In Amritsar, celebrated chef and LGBTQIA+ rights activist Ritu Dalmia says food and mood go hand-in-hand : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

In Amritsar, celebrated chef and LGBTQIA+ rights activist Ritu Dalmia says food and mood go hand-in-hand

In Amritsar, celebrated chef and LGBTQIA+ rights activist Ritu Dalmia says food and mood go hand-in-hand

A celebrated chef, restaurateur and LGBTQIA+ rights activist, Ritu Dalmia is a purist at heart, one who loves to keep things simple — whether it's her food or thoughts.



Neha Saini

A celebrated chef, restaurateur and LGBTQIA+ rights activist, Ritu Dalmia is a purist at heart, one who loves to keep things simple — whether it’s her food or thoughts.

Dalmia has been a pioneer of Italian cuisine in India and over the years, has been making Indians explore Italian flavours and vice-versa through her chain of restaurants in India as well as Italy. The self-taught chef has won many awards, including Peaklife Gourmet Awards 2019, DelWine Excellence Award 2019 as Women of Wonder (WOW), Ordine della Stella d’Italia, the highest civilian honour of Italy, among others. However, her biggest achievement is not related to her culinary prowess.

“Between 2015 and 2018, when we had petitioned for decriminalisation of Section 377, I faced a lot of trolls. In 2018, when 377 were decriminalised, a sense of relief washed over me. I don’t think that there will be another achievement in my life to top it. I am done now,” she said at an event in Amritsar recently.

She was among the five petitioners who challenged Section 377 of Indian Penal Code. “Look at the number of suicides happening in small towns just because we fail to address the issue and offer support,” she said. About her orientation, she told her parents when she was just 23. “The next day, my mother, who was not very educated, came from a conservative and orthodox background, sent a box of mangoes to my partner. This was her way of offering support to her daughter,” she said.

Talking food

About food, something she feels passionate about, Dalmia said food and stories go hand-in-hand. “When you travel, you might be eating at the finest restaurants in the world, but if you are not in a good company or good mood, you would not enjoy it. There has to be a sense of honesty in the food. Italian and Indian food, in this respect, are quite similar as they both are ingredient-based and use local, freshly sourced flavours.”

About the experience of cooking her first Italian meal, Dalmia said, “When I made a risotto for my friends the very first time they said I had given them khichdi.” She also shared her worst and best food experiences. “Well, it’s a no-brainer that Italy is my favourite country and food destination. The only time I wished I carried theplas and achaar with me was when I was in Burma. The country is beautiful, its people warm, but the food was quite bad.”


Top News

AAP vows free power, cash for women in poll-bound Haryana

AAP vows free power, cash for women in poll-bound Haryana

5 GUARANTEES: Sunita also promises jobs, mohalla clinics, fr...

Returning Indians given escort, 1K back from violence-hit Bangladesh: MEA

Returning Indians given escort, 1K back from violence-hit Bangladesh: MEA

8K students among 15K nationals in country

Farmers shunning cultivation of paddy to get ~17.5K per hectare

Farmers shunning cultivation of paddy to get Rs 17.5K per hectare

Move aimed at arresting groundwater depletion in state, says...


Cities

View All