Sameer Taneja is Executive Chef at Benares, London’s trailblazing Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in Mayfair. Using his classical training in French and Indian cuisine and 20 years’ experience working alongside some of the world’s best chefs, Sameer’s culinary style pairs high quality British ingredients with authentic Indian spices and techniques.
Under his leadership, Benares regained its Michelin star in the 2021 Michelin Guide to Great Britain and Ireland and has successfully retained for the last two consecutive years (2022 and 2023). Benares has held a star for 16 of its 20 years running.
Sameer has worked with luminaries such as Pascal Proyart of One-O-One Restaurant (2003-2009); Michel and Alain Roux of three Michelin-starred Waterside Inn (2009-2010), Joel Antunes of Brasserie Joel (2010-2011) and Pierre Koffmann of Koffmann’s (2011-2012).
Following this, Sameer joined Benares London as Head Chef from 2012 until 2015, before launching his own restaurant venture, the much-lauded Talli Joe in Covent Garden, which offered Indian tapas and innovative cocktails. Following its closure, Sameer returned to Benares as Executive Chef in the summer of 2019.
He has also cooked at many prestigious events including St. Moritz Gourmet Food Festival alongside Claude Bosi, Angela Hartnett and Nathan Outlaw; and the official birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, whilst representing Benares Madrid.
Sameer is originally from New Delhi in India where he first developed an interest in food, and received his degree in culinary arts from Mangalore, on India’s South-West coast. Prior to moving to the UK in 2003 he worked at The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, consistently ranked amongst the top hotels in the world by Trip Advisor and Condé Nast. He lives in London with his wife and two young children.