In the kitchen with Dan Sauer of Aquinnah

Dan Sauer, owner of 7a Foods in West Tisbury. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, chef Dan Sauer went on to work at some of New York City’s most celebrated restaurants, including Oceana, Craft, and Hearth.

In 2005 he and his wife, Wenonah Madison, returned to Wenonah’s hometown, Aquinnah, and Dan took the head chef position at The Outermost Inn. Last spring, the husband-and-wife team opened 7a Foods in West Tisbury.

Dan’s cooking has earned him attention from foodie sites like and I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Mr. Sauer and ask him five questions about cooking and eating.

What’s your favorite ingredient to work with right now?

Smoke. It works well on so many things. It can really bring a depth of flavor to vegetables.

What is your most memorable meal?

L’Astrance in Paris. It was so technically perfect, but creative and fun too. The menu is a “surprise.” It blew my mind.

Kitchen tool you can’t live/cook without?

Vita-prep blender, great for soups, purées, and vinaigrettes.

Where in the world would you most like to travel, in the name of food?

I love the food in Southeast Asia. I have been to Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos and would love to return and continue south to Malaysia and Singapore.

What’s for dinner when you have less than 15 minutes to make it?

Grilled cheddar with tomato and bacon.