Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month – Rohit Nambiar

Potawatomi Casino Hotel honors Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month - Meet Rohit Nambiar

"My family comes from a state called Kerala in India. It's known for the highest number of women who live in the state and also for being the most educated state in the country. So, what the matriarchal society has taught me is respect for women and education; it's automatic."

As a part of our property-wide celebration and sharing of information for Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we spoke with Rohit Nambiar, General Manager and sommelier at Dream Dance Steakhouse, who comes from the Indian Community.


Born and raised in Bombay, India, Rohit Nambiar came to the United States in 1997 to pursue his dreams to reach into the restaurant and hospitality industry. Prior to moving across seas, Nambiar went to school for Hospitality and Management in Switzerland. He was inspired to enter the industry by watching his family grow a hospitality empire in India. Upon graduating college, Nambiar was recruited by The Four Seasons Hotel to move to Chicago. There he established a career that lasted eight years. Afterward, Nambiar took a chance and used his talent to open his own restaurant in Northbrook, IL, named Sweet Grass Café. His café has been successful for the past eighteen years.

Nambiar enjoys trying new things and he’s excited to impart his knowledge and teach individuals in the casino business.  He loves to bring his workplace to the next level. He took the offer at Potawatomi Casino Hotel because he wants to elevate Dream Dance Steakhouse and show the Milwaukee audience how wine from all backgrounds can tell a story.   

Nambiar is currently a second-level sommelier and will be advancing to the next level within the next few months. Nambiar has been to 65 countries and he’s ready for his next adventure at Dream Dance Steakhouse.  

We had the pleasure to sit down with Rohit Nambiar for Asian American Islander Pacific Heritage Month (AAPI) and ask him questions about his role, heritage, and what AAPPI means to him.

Q- What is your ethnicity?
A- I'm Indian. I was born in Bombay, India, now called Mumbai. I came to the United States in 1997 and now I am an American citizen.

Q- What is your current role, and what inspired you to work for Dream Dance Steakhouse?
A- I'm the General Manager of Dream Dance Steakhouse, and I'm excited about the vision of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino to become a premier destination in the Midwest. Also, it is my dream to make Dream Dance Steakhouse the best restaurant in the Milwaukee area.

Q- What is the most exciting part of your job and why?
A- The most exciting part of my job is connecting with my guests. Secondly, I love to work with the wines we have. We have a wonderful wine cellar with some great gems, like old-world wines, such as Chatto, Mutton, Rothchild, Margot's, and also the New World from Napa Valley. So many great wines to work with and of course give my guests a memorable experience so they come back.

Q- What is your proudest career accomplishment to date?
A- I have many, but I would like to say that I get immense pleasure in connecting with people and connecting with our guests. I feel very proud when the guests come back to the restaurant. It shows that my staff and I have done everything correctly for them to come back.

Q- In honor of Asian Pacific Heritage Month, what is your favorite cultural tradition?
A-    I love eating Indian food. I gravitate towards Indian food and that is my favorite cultural tradition.

Q- How has your heritage shaped the person you are today?
A-    My family comes from a state called Kerala in India. It is known for the highest number of women who live in the state and also for being the most educated state in the country. So, what the matriarchal society has taught me is respect for women and education, which is now automatic. So, I think that's what it's given me.

Q- What is one activity or dish from the Asian side of your culture that you think everybody should try?
A-    It's a staple of every Indian restaurant is Butter Chicken and Naan. The irony is that butter chicken was invented in England, but brought to India. It’s nice I think everybody should try it because it’s got a nice tomato-based sauce with a lot of butter in it.

Q- What does Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?
A-    What it means to me is that people can get to know different cultures, people, and countries. All these people have many stories and cultural backgrounds, which not too many people know. I think that helps people understand or get to know other people who are not from the United States. Also, if you like traveling, then you could go to these spaces where you've never been before. And I like that part of it as well.

Q- What are some interesting hobbies/talents that most people do not know about?
A-    I've been to about 69 countries in the world. I've traveled a lot and I've traveled to about 89 wineries in the world, including some in South America, Europe, Napa, and even China. I’ve seen all of the continents except Antarctica.

Another talent is that when I was a teenager, I was a champion table tennis player in school, which was in Mumbai with 20 million people. I played table tennis like an amateur rather than a professional.

Thank you for taking the time to read about Rohit Nambiar. He is a unique individual who brings a lot of talent to the Potawatomi Casino Hotel and his staff. We honor his heritage today and every day. If you want to have a chance to enjoy Dream Dance Steakhouse for dinner and experience Rohit’s hospitality, you can make a reservation, here.