From Wall Street to the Kitchen


divya-gugnani-22-copyFeeling hungry? Then let’s introduce you to New Yorker Divya Gugnani who’s turned a passion for food into a delicious new start-up company. This savvy venture capitalist gave up a solid financial career – much before the current downturn – to start a fun new online business called Behind the Burner.

Instead of poring over stocks and bonds and derivatives, her life now revolves around gourmet cuisine, fine wines and an army of chefs! At a time when consumers are taking a detour from fancy restaurants, Gugnani brings famous chefs like Daniel Buloud and Todd English into their kitchens via the website where they cook, chat and share their secrets about how to whip up five star dishes at home.

It’s a site for foodies because membership, which is free, gets you food content, videos and also a chance to purchase gourmet ingredients, cook books and wine at discounted prices.

Gugnani, who is a graduate of Cornell University, Harvard Business School, and the French Culinary Institute, merges her passion for cuisine with business chutzpah, having worked as chef and caterer. She says, “I worked in the food industry and I dined out a lot in New York, so I’ve formed a lot of personal connections along the way.” She has over 150 culinary experts participating in Behind the Burner.

Behind the Burner is angel financed by individuals from private equity, venture capital and hedge funds. “I’ve advised so many companies and built businesses before, so it comes as second nature,” says the chef-entrepreneur, who’s been written up in Wall Street Journal and Businessweek. “I had always wanted to do an expose of the culinary world, to share the tricks and tips from the front of the house and the back of the house. So, it’s behind the burner, behind the scene, behind the velvet rope and has a cachet of exclusivity.” We’ll drink to that!


About Author

Lavina Melwani is a New York-based journalist who writes for several international publications. [email protected] & @lassiwithlavina Sign up for the free newsletter to get your dose of Lassi!


  1. arni narendran on

    Hello , I am familiar with yr name through Hinduism Today magazine emanating from Hawai. Your website looks interesting from the Indo american perspective. I am a mumbaite and shall visit yr site more often.
    keep going

  2. Lavina Melwani on

    Hello Arni – yes, I have written for Hinduism Today for many years and continue to write for it.
    With Lassi with Lavina, I hope to write about people, places and issues which are of interest to Indians everywhere as well as to the larger world community with an interest in India and its diaspora.
    Thanks for stopping by and hope you’ll drop in again as I will be doing constant new postings and also inviting guest bloggers to give their perspectives.