I was born on the silk road in Tabriz in apricot and rosewater apple season. Tabriz is in the Azerbaijan region of Iran in the north west of the country. We Azeri’s have our own language, art and food. My family moved to Anglesey when my parents came to study. At the time, we had to travel to London or Birmingham to buy exotic ingredients like basmati rice, feta cheese and herbs! On our return to Iran in the 80s, our friends and family were treated to the exotica of British puddings, cakes, chutneys, pies and roasts. Now these dishes are a regular feature in our gatherings and celebrations. This is the beauty of food: to my mind, it is the best souvenir from our travels, and a great way to learn about the history, terrain and culture of a people. I’m lucky to feel at home both in the UK and Iran and travel to my mother’s house in Tabriz regularly. On these visits mum and I go on foodie adventures to research recipes and ingredients.
As children we were encouraged to play then when we got a bit older to study. I came to cooking in my 30s when I’d completed my Phd. I have been gardening, baking and preserving since moving to back to Bath in 2009. Where possible I use the herbs, fruit and vegetables I grow, pick or forage in my classes, cakes and preserves. I enjoy and cook food from all over the world but I’m best known for Persian Azeri food.