From my mother’s example, I gained a valuable lesson: cooking for those you love, not only confirms how much you care, but also how important it is to eat tasty, nutritious and healthy servings. Whenever I ask my mother, “What did you do differently this time? It tastes better than ever!” She replies: “Love! That is my secret ingredient”. Seeing my mother everyday in the kitchen preparing meals with her busy schedule, allowed me to appreciate the importance of cooking. It became organic for me to want to do the same. Therefore during my summer breaks, one of my favorite things to do was cook alongside her in the kitchen. To my surprise, whatever I prepared as a youngster, my family was always encouraging me, telling me how much they enjoyed my cooking.
Today, I wonder if this was a tactic to give me confidence in the kitchen. But then again, my brother who is our families food critic and does not shy away from pointing out flaws, would ask me to make him lunch or something special to eat. To this day, he is my number one fan. Once I became a little more confident in my skills in the kitchen, I would prepare meals for friends. All the positive endorsements gave me confidence to try out new recipes, flavors, and styles of cooking.
I'm blessed my family is not fastidious in trying flavors from all over the world. Since my mother’s Persian cooking is spectacular (not only by my account, but anyone who has had her cooking), it was up to me to sharpen my skills in international cuisine with different ingredients, spices, and recipes.
Living in a multi-cultural city, I've had the fortitude for making friends from all over the world. Their introduction of restaurants, flavors and recipes unknown to me, sparked my interest with international cuisine. Once I completed my graduate degree and had the opportunity to travel the world, I was fascinated with cooking techniques and flavors unique to the countries I visited. My deep appreciation of diverse cultures, their distinctive culinary styles and ingredients, has helped to broaden my palate and recipe collection. Some of which I will gladly share with you on our Savorychicks blog.
How would you best describe your style of cooking/eating?
The four "F's": Fusion, Flavorful, Fresh, Fun
What's the life lesson so far?
Love makes everything better
What section of the grocery store do you most look forward to shopping?
International Sections with selections from all over the world
Three foods you could easily live without?
Eggplants, horseradish, olives/capers (OK, so I snuck in four)
Three foods you could never live without?
Even though a majority of my recipes are healthy and I gravitate towards healthy choices, anyone who knows me knows this: butter, bacon, and French fries!
Which chef would you most like to cook with?
Anthony Bourdain: I love his style of cooking which has gravitate more from refined towards rustic, but also because he really enjoys Vietnamese and Thai food. Let's face it, he is also the most sincere, poetic, rock 'n roll, bad a** chef who is also extremely easy on the eyes!
If you could plan the perfect Birthday Dinner for yourself, what would it be?
Dinner would be served during sunset when the light is perfect and it appears as if the earth stands still for a moment as it holds it's breath to say goodbye to the sun and welcome the moon; My closest family and friends would all be in attendance; Our table would be in the middle of a courtyard filled with vintage string lights and candles to illuminate surrounding silver birch trees and roses; We would all sit at the most beautifully decorated table with fine dinning set, candles, flowers; The smell of tubular roses, night jasmine, peonies, sweet peas, and daises would fill the air; Champagne galore; I would serve the most indulgent, decadent, mouth watering short ribs with gratin, Tahcheen with lamb, arugula with heirloom tomatoes and pancetta pizzette, grilled peaches with grapefruit salad, large platter of french fries twice fried in duck fat along with candied, bourbon, maple bacon. As if that wasn't enough, for my birthday cake either a Red Velvet cake with cream cheese frosting or German Chocolate Cake. Notice how I humbly digressed?
If on a stranded island, and you had one choice, which would it be? Steak and potatoes? Cheesecake and berries? A hot shower and then a walk on the beach with your favorite model/ actor?
Kobe beef, medium rare, with purple potatoes prepared by Anthony Bourdain ( I don't believe in magic! Was I suppose to believe my meal would fall from the sky?) so we can just relax and talk about food, travel, philosophy, politics, religion, life and death.
Which food, fruit, or vegetable best describes you/your personality?
Kobe beef - I like to be messaged, drink beer, rest all day...and I am not cheap
What dish do you most look forward to each season?
Autumn- Thanksgiving Dinner I prepare for my family and friends
Winter- Fesenjoon/ Fesenjan
Spring- Risotto with saffron and lobster
Summer- Grilled anything! Burger, ribs, steak, fish, shrimp, chicken with all the fun sides such as grilled corn and avocado salad, zucchini, and peaches