering menu. Those who can make their way from the appetizers and mains down to the dessert section are rewarded with gulab jamun aur gulkand kulfi that leaves a final sweet taste on your lips to close an unforgettable meal.
Watch the sunrise at the Taj Mahal, explore Udaipur, the Venice of the East, and enjoy luxury dining experiences only found in India during Luxury Gold’s Imperial Rajasthan 13-day tour.