Get All Access for $5/mo

Meet This Diva of Indo-Italian Cuisine Ritu Dalmia maintains that everything she has done in her life has been impulsive

By Sugandh Bahl

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Entrepreneur India

When Dalmia started off, since she come from a Marwari family, many people asked her, "Will you be cooking meat and serving beer." People in her community considered being a chef was about doing some menial job. Born in Calcutta to a conservative business family, Dalmia joined their stone business when she was just 16.

Her work kept taking her to Italy, where she developed a liking for the local cuisine and learnt how to cook it proficiently. In 1993, at the age of 21, she set up MezzaLuna, a Mediterranean restaurant with an Italian accent, in Delhi's Hauz Khas village. The food was excellent, but MezzaLuna's fortunes weren't. An undeterred Dalmia moved to London, where she opened Vama, an Indian fine dining restaurant. The restaurant was a big success and even won rave reviews. Delhi beckoned, and in 2000, she came home to open Diva. The fine dining restaurant was an immediate hit.

Dalmia never looked back, going on to open one winning restaurant after another and managing a staff of 200. When they decided to open their flagship international restaurant Cittamani, the choice was crystal clear. Milan she believes is really an international city, where people are curious and willing to try new things. Cittamani's menu is the play between Indian and Italian elements; with Dalmia cooking Indian food with locally-sourced Italian ingredients. "It's light and healthy, and is a reflection of something that I have been working on for a long time," says Dalmia.

Moving forward, Dalmia says "I never had a bucket list. Everything I have done in my life has been impulsive. And even with the mistakes, I have always managed to learn something new."

(This article was first published in the March issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)

Sugandh Bahl

Former Feature Writer, Entrepreneur India Magazine

Journalism has been in my roots since my school days. Beginning with a content specialist at CRY organisation to landing up being a Feature writer/correspondent at The Entrepreneur Magazine, life has experienced ups and downs fairly well. A foodie by nature and pet over at heart, currently I am thoroughly enjoying my tenure at The Entrepreneur!

News and Trends

Dee Piping Goes Public: Announces Initial Public Offering

Dee Development Engineers Limited, commonly known as 'Dee Piping,' has announced its transition into a public limited company.

Business Solutions

Increase Productivity with This Microsoft 365 Subscription, Now $25 Off

It can make the entrepreneur life a lot easier.

News and Trends

Unifi Capital Launches Two New Funds at GIFT City

Rangoli India Fund and G20 Portfolio are the two new funds launched by Unifi Capital, via its subsidiary UIML in GIFT City, to expand international investment opportunities.

Business News

Apple Pay Later Is Ending. Here's What's Taking Its Place.

The program was available for less than a year.

Culture

I've Grown a High-Performing Team in Just 2 Years — Here's are 5 Growth Strategies I Learned

A team's strength lies in its people's individual skills and how they synergistically come together.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.