Atoosa was always interested in food, she was never allowed into the kitchen.
“Mum said education was my job and cooking was hers. She loved food. So much love went into it.”
After university Atoosa did computer programming and web design for a year in Iran, then she went to London to learn English.
“And when I returned home, I joined the stock market, but I soon realised it was not for me. SO, I moved into import and export. That was good because it was a man’s world.”
Escaping a bad marriage, Atoosa moved back to London, transferred by her company, and stayed with the company until her British passport came through in 2014.
She’d started cooking when she was at university, recreating her mother’s recipes just by taste.
“My friends loved my food. And when I was in London, I missed my mum’s food, and that was when I asked her for her recipes. I invited people round and gave parties. People didn’t know about Iranian food.”
She wrote the recipe book because she wanted to educate people.
“I wanted to share the food I love, but also show them a different side to Iran. I took photographs of beautiful parts of Iran. It’s such a friendly place. Visitors are treated as superstars.”
Who is Atoosa Sepehr
Date of birth: 1977 in Iran.
Education: Secondary school in Isfahan. University of Tabriz in North West Iran: Software engineering and computers.
Family: Partner, Brian. “He’s Irish.”
In Another Life: “I’m living my dream. For the first time in my life, I feel happy.”
Favourite Cookery Writers: Yotam Ottolenghi; Katie Quinn Davies; Donna Hay.
Second Book: “There will be one. I’m not sure what it will be yet.”
Top Tip: “If you love what you’re doing, and believe in it, just do it, and don’t worry about the outcome.”
Website: www.atoosasepehr.com Twitter: @atoosasepehr
The Debut: From a Persian Kitchen: €29.99 Kindle: €11.11
This is a wonderful introduction to Iran, with stunning photographs of the country. The recipes have distinct flavours of the middle-east, like smoked aubergine and saffron ice cream, but are easy to follow.
The Verdict: This is a dream of a cookery book. Sumptuous, tempting with quite beautiful photography.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 22nd September.
© Sue Leonard. 2018