Sameer Taneja has returned to the role of executive chef at Benares, the Michelin-starred restaurant in London’s Mayfair.
He was executive chef of the Indian restaurant 2011-15, followed by the same role at Talli Joe in Seven Dials until last year (the restaurant closed earlier this year) and had been working as a chef consultant since.
Taneja will launch new à la carte and tasting menus at the main restaurant, as well as the bar from next month, with a focus on seafood and fish. Dishes will include: baked scallop Malabar; hiran ki chaap (venison cutlet spiced with juniper garam masala and kutchumber rose); and sea bream cured in aam panna tiger milk, avocado and masala boondi.
He said: “I am delighted to return and to put my humble yet progressive mark on the menu at a famed institution such as Benares and introduce our guests to new flavours and dishes.”
An express thali lunch menu will also be offered for £33 including a drink Monday through Friday.
Originally from Delhi, Taneja also previously worked as a sous chef at Koffmann's at the Berkeley hotel, Brasserie Joël at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge and chef saucier at the three-Michelin-starred Waterside Inn in Bray, Berkshire.
The restaurant was launched by chef-patron Atul Kochhar in 2003, however Kochhar parted ways with the restaurant last year following a Twitterstorm over controversial comments he made on the social media platform.