|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 168 cm
in meters- 1.68 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 6”
|Weight (approx.)||in kilograms- 60 kg
in pounds- 132 lbs
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• Named as one of India’s 25 biggest Chefs by the Indian Federation for Culinary Association in 2016
• Named in Forbes India's first-ever W-Power Trailblazers list of 2017
• The highest civilian award of Italy, Ordine Della Stella d'Italia in 2017
• Sunday Standard Devi Award in 2017
• delWine Top Ten Indian Women of Wine (WOW) Award in 2019
|Date of Birth||26 September 1972 (Tuesday)|
|Age (as of 2022)||50 Years|
|Birthplace||Kolkata, West Bengal, India|
|School||Convent of Jesus, Delhi|
|Sexual Orientation||Lesbian The Indian Express|
|Relationships & More|
|Parents||Father- Gautam Dalmia (Granite and Marble stone importer)
Mother- Name not known
|Siblings||She has a brother.
Some Lesser Known Facts About Ritu Dalmia
- Ritu Dalmia is an Indian chef and restaurateur. She specialises in Italian food and has written many books about cooking along with opening many restaurants in India and Italy. She is regarded as one of the best Italian chefs in India.
- She was interested in cooking since her childhood, and even though her family was vegetarian, she also made non-vegetarian food.
- At the age of sixteen, she started working in her family business of stone import and travelled to different countries including Italy, Egypt, and South American countries to procure the materials for the business.
- She developed a liking for Italian food during her trips to Italy, learnt to cook Italian food from her friend Serra Turgutcan, and decided to open an Italian restaurant in Delhi as she found that there was no restaurant with Italian speciality dishes. Her decision was welcomed by her mother; however, her father did not find the idea good as he believed that his family’s image would be tarnished.
- At the age of 21, she opened her first Italian restaurant named Mezza Luna in Hauz Khas Village, Delhi in 1993 with her savings of Rs 5 lakh. She travelled to Italy almost on a weekly basis to procure authentic ingredients for the dishes. Her restaurant failed and closed down in two years.
- After selling her restaurant in 1995, she moved to London where she opened another Indian restaurant Vama in partnership with the reputed chef Andy Verma. She struggled financially during the initial days of the restaurant; however, she made a lot of money after the restaurant became a hit.
- After spending five years in London, she returned back to India in 2000 and opened another Indian restaurant DIVA in Delhi, which became very successful. Her restaurant was regularly visited by Italians who liked the freshness of dishes and home-based style of preparing the dishes.
- She travelled regularly between London and Delhi to look after the operations of both restaurants; however, the travels consumed a lot of her time. She wanted to focus on her Italian restaurant in India, hence in 2002, she sold her stake in Vama restaurant.
- After her restaurant DIVA became successful, she went on to open five more restaurants including ‘Latitude 28’ and ‘Cafe Diva.’
- She opened an Indian restaurant Cittamani in Milan, Italy in 2017, and opened another restaurant Spica in Milan in partnership with the reputed Italian chef Viviana Varese.
- She opened an Italian restaurant under the DIVA chain at Andores Resort & Spa in Goa in 2018. She opened another Italian restaurant The Tasting Room by DIVA under her restaurant chain DIVA in Lower Parel, Mumbai in 2021. She opened a pizza eatery named ‘Motodo’ at Jio World Drive, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai in the same year.
- She appeared as a host in two famous cooking shows Italian Khana and Travelling Diva on NDTV Good Times.
- She is the author of three cookbooks named Italian Khaana, Travelling DIVA, and DIVA Green: A Vegetarian Cookbook.
- At the age of 23, she realised that she was a lesbian. When she disclosed this to her parents, they were shocked; however, they never let her feel bad due to her sexual orientation. She became a petitioner against section 377 of the Indian constitution, which criminalised homosexuality) along with three other petitioners (hotelier Aman Nath, dancer Navtej Singh Johar, and businesswoman Ayesha Kapur) in 2016. When the Supreme Court of India repealed article 377 in 2018, she described it as a landmark decision in an interview and said,
There was no voice for victims, especially women, who were scared to sign the petition. So, the day I was asked, I didn’t think twice. In my career, I’ve got recognition and I’m grateful but it was for selfish reasons: fame, money. When the judgement came in 2018 – one I didn’t think I’d see in my lifetime – I was numb and crying. Nothing means more to me than that moment.” GQ India India Today
- Her restaurant DIVA was selected as one of the 50 biggest restaurants in India as per Condé Nast Traveller India’s list in 2018, the Favourite Italian Restaurant (Standalone) at the Peaklife Gourmet Awards in 2019, and the best Italian restaurant (premium dining) by Times Food Nightlife Awards in 2022.
- She considers herself a workaholic, a control freak, and detail-oriented.
- During the lockdowns at the time of Covid-19 onset in India, she criticised the Indian government for not providing adequate support to the restaurant industry which was hit hard due to the pandemic.