NEW YORK, NY :: THE NEW PERSIAN COOKBOOK // louisa shafia, persian expert, ngi grad

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Three months ago, I was assigned to a group for my Friday Night Dinner which is happening this Friday on May 3rd, 2013.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Friday Night Dinner is a mandatory requirement in order to graduate from the Chef Training Program for all Natural Gourmet Insitute Students.

A majority of the dinners are prepared by the students which involves menu planning, recipe development, recipe testing, costing, event planning- it’s the real deal.

So every Friday night the NGI kitchens & classrooms are transformed into candlelit dining rooms; 100 guests receive a 3 Course Vegan Meal for a $40.00 pre-fixe menu (including tax & tip) and each meal is completely unique.

  • Fresh, seasonal market produce.
  • Highest quality organic beans & grains
  • Natural sweeteners
  • Whole, unprocessed foods
  • Nutritionally well balanced menus

CHOOSING A THEME: For my teams Friday Night Dinner (FND), we decided to create a Persian Menu; and out of all the countries I’ve traveled to, I have not been to Persia or anywhere close to that radius (which is exactly why I was excited to take on this challenge)!

RESEARCHING THEME: Unfamiliar with the food as well as the culture, I contacted Louisa Shafia, author of The New Persian Kitchen Cookbook to get a “local” understanding of Persian Cuisine. During our meeting, Louisa brought a copy of her unpublished cookbook, The New Persian Kitchen (which just hit stores two weeks ago)! As I flipped through all of the beautiful pictures and easy to follow recipes, I got SO excited to create a menu revolving around fresh herbs, whole grains and all of the local spring time fruits and vegetables!

RECIPE DEVELOPMENT: After meeting with Louisa, my team and I tested a handful of recipes from various Persian cookbooks over the last three months! We are 48 hours away from our meal and we’re are thrilled with our menu! Stay tuned to see if our menu is a good reflection of Persian Cuisine!


Special thanks to Louisa for taking the time out of her schedule to share her expertise in Persian cuisine! I highly recommend picking up a copy of her book– not only is she one of the leading ladies in health supportive food, but her recipes are delicious and simple! Natural Gourmet Tested, LML APPROVED!

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