Chefs Without Borders

Each year, Seattle-Isfahan Sister City Advocacy (SISCA) organizes Chefs Without Borders: Tasting Isfahan and Tasting Seattle. This bilateral event features two dinners on opposite sides of the world that share and celebrate the emblematic cuisine of each other’s city. The goal is to create better awareness of, appreciation for, and connection between cultures through the common language of food.

This year’s dinner in Iran was held on August 28 at the Cheraghan Restaurant in Tehran, and featured Pacific Northwest recipes created by The Carlile Room Executive Chef Dezi Bonow. A “homegrown” Seattle chef, Chef Dezi was born and raised one block away from the Fremont Bridge, and began working in the culinary world while still in high school. Persian cuisine holds a special place in his home and his heart because his wife, Leyla, is Iranian-American.

The Persian recipes for the Seattle dinner On November 15 were curated by Chef Najmieh Batmanglij, Iranian-American cookbook author, and Chef Abbas Moradi of the Cheraghan Restaurant in Tehran. In my role as SISCA Board Member, I was honored to help with translation and conversion of the recipes, and to introduce the principles of Persian food at the dinner itself. The Seattle menu was:

Beef Kebab Wrapped in Eggplant
Butternut Squash and Kashk Spread
Green Herb Platter
Spicy Sweet and Sour Salmon Rice Bowl
Split Pea Stew Over Rice
Gem Lettuce With Herbs
Paradise Custard
Isfahani Nougat
Najmieh’s Tea

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