Ritu Dalmia

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Ritu Dalmia
Born1973 (age 4546)
Calcutta (now Kolkata), West Bengal, India
Occupation Celebrity chef, restaurateur, LGBT activist
Known for Italian cuisine

Ritu Dalmia (born 1973) is an Indian celebrity chef and restaurateur. She is the chef and co-owner of the popular Italian restaurant Diva in Delhi, which she established in 2000, with co-founder Gita Bhalla under partnership firm "Riga Food". [1] Other restaurants of company are "Latitude 28" and "Cafe Diva". [2] [3] She started hosting TV cookery show, "Italian Khana" for NDTV Good Times for three seasons, and published her first cookbook by the same name in 2009. [4] [5]

Celebrity chef someone well known in the culinary industry

A celebrity chef is a kitchen chef who has become famous and well known. Today celebrity chefs often become celebrities by presenting cookery advice and demonstrations via mass media, especially television. Several chefs have been credited with being the first celebrity chef, among them historically Bartolomeo Scappi and Marie-Antoine Carême.

Italian cuisine cuisine originating from Italy

Italian cuisine is food typical of Italy. It has developed through centuries of social and economic changes, with roots stretching to antiquity.

Delhi Megacity and Union territory of India

Delhi, officially the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT), is a city and a union territory of India containing New Delhi, the capital of India. It is bordered by Haryana on three sides and by Uttar Pradesh to the east. The NCT covers an area of 1,484 square kilometres (573 sq mi). According to the 2011 census, Delhi's city proper population was over 11 million, the second-highest in India after Mumbai, while the whole NCT's population was about 16.8 million. Delhi's urban area is now considered to extend beyond the NCT boundaries and include the neighboring satellite cities of Faridabad, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Noida in an area now called Central National Capital Region (CNCR) and had an estimated 2016 population of over 26 million people, making it the world's second-largest urban area according to United Nations. As of 2016, recent estimates of the metro economy of its urban area have ranked Delhi either the most or second-most productive metro area of India. Delhi is the second-wealthiest city in India after Mumbai, with a total private wealth of $450 billion and is home to 18 billionaires and 23,000 millionaires.


Her new show Travelling Diva is being broadcast since 2 February 2012. These shows are being aired on NDTV Good Times channel. [6]

Dalmia is a lesbian and is a prominent LGBT rights activist. In June 2016, Dalmia and five others, all members of the LGBT community themselves, filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court of India challenging Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. [7] This resulted in the 2018 landmark judgment in Navtej Singh Johar and others v. Union of India in which the Supreme Court unanimously declared the law unconstitutional "in so far as it criminalises consensual sexual conduct between adults of the same sex". [8]

Lesbian term describing sexual attraction between females

A lesbian is a homosexual woman. The word lesbian is also used for women in relation to their sexual identity or sexual behavior regardless of sexual orientation, or as an adjective to characterize or associate nouns with female homosexuality or same-sex attraction.

LGBT initialism referring to sexual and gender minorities

LGBT, or GLBT, is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. In use since the 1990s, the term is an adaptation of the initialism LGB, which was used to replace the term gay in reference to the LGBT community beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s. Activists believed that the term gay community did not accurately represent all those to whom it referred.

LGBT community loosely defined grouping of LGBT and LGBT-supportive people, organizations and subcultures

The LGBT community or GLBT community, also referred to as the gay community, is a loosely defined grouping of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, LGBT organizations, and subcultures, united by a common culture and social movements. These communities generally celebrate pride, diversity, individuality, and sexuality. LGBT activists and sociologists see LGBT community-building as a counterbalance to heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, sexualism, and conformist pressures that exist in the larger society. The term pride or sometimes gay pride is used to express the LGBT community's identity and collective strength; pride parades provide both a prime example of the use and a demonstration of the general meaning of the term. The LGBT community is diverse in political affiliation. Not all people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender consider themselves part of the LGBT community.


Born in Kolkata to a Marwari business family, [9] [10] she joined her family business of marble stone at the age of 16. Her work led her to Italy for sourcing where over a period of time develop a liking for Italian cuisine and started learning it as well. Then in 1993, at the age of 22 she started her first restaurant 'MezzaLuna', specialising in Mediterranean cuisine with an "Italian accent", in the Hauz Khas Village, Delhi, but the restaurant wasn't a success and so after three years, she sold it off. Then in 1996, Dalmia moved to London, where she opened the first Indian fine dining restaurant on King's Road, with partner Andy Verma. [11] The restaurant was a big success and received good reviews, however unable to settle in London, in 2000 Dalmia sold off her shares of restaurant to Verma and returned to Delhi. Here in the same year, she opened "Diva" Italian restaurant along with a partner, Gita Bhalla in posh Greater Kailash II, in 2000. [1] [12] Today Diva continues to be a popular restaurant in Delhi. [13] [14]

Kolkata Capital city of West Bengal, India

Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River approximately 75 kilometres (47 mi) west of the border with Bangladesh, it is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port. The city is widely regarded as the "cultural capital" of India, and is also nicknamed the "City of Joy". According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the seventh most populous city; the city had a population of 4.5 million, while the suburb population brought the total to 14.1 million, making it the third-most populous metropolitan area in India. Recent estimates of Kolkata Metropolitan Area's economy have ranged from $60 to $150 billion making it third most-productive metropolitan area in India, after Mumbai and Delhi.

