Get to know renowned restaurateur and cookbook author Ritu Dalmia as we get up, close and personal with her.
If you weren’t a chef, you would have been?
Perhaps, I would have been a bookshop owner.
Chicken tikka or fish and chips, what’s your pick?
I shall take chicken tikka as fish and chips will give me some 2,000 extra calories!
The last line of your autobiography would read?
‘I’m such a genius!’
Manish Mehrotra or Gordon Ramsay – whom do you prefer?
Manish Mehrotra for his divine cooking.
Your plan for a romantic date?
A picnic in a garden with a hamper filled with chilled bubbly, strawberries, slivers of pure ham, buttery paté and a chocolate cake.
The last thing you bought for under Rs 10?
Ram laddoos (churan) from Defence Colony market.
What will we find in your fridge right now?
Champagne, cheese, diet Coke, yoghurt, salami and chocolates but no bread.
You destress with?
Music – my choice changes every week.
If you had to invite five people for dinner, who would they be?
Author Jeanette Winterson, actor Maggie Smith (I adore her), Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and singer Cesaria Evora.
What makes your day?
A compliment from a client.
What spoils it?
Any complaint from a client. I can’t sleep at night then.
You are closest to?
My friend Gita.
Your favourite destinations?
Italy and Burma.
The dish you can never cook?
I have never been able to perfect a simple dessert like a bread-butter pudding and also home-style kheer.
What can you live in?
Kurtas from Lal Bihari Tandon and worn-out jeans or Afghani pajamas from Anokhi.
Your favourite cartoon character?
Of course Tom and also Bart from The Simpsons.
The most overrated movie/book according to you?
I feel it is the movie Kahaani.
Life in the fast food lane: Choose your menu.
Hot dog from a New York vendor, jhaal moori from Russell Street, Kolkata, dahi bhalla from Chandni Chowk and kulfi from Kude Mal in Old Delhi.
If i could...
I would play the violin, I’ve been trying to do so for the last 22 years!
I would get rid of my violent temper, but it doesn’t last long
I would cry less, I can cry at the drop of a hat
I would lose 20 kilos! Been at it for some time
Sun sign: Virgo
Birthday: September 21
School/college: Convent of Jesus & Mary, Delhi. Instead of college, I joined my dad’s business
Place of birth: Kolkata
First break: First restaurant MezzaLuna that opened at Hauz Khas Village, Delhi, in 1993
High point of your life: When I went to Italy for the first time as a businesswoman in 1990, I thought I had truly arrived
Low point of your life: When I had to close down MezzaLuna. I was crushed
Currently doing: Opened Diva Piccola at Hauz Khas Village and compiled the book Travelling Diva, a collection of recipes
From HT Brunch, April 1
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