The debut edition of Culinary Culture’s FoodSuperstars, presented by Campo Viejo, took place at The Leela Palace, Delhi, on March 19.
The aim of the annual chef ranking awards – called Food Superstars – is to recognise and reward India’s most talented chefs, independent of the restaurants they are associated with.
Thirty chefs were celebrated at The Leela Palace, of which four chefs had a Bengal connection – Doma Wang, Ritu Dalmia, Vikramjit Roy and Joel Basumatari. Taking the top spot was chef Manish Mehrotra, best known for his progressive Indian cuisine.
In the Special Awards category, Kolkata-bred and London-based celebrity chef Asma Khan was honoured.
India’s top 30 chefs with winners of the Special Awards category and Culinary Culture co-founders at the Food Superstars event
Doma Wang, who runs restaurants The Blue Poppy Thakali and Boma Asian Bakery in Kolkata and Siliguri, ranked #19. Wang is also the ambassador of Tibetan food and culture from the east. “To be placed on the 19th spot among the 30 top chefs of India is an absolute honour. I am happy that Tibetan cuisine is being recognised at a national level,” said the ‘Momo Queen’ of Kolkata, as Wang is fondly referred to.
Doma Wang, the ‘Momo Queen’ of Kolkata, with her Food Superstars awardCourtesy: Vernika Awal
Kolkata-born Ritu Dalmia, who ranked #6 on the list, posted, “So far the most fun chef awards ever, well executed, crisp and if I may say so, most honest. It honoured the new and the old.” Ritu has run some of the country’s finest restaurants for nearly three decades like Diva Restaurants (Italian and European fine-dining) in Delhi and Goa, Cittamani Milano and Spica in Milan, and Motodo Pizzeria in Mumbai. Her walk to the stage to collect the badge of honour reflected her fun personality – watch below!
Joel Basumatari owns and runs restaurant Smokey Joes in Dimapur, which focuses on progressive Naga food. “To be placed on the 27th spot among the top 30 chefs of India 2022 is an absolute honour for me and the whole Northeast,” said the chef, also known for his Naga food pop-ups. “We have a lot of tourists from Kolkata who visit us,” shared the alumnus of IIHM Kolkata and graduate of University of West London (UWL).
Ranked at #16 was chef Vikramjit Roy, the Bengali who created a buzz with The Tangra Project, Delhi’s newest pit stop for Kolkata Chinese and heirloom recipes from his mum’s kitchen like Enchorer Korma and Robibarer Mutton.
Bengali chef Vikramjit Roy, who was in Singapore on the award day, ranked #16
Kolkata-bred and London-based Asma Khan was awarded the Activist Chef special award. “It is a big honour to be one of the three international Indian chefs recognised on the list,” said Asma, who couldn’t make it in person. Needless to say, the Kolkata contingent in the banquet room cheered the loudest when her video was played on the screen.
Culinary Culture is a movement that brings together India’s passionate foodie community and hopes to “transform the perception of India’s culinary culture globally”. It is co-founded by food critic Vir Sanghvi and Sameer Sain, CEO of the Everstone Group. Raaj Sanghvi is the CEO.