This blog is a little window into the Golestan Kitchen. Amidst the bustle of our daily kitchen duties, I will try to keep this page updated with recipes and pictures. But first, I suppose I should introduce myself and how my life path has led me to my current role of Golestan Chef.
To be honest, I don’t really like to use the word “chef” to describe myself. I am not professionally trained as a chef. I just love to prepare and share food. The only “chefy” role I feel like I can live up to is a pastry cook, as that is where I have spent the most of my culinary career and where I have received the majority of my informal training.
I began baking in professional kitchens when I was 13-year-old, when I begged a pastry chef to allow me to work for her for free after school. This changed my life in a profound way. This tiny farm-to-table restaurant introduced me to the concept of simple food: buying quality ingredients and cooking them with respect. Through the back door near our pastry station, farmers would drop by still dewy strawberries and vintners would bring their dustiest wines for us to try. My love of food deepened into an appreciation for food communities and how nature, people, and businesses can all work symbiotically to keep a community nourished.
This appreciation of food communities has led me on a twisted and fruitful path to Golestan. Along the way I have earned a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, made baguettes for a Vietnamese sandwich stand, taught nutrition education in public schools, was a butcher’s assistant, a private chef, a starlight 4am in the morning shift croissant baker and more…
Like I said, the path has been twisted! But I am so grateful to where it has led me. If I have learned anything so far, it’s that there are no black and white answers to questions of how to cook, shop, or eat. However, there are some values I believe in and try to emulate through my life and my food:
- JOY for the amazing people and plants I interact with everyday
- COMMUNITY that is lifted up by empathy and accountability
- CARE for the planet and people by supporting socially responsible companies and avoiding food waste
- INTEGRITY to live my values on a daily basis
Golestan allows me to keep these values at the heart of my daily routine. The food pedagogy of Golestan is an ideal model for any school community looking to nourish their children, the planet, and one another. I am grateful that I am able to be a part. I wake up everyday excited to interact with the vibrant produce, your wonderful children, and the food community that keeps my heart and my kitchen plentiful.