Hannes Richter

Meet the Chef - Sabeena Sachar

Hannes Richter
Meet the Chef - Sabeena Sachar

A Taste of Austria at the Austrian Embassy

On October 12, 2015, Sabeena Sachar and Melanie Glover from At Kaiser’s – The Austrian Gasthaus joined the Embassy of Austria for a special event: The chefs prepared a three-course meal live on stage and offered dinner guests a true “Taste of Austria.” Starting with Frittatensuppe, a beef broth with sliced herb pancakes, followed by a classic Schnitzel for the main course and Applestrudel as dessert, the evening afforded a truly unique insight into Austrian cuisine and Gemütlichkeit. Thanks to the wine pairing by Klaus Wittauer of KW Selections, guests indulged in the best wines Austria has to offer.

Austrian Information took the opportunity and asked chef Sabeena Sachar a few questions.

Sabeena, tell us a little bit about yourself: Where are you originally from? How did you get to Northern Virginia?
I was born and raised in Austria, after my parents had migrated from India in the late 70s. Twenty years later, my father decided to move to the United States. During a cold December month in 2002, my mother and I moved here to join my father. Two years ago, I opened At Kaiser’s and have been preparing Austrian dishes ever since.

What was the original idea behind your restaurant?
I never saw any authentic Austrian restaurants in the area. But worst of all, I never got my Sunday Schnitzel fixes I was used to in Austria. Sunday was always considered Schnitzel day, even in our Indian household. Thus, as I was suffering from Schnitzel “withdrawal symptoms”, I decided I would open a restaurant to satisfy my craving: At Kaiser’s is my very own “Do it yourself ”-Schnitzel restaurant and faithful to established tradition, I have Schnitzel every Sunday.

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant!
Our restaurant serves the most authentic and well-known aspects of Austrian cuisine; from classic Wiener Schnitzel to the flavorful Schweinsbraten with bread dumplings and the world famous Viennese Applestrudel pastry delight. It is located in a strip mall in Ashburn, Virginia, some 30 miles from Washington, D.C.

How is Austrian cuisine received in the U.S.?
Austrian Cuisine is received very well in our area. The people in Northern Virginia are very well traveled. Some have been to Austria, many have lived in Germany and others just want to try something new rather than eating at the usual chains most patrons are used to: At Kaiser’s offers a different variety of cuisine, which interests most and pleases many.

You cooked live on stage at the Embassy at the first “Taste of Austria show cooking” in October. How was this experience for you?
It was a great experience. It was great to see how many people came to see this special event which was put together so well by the Embassy! We would certainly like to do this again!

Last question: What is your favorite Austrian dish?
Well, guess what: Schnitzel, what else?