Dan’s Taste 2021 Chefs: Sameer Mohan, Saaz

Sameer Mohan of Saaz
Sameer Mohan of Saaz

Lovers of Indian cuisine know that when you’re in the Hamptons, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a restaurant on the same level as Saaz. Owner Sameer Mohan is bringing his best dishes to Dan’s Chefs of the Hamptons on Thursday, June 24 and Dan’s Rosé Soirée on Saturday, July 24.

For tickets and more information on all Dan’s Taste 2021 events, visit DansTaste.com.

First word (or words) that comes to mind when you hear “Taste of Summer?”

Delish celebration!

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Family roots.

You can invite three people, living or dead, to your dinner party. Who are they, and what would that meal be?

Any of my friends and family: 1. butter chicken with naan; 2. lamb shanks braised in onion, garlic and cooked with a rogan josh sauce with saffron rice and roasted potatoes; 3. rasmalai cheese cooked in a milk sauce with saffron and pistachios as dessert.

What’s your favorite dish to prepare, and do you enjoy eating it as much as preparing it?

A simple yellow lentil, eggplant and tandoori roti bread with a yogurt and a simple salad with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Enjoy the moment and be grateful.

Share your funniest, most unforgettable or oddest kitchen incident.

When my dad was cooking and I was pressuring him to get the dish quickly, he gave the pan with the unfinished product and then said, “Here you go big boss, enjoy!!”

Who do you most admire in the food/wine world and why?

My dad … simplicity, humble and happy to share his enthusiasm for food.

What is going to be the “next big thing” on the East End food scene?

Us, perhaps, who knows—so many talented people around.

What are your hobbies, passions and interests outside the world of food, wine and work?

Family, friends and sports—simple.

What’s your comfort food and why?

Baingan bhurta (eggplant) … reminds me of my growing days in New Delhi with my grandparents.

If you were not in the food or wine business, what would you be doing?

Ah, cliché—IT industry.

What is the most memorable thing you’ve ever tasted?

Pork belly in New Delhi. It is unbelievably good in New Delhi—whoa.

What recent travels have you taken that have inspired you?

Last was a couple of years back: Goa. Gorgeous and great beaches along with fresh coconut water, yum.

What’s a unique kitchen ritual you practice?

Little superstition. Hehe—first right foot in and then the left.

What has surprised you the most about working in the East End culinary scene?

How accepting and amazing the people are—and so many friends now that just keeps me humbled.

It’s your last weekend on earth—what’s the menu?

Will figure out what ingredients I have and then make a meal, I guess.

We just handed you a glass of bubbly. Now please make a toast to summer on the East End.

Cheers to your success!

To learn more about Saaz, visit saazindian.com.

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