A Persian New Year Feast
To calm frayed nerves and get everyone energized before service, chef Mike Solomonov leads everyone in a 5-minute plank pose (here with side variation).
Shafia on the line in Zahav's open kitchen.
Assembling saffron frozen yogurt and cardamom pizzelle sandwiches.
The ceremonial sofreh table with the haftseen—the seven items that begin with the letter "s" in Farsi, symbolizing qualities like beauty, health, and prosperity for the new year.
Explaining to guests about the customs of Norooz, and the meaning of the sofreh table.
The fresh herb platter, a part of every Persian meal, with radishes, walnuts, homemade lavash bread, and feta cheese with spices and olive oil.
Chef Mike Solomonov with a tray of yogurt with beets, seasoned with dried mint, garlic and olive oil.
The mixed vegetable pickle, ubiquitous to any Persian meal, is seasoned with angelica powder, nigella seeds and tarragon.
Guests share stories about visiting Iran, and give Shafia advice about her upcoming trip this spring.
Tahdig, the fried, crunchy rice from the bottom of the pot, is the highlight of any Persian meal.
Persian Gulf-style spicy tamarind fish stew—made here with barramundi—is a specialty of Southern Iran, where hot chiles are an essential part of cooking.
Iconic Persian green herb and kidney bean stew tastes like an herb garden in a pot, amped up by the bittersweet citrus flavor of dried limes.
Lamb kebabs in pomegranate-walnut marinade, a specialty of Gilan province in Northern Iran, on top of sweet rice with carrots and nuts.
Rhubarb and rosewater sorbet and rice noodles—a fruity take on the traditional dessert faloodeh. Here, it's topped with labneh ice cream and pistachios.
An ice cream sandwich, to celebrate a successful dinner.
Shafia celebrating in the kitchen, with co-chef Emily Seaman and chef Mike.