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Indian Food Can Never Stand Parallel To Italian Cuisine: Chef Ritu Dalmia

Indian food may finally be getting its due global recognition, but it will never be able to stand parallel to Italian cuisine

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Fileja and Nduja : italian pasta dish. Wikimedia Commons

Indian food may finally be getting its due global recognition, but it will never be able to stand parallel to Italian cuisine on international stage owing to its complexity, says celebrity chef Ritu Dalmia.

“The popular of Indian food is on the rise, but I do not think it will ever attain the position that Italian food holds, as Indian cuisine is very complex and has particular flavours, which does not appeal to everyone,” Dalmia, co-founder of Italian restaurant chain Diva, told IANS Life.

Dalmia, who has re-launched Diva Spiced, a blend of modern Asian dishes along with some regional Indian flavours, said her journey in the food industry was something she never thought of.

“I always loved cooking for pleasure, and after having a series of very bad meals I commented about it to some friends, who turned around and said if you think you can do better then why don’t you start a restaurant. Passionate and enterprising that I was, I took their words to heart and within three months opened my first restaurant.

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Indian food can’t be at par with Italian fare. Wikimedia Commons

“I was forced to do my first catering by a client, who insisted that he wanted Diva food for his 40th birthday. That was the day I just said to myself, ‘hey this was fun, and I think I could do this’,” she told IANS.

The chef says though her brand does many events, it is very “thoughtful and selective about the kind of events it wants to do”.

“Italy and I, have a connection from my past life. I had to do something to challenge myself. And next thing I knew was that Cittamani was in the pipeline. And here we are today, without my having the slightest idea how we got here,” she said.

But in the meanwhile, work by Dalmia and her ilk has helped change traditional perceptions about food and the people who prepare it. She recalled how she was offered the job of a “domestic cook” when she opened her first restaurant. “Back then, a chef, in people’s mind, was equal to a domestic help. But today they are treated like celebrities, respected and admired. So I guess we have come a long way.”

She said her Diva catering has always been very conscious about not wasting food, long before the Delhi government decided to draft a law to keep a check on food wastage at social functions in the national capital.

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“We work with NGOs like Feeding India, volunteers of which come at the end of every event to pick up all the leftovers. Then again we are not a regular catering company with hundreds dishes on our menu. Our motto has always been, “less is more,” she said.

Dalmia said cooking calms her down. “It is the only thing that soothes and relaxes me,” she said. The chef is now getting ready to launch her next venture in Noida. She also has plans to majorly expand in Italy. (IANS)

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Rapid Digitization May Help Online Food Industry in India To Become $8bn Market By 2022: Report

Food tech startups have revolutionized the way Indians eat

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Food
Food tech has now made its presence in greater than 500 cities in India and with consumer confidence growing, there are new opportunities for the players to 'win with the consumer' in an evolving market. Pixabay

 Rapid digitization and growth in both online buyer base and spending will help India’s online food industry to become a $8 billion market by 2022 — growing at a CAGR of 25-30 per cent, a new report said on Tuesday.

The report by Google and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) revealed that variety in cuisines (35 per cent) was one of the top reasons for recurrent use of online food ordering apps, followed by good discounts and convenience.

“Food tech has now made its presence in greater than 500 cities in India and with consumer confidence growing, there are new opportunities for the players to ‘win with the consumer’ in an evolving market,'” said Roma Datta Chobey, Director-Travel, BFSI, Classifieds, Gaming, Telco & Payments, Google.

Peer or network advocacy (52 per cent) played a critical role in drawing people to try online food ordering for the first time. This was followed by advertisements (19 per cent) that emerged to be a strong driver in metros and among the higher income groups across the country.

“Overall online spending in India is rising rapidly and expected to grow at 25 per cent over the next five years to reach over $130 billion,” said Rachit Mathur, Managing Director and Partner, India Lead of BCG’s Consumer & Retail Practice.

“Riding on the wave of rapid digitization and steadily growing consumption, the reach of Food Tech companies has grown six times over the last couple of years and will continue to increase further,” Mathur added.

Zomato and Swiggy currently dominate the online food delivery market in India. Zomato last week announced it has acquired Uber’s Food Delivery Business in India in an all-stock deal of nearly $350 million and Uber will have 9.99 per cent stake in the Deepinder Goyal-led food delivery platform. The Google-BCG report also suggested that consumers have common impediments that hinder adoption.

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Rapid digitization and growth in both online buyer base and spending will help India’s online food industry to become a $8 billion market by 2022 — growing at a CAGR of 25-30 per cent, a new report said on Tuesday. Pixabay

A fifth of the respondents stated a lack of trust in the app as the main barrier to usage. Delivery charges (18 per cent), food quality concerns (13 per cent) and lack of customization (10 per cent) are other reasons why customers have, so far, not experimented with online food ordering.

“Interestingly, these observations vary based on the maturity of the market. While delivery charges is the top reason for not ordering food online in metro cities; in Tier I cities, lack of trust in apps (29 per cent) is the primary roadblock,” the findings showed.

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“Food tech startups have revolutionized the way Indians eat. Ordering food online is now a habit. There is large headroom to increase reach, engagement and usage frequency for food tech apps,” said Abheek Singhi, Senior Partner and Managing Director at Boston Consulting Group. (IANS)