Gaggan Anand's Team: Vlad, Director of Operations & Co-Head Sommelier

Gaggan Anand's Team: Vlad, Director of Operations & Co-Head Sommelier
Vlad,Director of Operations & Co-Head Sommelier

Behind every success is a team and that, our dear members, is especially true when running a celebrated establishment with ceiling high expectations. Now that the residency’s in full swing, it’s about time for us to introduce some of the key faces of Gaggan Anand’s team.

Originally from the Serbian city of Novi Sad, Vladimir or Vlad is the Director of Operations at Gaggan Anand’s eponymous restaurant. While he’s now Gaggan’s right hand man after 6 years, this self-professed wine nerd could never shake his hands off anything to do with wines. Since some of you have been curious about the residency’s wine programme, we’ve managed to catch him off-service for snippets on his approach to curating the wine programme.

How did you come to know Gaggan Anand?
I actually ate at his restaurant back in 2014 and have always remembered it as the most hectic dining experience I’ve ever had in my life - in a good way of course. It was in 2015 when I signed up for the opportunity to work with him and boom, here we are in Singapore.

What's your favourite part in working with Gaggan Anand?
There are no rules to follow, just organised chaos and the madness of Big G.

Out of the wine list you have curated, which is your favourite wine? And why?
We were originally only supposed to be here for 2 ½ months but now that we are staying here for a longer time, we’ll be changing the wine list over time - it’s no fun if you’re returning to the same journey and there’s no surprise if everyone already knows my tricks.

For me, there’s no favourite wine, only favourite people behind those wines because there’s a different artistry behind each, and it's the process that impresses me. At the moment there are few of them such as Julie Balagny, Pedres Blanques, Franz Strohmeir.

When it comes to curating a wine menu, what’s your thought process like?
Here’s the thing, I have a problem with the tendency of putting wines that I drink on the list. So in other words, when there are negative comments about all falls on me - something my team will always do.

The thought process is really just all in the personality and if you’ve read anything about Big G or you follow him on instagram, he’s full of it and nothing is ever the same. Though we’re mostly focusing on natural and biodynamic wines, I like to have fun with it by throwing in undiscovered gems from smaller scale producers rather than the big names.

What’s your favourite dish on the Singapore menu?
My favourite dish (so far) is the Fish Paturi (fillets in banana leaf) that we serve for lunch. It’s a recipe from Gaggan’s mother and though it’s one of the simpler ones, it is exceptionally fragrant with just the right spice of Bengali mustard.