Culinary Oveytians, A Contemporary Persian Cuisine, By Chef Seb
A Contemporary Persian Cuisine
By Chef Seb
Persian cuisine is a cuisine with thousands of years of history but yet unknown on the international culinary scene. In the last thirty years, much of media coverage on Iran has focused on acts of violence, terrorism, and intolerance. This makes it virtually impossible for anyone to admire Iran’s rich and diverse cultural heritage which is easily appreciated in its culinary flavors.
As a proud Persian-American Chef, I believe it’s my responsibility to teach people to view Persian cuisine from a different perspective and realize that our cuisine is not just about kabobs and rice, but rather rich flavors, textures, creativity and innovation. I believe it’s time for someone to step forward and present Persian cuisine in a manner reflective of its unique yet diverse people, full of spirit and pride. I hope that it may finally be recognized as a cuisine worthy of chefs from around the globe to study it.
Growing up in a reserved Persian family, I grew up with variety of regional recipes but was not exposed to western cuisine until my family moved to the United States. I remember wanting to try all these new and exciting foods that I’d never seen, let alone, tasted before. As I grew older I became more exposed to different types of cooking and finally when I opened my restaurant in 2009, it was time! I wanted to implement everything I had learned and tasted into my Persian cooking.
For the past two years, I have worked very hard to show the complexity of Persian cuisine inspired from different regions of Iran: the spices of the Kurdish mountains, the tropical flavors of the Caspian Sea, and the rich aroma of the desert plains- a cuisine that has come out of the melting pot of the Indo Europeans, the Turks, the Kurds, the Afghans, the Jews, the Armenian Christians, the Mediterranean people and perhaps the Eastern Africans. These dishes are comforting and flavorful!
As for my contribution, everything served at Amoo’s is a mixture of experience and experimentation. The wild, sometimes crazy fusion of ingredients is always balanced with my family’s conservative recipes- nothing is overwhelming and yet nothing is lacking.
One bite of our food reflects the spirit of my family, my people, and my culture. Today, I give you, Amoos.