Dan’s Rosé Soirée Countdown: Rahi Executive Chef Chintan Pandya

Rahi Executive Chef Chintan Pandya
Rahi Executive Chef Chintan Pandya, Photo: Courtesy Rahi

Chintan Pandya, Executive Chef of New York’s Rahi restaurant, is originally from Mumbai, India. He says, “Mumbai has a great street food scene and most of my work is influenced by it.” His first food memory is of eating bhel-puri and sev-puri on the streets there. Can’t you just smell those rich spices? Yum. You can taste them at Dan’s Rosé Soirée presented by Porsche on Sunday, May 27 at the Southampton Arts Center, along with a host of rosés from across Long Island and around the world. And here’s your invitation from Chef Chintan: “Please come and have the time of your life whilst dining and drinking from the best in the business on the East End this summer!”

What’s your favorite dish to prepare?
A mashed Eggplant dish that we make—Eggplant Bharta. The reason I love it is because my mother used to make the same dish for me when I was a kid. I used to hate eggplants and would only eat it if it was in a mashed version and my mom would specially make it for me.

How does cooking on the East End inform your culinary creativity?
The availability of freshly grown ingredients and prime quality seafood, game and meat gives me the flexibility to change my menu as often with newer dishes.

Who influenced your career the most?
My mentor and teacher Chef Baranidharan has inspired me the most. His dedication and knowledge of cooking was the driving force behind my career.

What Long Island wine are you drinking these days?
Pellegrini Vineyards’s Petit Verdot.

What’s the most dangerous dining experience you’ve ever witnessed?
I was eating at a restaurant where they flambéed food and someone on our table was nearly burned by it. It was scary.

What’s an ingredient that you refuse to use?
Collard Greens. I feel that they have an acquired taste that doesn’t go with the cuisine that I cook.

 What’s the most important thing to teach the next generation of chefs?

Nothing comes easy to you in the kitchen. You have to work day in and day out to learn everything to succeed there. Stop watching reality cooking shows!

What’s your definition of “succulent?”
A perfectly grilled steak.

What makes a cocktail a “craft cocktail?”
The use of homemade syrups and blends.

What’s your favorite beverage to take on an East End picnic?
Classic iced tea.

What’s your favorite thing about Dan’s Taste of Summer events?
I’m looking forward to the diversity of the talent under one roof.

Dan’s Rosé Soirée presented by Porsche is Sunday, May 27 at the Southampton Arts Center. GA tickets are $140. VIP tickets are $190 and include event entry from 5 to 8 p.m. PLUS access to the Rosé After Dark VIP After Party Presented by The Palm by Whispering Angel, 8 to 10 p.m.  For tickets and more info about all Dan’s Taste of Summer events, visit DansTaste.com.

Read more about more about Dan’s Taste of Summer and Rosé Soirée.

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