Creative Director and Chef
Surbhi Sahni’s expertise and innovative spirit brings a unique perspective to modern Indian cuisine. Her creations are inspired by her childhood meals, her knowledge of Eastern and Western ingredients, and her experience in various New York restaurants for the past 18 years. She enjoys inventing desserts by using traditional Indian ingredients and a blend of Indian, European and American pastry techniques.
Currently focused on launching an Indian gift package company, from 2010 - 2017, she ran her own catering company, Bittersweet NYC, specializing in custom-designed wedding cakes and Indian-inspired confections. Before Bittersweet, she was the highly acclaimed pastry chef at Michelin-starred Tulsi where she “played” with flavors and textures to create sweet and savory results both delicious and pleasing to the senses, and prior to that at Michelin-starred Dévi, where she became widely known for her ethereal Mango Cheesecake.
Prior to Dévi, Sahni worked in the pastry kitchen at David Burke & Donatella and was the Executive Pastry Chef at Amma, both also in New York City. Sahni made her mark on New York’s culinary map when she served as Executive Pastry Chef at the highly acclaimed Tamarind in 2001. Working with the late Chef Raji Jallepalli, she developed the concept and menu for the restaurant’s Tea Room. She also consulted on the Bombay street food menu for Aamchi Pao in Manhattan’s West Village.
Over the years, Sahni has been a demonstration chef, teaching at top culinary conferences and educational centers including New York University, De Gustibus at Macy’s Herald Square, the Worlds of Flavor Conference at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone, the CIA’s Baking and Pastry Arts Retreat, Williams-Sonoma Time Warner Center and the Fancy Food Show in NYC. She was also part of the culinary team for several featured dinners at The James Beard House.
She has taught at and serves on the board of the Institute of Culinary Education as well as the Food & Finance High School, both in NYC. She is also a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier New York, Women Chefs & Restaurateurs, and the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance under whose auspices she has led food tours of her Jackson Heights, Queens neighborhood. She has been featured in various publications including The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Food52, Oprah Magazine, Wine Spectator, and Food & Wine.
Sahni holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Management from the School of Hotel Administration in India and a Master’s Degree in Food Studies and Food Management from New York University. She is proud to be working at Saar with her husband, Executive Chef/Co-owner Hemant Mathur. They live in Jackson Heights, Queens, with their daughter, Soumyaa. Follow her @ChefSurbhi on Twitter & Instagram.