Mediterranean cuisine culinary traditions of the Mediterranean

Mediterranean cuisine is the foods and methods of preparation by people of the Mediterranean Basin region. The idea of a Mediterranean cuisine originates with the cookery writer Elizabeth David's book, A Book of Mediterranean Food (1950), though she wrote mainly about French cuisine. She and other writers including the Tunisian historian Mohamed Yassine Essid define the three core elements of the cuisine as the olive, wheat, and the grape, yielding olive oil, bread and pasta, and wine; other writers emphasize the diversity of the region's foods and deny that it is a useful concept. The geographical area covered broadly follows the distribution of the olive tree, as noted by David and Essid.

Hauz Khas District Subdivision in Delhi, India

Hauz Khas is an affluent neighbourhood in South Delhi, its heart being the historic Hauz Khas Complex. It is centrally located and offers both rural and urban environments. Hauz Khas is surrounded by Green Park, SDA to the west, Gulmohar Park towards the north, Sarvapriya Vihar towards the south and Asiad Village and Siri Fort) to the east.

She also runs a café at the Italian Embassy's Italian Cultural Centre in the diplomatic enclave, Chanakyapuri, Delhi, [12] "Diva Café in Greater Kailash I, N-Block Market, "Latitude 28" at Khan Market, at the Alliance Francaise, Delhi and "DIVA Piccola" at Hauz Khas village, besides she has also established a catering business. [2] [9] In 2007, she started hosting a TV-series, "Italian Khana" on NDTV Good Times, shot in Italy and subsequently the book was also released. The show ran for three seasons and won numerous television awards. [10] [15] She has also been a consulting chef with Divattra, the spa restaurant at 'Ashok Hotel', Delhi. [16]

Chanakyapuri neighbourhood in New Delhi, Delhi, India

Chanakyapuri is an affluent neighbourhood and diplomatic enclave established in the 1950s in New Delhi. Chanakyapuri translates to the City of Chanakya, and is named for the third century BC advisor and Prime Minister in the court of great Mauryan king Chandragupta Maurya. It plays host to the majority of foreign embassies in New Delhi. Chanakyapuri was also developed as official residences for both politicians and civil servants of the Government of India. As such, it has numerous parks and open spaces, and suffers few utility disruptions. It is located near the Prime Minister's residence.

Khan Market

Khan Market, established in 1951 and named in honour of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, has been ranked as the costliest retail location in India. In 2010, it was rated as the world's 21st most expensive retail high street by real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield and is consistently ranked as one of the costliest high-end streets.

NDTV Good Times is the flagship channel of NDTV Lifestyle Limited which is owned by New Delhi Television Limited. It was launched in September 2007.

She has been awarded the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity by Government of Italy in December 2011. [17]

Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity

The Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity was founded as a national order by the first President of the Italian Republic, Enrico De Nicola, in 1947, to recognise civilian and military expatriates or foreigners who made an outstanding contribution to the reconstruction of Italy after World War II.

The Government of Italy is a democratic republic established by a 1946 constitution. It consists of legislative, executive, and judicial subdivisions, as well as a Head of State, or President.

She published her food travel, cookbook, Travelling Diva: Recipes from around the World in 2012, and features her favourite recipes from European, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines and her stories behind them. [11] [18]


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  1. 1 2 "The food DIVA". The Hindu. 11 December 2004.
  2. 1 2 "Ritu Dalmia talks travel". Conde Nast Traveller.
  3. "Chef's Delight – Taking on the stars". Mint. 17 March 2008.
  4. "Italian Khana". NDTV Good Times.
  5. "Something's Cooking: For 17 years now, Ritu Dalmia has been serving Italian Khana. And she is a purist". Outlook Business.
  6. "Traveling Diva". NDTV Good Times.
  7. "Many ups and downs in battle against 377". The Indian Express. 2018-01-11. Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  8. Safi, Michael (2018-09-06). "Campaigners celebrate as India decriminalises homosexuality". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  9. 1 2 Vir Sanghvi (21 August 2008). "Rude Food: Portrait of a Diva". Hindustan Times.
  10. 1 2 "Ritu Dalmia, author of cookbook travelling diva, whips it up". The Telegraph (Kolkata). 30 January 2012.
  11. 1 2 "There's a story behind every dish in this book". India Today. 25 December 2011.
  12. 1 2 "New-age entrepreneur: young, dynamic and successful". The Tribune. 16 November 2003.
  13. Pippa De Bruyn; Keith Bain; David Allardice; Shonar Joshi (2010). "Delhi". Frommer's India. John Wiley & Sons. p. 442. ISBN   0470602643.
  14. Sarina Singh; Lindsay Brown, Mark Elliott, Paul Harding.. (2009). Lonely Planet India. Lonely Planet. p. 151. ISBN   1741791510.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  15. "Italian Khana: Best Cookery Show At The Indian Telly Awards, 2009". NDTV Good Times.
  16. "VOTERS SPEAK: Ritu Dalmia". Indian Express. 27 November 2008.
  17. "About the Anchor". NDTV Good Times.
  18. "All Things Food". Indian Express. 15 December 2011.