Indian Food Shines With 2 Spots In World's 50 Best Restaurants

Every year, the culinary world waits with bated breath to know the World’s Top 50 Restaurants. Since 2002 a panel of experts from around the world have come together to showcase the diversity and burgeoning talent in the world of food. This year was no different and in a prestigious ceremony in Valencia, Spain, the list for 2023 was revealed. 

This year’s list has been a groundbreaking one for several reasons. This is the first time the top spot was taken by a restaurant outside the USA or Europe – with the winner, Central being in Lima, Peru – and also the first time the winning kitchen has been led by a female chef. It’s also changed the narrative for India as two restaurants serving Indian cuisine have made it to the top 20. 

At number 17 Gaggan Anand in Bangkok, helmed by Chef Gaggan Anand himself, is a frequent visitor to such lists (as ‘Gaggan’) and has been stacking up accolades for their progressive Indian cuisine and jaw-dropping visual creations. The newcomer at the 11th spot is Trèsind Studio in Dubai. Known as ‘the only Indian Two Michelin-starred restaurant in the UAE’ and led by Chef Himanshu Saini, Trèsind Studio is known for showcasing classic Indian flavours through a new lens. 

While both Gaggan Anand and Trèsind Studio are located outside India, they are both curated by chefs whose Indian roots shape their love of food. For Kolkata-born Punjabi, Gaggan Anand his earliest memories are of cooking with his parents and sharing conversations around the dinner table. Even with two Michelin stars under his belt, he still views food as his passion, not work and that connection translates to creativity on the plate as he reinterprets Indian staples in a modern setting. He’s also been mentioned for the creativity his menu offers such as emojis to represent the courses or for dishes that encourage diners to eat with their hands or even lick the plate, breaking down the concept of dated ‘fine-dining’.

For Chef Himanshu Saini, a Delhi boy who’s spread his talent across the globe, the mission is to change the perception of Indian cuisine on the international landscape. He grew up in an agricultural family and that inclination towards fresh, locally sourced produce has been integrated into his legacy as one of the youngest tastemakers on the scene. His work at Trèsind Studio reflects the culinary legacy of his past and his drive to create and explore every potential possibility.

With heavyweights such as these representing Indian food on a global platform, it’s likely that this isn’t the last time we’ll see them earning praise for their creations. And after decades of Indian food being portrayed as ‘curry and not much more’, it’s heartening to see the world opened up to the diversity of flavours that exist in the subcontinent.