Chef Vikram Garg

No man is an island. Especially not a chef for whom islands have represented crossroads rather than points of isolation. Chef Vikram Garg’s culinary philosophy is rooted in two essential island concepts—sustainability and terroir—and depends upon the interchange of ideasand techniques.Born and raised in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands territory of India, Garg grew up surrounded by locally sourced food. Sustainability is an essential component of living on islands, where imports are expensive, often far from fresh, and lack flavor.

As hisculinarycareer took him to other island environments—three years in the British Virgin Islandsand eight years in Hawaii—Garg developed asense of responsibility to cook sustainably and bring local ingredients to the forefront of fine dining.Having crisscrossedthe globe throughout his training and career, he isinfluenced by the flavors of international cuisine and by the colleagues, mentors, family and friends who have shared their enthusiasm forlocal foods with him. Garg is passionate about expressing the flavor, culture and physical characteristics of a region through his cuisine.

He views the interplay of these elements as fundamental to his menus, in which barriers of taste and nationality are broken down and recreated as cohesive, surprising dishes. To Garg, discovering the quintessential, pure flavor of his ingredients and using them to create healthy, nutritious food that sustains his guests arethe reasonsto cook.Devising ways to combinethem in startlingways is key to his culinary identity. He takes particular delight in the menu degustation—a chef’s finest expression of innovativecooking—creating series of dishes that evoke a sense of time, place and memory distilled through the culinary matrix of sweet, salty, sour, bitter, heat and spice.

Classically trained in French, Mediterranean and Southeast Asian cuisine, Chef Gargis a graduate of the Oberoi School of Hotel Management (New Delhi, India) and holds a post-graduate degree from the Oberoi Center for Learning and Development.

Garg’smost recent positionwas as the executive chef for the Halekulani hotel (Honolulu, Hawaii), where he oversaw the luxury resort’s Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond Neo Classic French restaurant, La Mer, and Forbes Four Star & AAA Four Diamond contemporary seafood restaurant, Orchids, as well as the entirety of the hotel’s food and beverage programs. Prior to his time at the Halekulani, Gargwas the executive chef and operating partner of IndeBleu (Washington, D.C.), deemed “one of the 80 hottest new restaurants in the world” by CondéNast Traveler. He has worked at leading luxury and five-star resorts around the world, including the Metropolitan Palace Hotel (Dubai, United Arab Emirates), Little Dix Bay Hotel (Spanish Town, British Virgin Islands) and the Leela Palace Kempinski Hotel (Bangalore, India), Oberoi Hotel (Delhi & Mumbai, India)