Join me for Tea and Conversation: Persian Culinary Traditions for Nowruz

Date: Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 6 – 7 pm EST, 3 -4 pm Pacific Time

Nowruz, the Persian New Year, marks the arrival of spring across large parts of the Middle East and Central Asia. Feasts that accompany Nowruz are central to the celebration.

Join Omid Roustaei, a Seattle-based Persian chef, to learn about special dishes associated with the holiday as well as the richness, subtleness, and playfulness of Persian cuisine and to hear stories from his childhood in Tehran. The conversation is moderated by Freer and Sackler curator Simon Rettig.

Omid Roustaei is an Iranian American psychotherapist and culinary instructor who is passionate about sharing Persian culture and traditions through food and storytelling. He attended the School of Natural Cookery in Boulder, Colorado, where he studied the art of intuitive cooking. His current mission is to spread awareness of Persian culture and cuisine, which he does by writing his blog, The Caspian Chef (; by teaching online cooking classes; and through his work with the nonprofit organization Seattle-Isfahan Sister City Advocacy.

Simon Rettig is assistant curator of Islamic art at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art. He previously worked at the French Research Institute in Istanbul and the Freie Üniversität in Berlin. He joined the Freer and Sackler in 2012. Since then, he has curated and cocurated the exhibitions The Prince and the Shah: Royal Portraits from Qajar Iran (2018), The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts (2016–17), and Nasta‘liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy (2014–15). His current projects include a monograph on the Freer’s celebrated Khusraw u Shirin.

This program is part of the event series Nowruz: A Persian New Year Celebration and is made possible by the Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Persian Cultural Celebrations Fund.

Register and join the event HERE


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