Curators of Summer: Chef Alia Dalal

chef alia dalal

Meet Chef Alia Dalal

Name: Alia Dalal

Occupation: Wellness Chef

Company:  Alia Dalal

Which Chicago neighborhood do you call home?  Logan Square

Favorite SummertimeCHI hot spot:  The patio at Parson’s Chicken and Fish

Favorite SummertimeCHI memory:  One of my favorite Chicago summer memories was biking down the path to Hyde Park with my boyfriend on a weeknight last year, popping into restaurants and bars that seemed interesting and biking back up to South Loop.  It was the perfect distance for a non-athlete like me.  Plus the extended summer sunshine gives you the opportunity to make the most of a random summer evening during the same hours you’d be holed up with Netflix in the winter.

Share a little known Chicago hidden gem:  I used to live in South Loop and my favorite hidden gem on the near south side is the lakefront path south of 18th street.  It has beautiful scenery, you get the best views of the skyline, and it’s pretty deserted so you don’t have to compete with hordes of divvy bikes or rollerbladers escaped from the 90s.

Share a Chicago charitable cause that you support:  I’m a big supporter of the Chicago non-profit Purple Asparagus that does nutritious food education in Chicago Public Schools.  It’s a program that is centered around real food, seasonality and encouraging inquisitiveness.  Food isn’t presented as “good” or “bad” in some moralistic way.  Kids get to interact with raw ingredients, stories, and recipes to have a hands-on learning experience through a program that fills a gap in traditional curriculum.

“My goal is to give you the knowledge to walk into the grocery store and be able to create a simple, fast meal without a recipe, a laundry list of ingredients or an impending panic attack.”

– Chef Alia Dalal

Alia Dalal is a Chicago-based chef with a passion for vibrant, sustainable, and healthy food.  After working in Michelin-starred kitchens in New York and Chicago and a destination spa in India, she discovered her calling is inspiring everyday people to engage with food as a way to experience culture, connection, and wellness.  Chef Alia teaches public classes and corporate workshops on food and health and also consults to food brands looking for creative ways to connect with health-conscious consumers and improve their offerings, particularly when it comes to consumers with special diets.  She founded her independent culinary business in 2011 and began her career working in restaurants 13 years ago.  You can learn more about her at

Her own multicultural background leads her to advocate for quality food access for all, which she does by volunteering for organizations that bring healthy food education to city public schools.  And because good food should be FUN, she also created and hosted a bar show on the good food and beverage scene in Chicago called Nightcap where she’s interviewed everyone from award-winning chefs to a brick of cheese named Cookie Muenster.

SummertimeCHI and Lyft are proud to have Chef Alia Dalal as one of our 2016 Curators of Summer!

Congrats Chef Alia!