Drumroll Please...Announcing the Celebrity Chef for the 2012 Food and Wine and Fall Ferrari Festival at SPAC!

I am SO excited to announce the Celebrity Chef for the 2012 Food and Wine and Fall Ferrari Festival at SPAC on September 7th-9th, Suvir Saran!

Viewing the kitchen as both a culinary and spiritual haven, New Delhi-born Top Chef Master Suvir Saran has nurtured a lifelong passion for the traditional flavors of Indian cooking, which has led him to become an accomplished chef, cookbook author, educator, and organic farmer.

As Executive Chef of Dévi, Saran shared the authentic flavors of Indian home cooking in an inviting restaurant in the heart of New York City. Under Saran’s leadership, Devi consistently received popular and critical acclaim and earned a three-star rating from New York magazine and two stars from the New York Times. It was the first Indian restaurant in the U.S. to earn a Michelin star. Now Saran is working to open his next restaurant concept around Indian dining in Chicago. It is slated to open late winter of 2012/2013.

A respected culinary authority, Saran is Chairman of Asian Culinary Studies for the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and travels extensively to teach audiences ranging from home cooks and fellow chefs to physicians and nutritionists. He has been a featured speaker and guest chef for notable gatherings such as the Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives Conference hosted by the CIA and Harvard Medical School Osher Institute, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Food Network’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival, the New York City Wine & Food Festival, and many others. Saran has also led classes for culinary centers and schools nationwide, including the Institute for Culinary Education, Sur La Table, Williams-Sonoma at Time Warner Center, Central Market, and Apron’s Cooking School at Publix.

Renowned for his accessible approach to Indian flavors and techniques, Saran has penned three cookbooks: Indian Home Cooking: A Fresh Introduction to Indian Food, with More Than 150 Recipes (Clarkson Potter, 2004) with Stephanie Lyness; American Masala: 125 New Classics from My Home Kitchen (Clarkson Potter, 2007) with Raquel Pelzel; and Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country (Chronicle Books, 2011) with Charlie Burd and Raquel Pelzel. Masala Farm was a James Beard Award finalist for Best American Cookbook for 2011. In November 2010, Saran was the only U.S.-based contributor to the largest Indian cookbook ever published, India Cookbook (Phaidon Press, 2010), which featured one thousand recipes.

Saran’s approachable and informed style has helped to demystify Indian cuisine in America and ultimately formed American Masala, his culinary philosophy, which celebrates the best of Indian and American cooking. His recipes have been featured in publications such as Bon Appétit, Cooking Light, Food & Wine, Fine Cooking, Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, Departures, InStyle, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, as well as many others. He is a contributor to Food Arts magazine. He has been a featured judge on Next Iron Chef and Iron Chef on the Food Network and has had numerous appearances on national and local broadcasts, including NBC’s Today, The Martha Stewart Show, Travel Channel’s Epicurious TV, Martha Stewart Living Radio’s Living Today, BBC Radio’s The World, APM’s The Splendid Table, WBEZ-FM’s Eight Forty-Eight with Steve Dolinsky, WHYY-FM’s A Chef's Table with Jim Coleman, and KGO Radio’s Dining Around with Gene Burns. In spring 2011, Suvir competed as a contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, cooking to raise money for the Agricultural Stewardship Association.

When he is not on the road, Saran joins partner Charlie Burd in caring for American Masala Farm, a nineteenth-century farm set on sixty-eight acres of rolling land in upstate New York and home to lovingly raised heritage-breed animals and pets, including two dogs, a cat, sheep, ducks, geese, alpacas, chickens, guinea hens, and goats. Saran and Burd are dedicated to the recommendations of the American Livestock Breed Conservancy (ALBC) in choosing the farm’s animal population and exemplify farm-to-table living by providing local restaurants with their heritage-breed eggs and goat’s milk.

My family and I have been lucky enough to have had a meal at their incredible America Masala Farm near Salem, NY with the Slow Food Saratoga group and it was such an incredible experience. I am SO thrilled Suvir is going to be the host for this awesome Wine and Food Festival! Suvir will be honored at the live on stage Gala Friday night (9/7) and he will be both the emcee and Lead Judge for the conclusion of the "CDPHP Presents the Adirondack Appliance Cast Iron Chef Invitational Sponsored by BlueStar". The Cast Iron Chef Competition will be followed by a book signing with Suvir plus another book sigining and BlueStar cooking demo at the Adirondack Appliance Tent during the grand tasting. It promises to be an absolutely amazing culinary weekend in Saratoga, I cannot wait!