Return Visit with Nasim Alikhani of Sofreh - Illuminating a Shared Humanity
One Woman Kitchen
We revisit this episode of One Woman Kitchen as an homage to Nasim Alikhani, the chef and owner of the acclaimed Persian restaurant Sofreh, in Brooklyn. Nasim recently returns from Tehran visiting family and friends, says she has never seen her people in such despair, that these were truly the darkest of times. Nasim, who has lived through the revolution, the war between Iran and Iraq, the cultural revolution, and so much more, reminds us in this beautiful and poignant story that one woman's journey can illuminate a shared humanity. In this episode, originally aired May 29, 2019, Nasim connects us to happier times, and the beauty of Iran's culture through its food ways. Thank you, Nasim, for sharing your story then -- and now.This might sound like a movie pitch:A young woman leaves Iran after a revolution, comes to America to start a new life, becomes a mother, who was always cooking and more than 35 years later—with no professional training and against all odds, opens an acclaimed restaurant in New York at age 59, becoming the driver of a trendy new cuisine in Manhattan.For now, it’s not a movie. It’s the life of Nasim Alikhani, founder of Sofreh. Nasim joins Chef Rozanne Gold.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nasim Alikhani of Sofreh - A Sense for Persian Authenticity
One Woman Kitchen
This might sound like a movie pitch:A young woman leaves Iran after a revolution, comes to America to start a new life, becomes a mother, who was always cooking and more than 35 years later—with no professional training and against all odds, opens an acclaimed restaurant in New York at age 59, becoming the driver of a trendy new cuisine in Manhattan.For now, it’s not a movie. It’s the life of Nasim Alikhani, founder of Sofreh. Nasim joins Chef Rozanne Gold in the MouthMedia Network studio.In this episode:How from the minute it opened , her restaurant has has been pretty much impossible to get intoHow its popularity is as much a product of Nasim's particular brand of hospitality as of the delicious foodThe importance placed on entertaining guests in IranHow Nasim almost didn’t make it through to to the restaurant’s opening dayHer strong vision of every aspect of the restaurant and why it makes the guests feel transportedHow Nasim's deep spirituality has permeated her businessThe way a touching poem from her father has meant everythingThe importance off Nasim's acute sense of smellTypical Iranian food, always tea, eating a lotWhy Nasim didn’t want restaurant to look like a typical one Why an open kitchen, and bright, inviting atmosphere, smellsAn extension of home and partiesA lot of care and time in these dishesThe difference her solid prep team makesTiming. And rhythm, a prepaid serviceThe challenges of opening her first restaurant age of 59Always preparing for a restaurant in her mindBarberriesThe value of a beautifully well done rice as a satisfying mealThe risk of starting down the restaurant journey or carrying the burden of not following throughIranian vs. American women in food, and in generalThe legacy of tiny meatballsGiving everything you canSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
When Nasim Alikhani opened Sofreh, an Iranian restaurant in Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights, she was 59 years old. She was an experienced home cook but had never worked in a restaurant in her life. We sit down to talk about some of the biggest surprises along the way and most important things she learned about keeping herself sane and keeping the restaurant steady. And, we talk about the subtle changes she and her chefs have made to a whole suite of classic homey Iranian dishes to make them restaurant-ready.Later on in this episode, Matt has a conversation with Diana Kuan, the author of Red Hot Kitchen. Her latest book dives into the world of classic chile sauces from across Asia. She and Matt talk about what makes a good XO sauce, why yuzu kosho tastes surprisingly great on tacos, and why some sauces are so much better when they’re homemade.
Iranian Dishes That Bring Memories to Life: Nasim Alikhani
For Nasim Alikhani, co-owner of the Iranian restaurant Sofreh in Brooklyn, cooking both allows the world outside to disappear, and to make lost worlds re-appear. It is the thread that ties together her childhood in pre-Revolution Iran, her 20s in New York when she was a student and nanny trying to make ends meet, and now her life as a restaurateur. On this uplifting episode of Speaking Broadly, Alikhani describes her gratitude for early hardship and later happiness, how optimism grows with experience, and how she thinks about the lifespan of a passion project. Want to stay up to date on the latest Speaking Broadly episodes? To hear more conversations with Dana Cowin and her accomplished yet accessible guests, subscribe to Speaking Broadly (it’s free!) on iTunes or Stitcher. If you like what you hear, please take a moment to rate + review us on Apple’s podcast store and follow Dana on Instagram @speakingbroadly and @fwscout. Thanks for tuning in!" Speaking Broadly is powered by Simplecast.
Nasim Alikhani, Chef at Sofreh: “I’m always cooking something in my head.”
Sounds Like Portraits
I met Chef Nasim in an apartment above her restaurant. One of the first things she said was that everyday, she starts by a ritual: she lights a tiny candle in a meditative mood, to center herself and to thank the universe. Then, she begins to cook at her Persian cuisine restaurant to offer a very unique experience of hospitality.