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Garima Arora is 1st Indian woman to bag Michelin star

Chef Garima Arora has become the first Indian woman to win a Michelin star for her restaurant Gaa in Bangkok, Thailand. The BBC’s Nikita Mandhani spoke to her about the journey to get there.

“It’s still sinking in,” says Ms Arora, who only began cooking at the age of 21 when she decided to move to Paris from her hometown Mumbai, to study at the world-famous Cordon Bleu culinary school.

“It was nothing like I expected it to be. It was a lot of donkey-work,” Ms Arora, now 30, says. “But I just wanted to be there so much and I learnt to cope up and made my way through.”Even though her journey as a chef officially started when she was 21 (she was working as a journalist before that), she says her Punjabi family and their insane love for food meant it was always on the cards.

Punjabi cuisine is among the most celebrated in India, and staples like butter chicken and parantha are popular in many other countries. Punjabi people themselves are known for their love of eating and their generosity with food.

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