I still remember my first sleepover—an evening of movies, laughter, and of course, not much sleeping. When we woke in the morning and groggily made our way into the kitchen for breakfast, I took one breath and instantly panicked. I had requested pancakes for my friends, but in its place was the traditional Persian breakfast: Sirab. As a bi-cultural 9-year-old, I thought Sirab was quite delicious; but I had serious doubts my friends would welcome a selection of tripe, cow tongue, chickpeas, and boiled potato in a rich saffron broth.

My exposure to such ‘adventurous’ flavors at an early age ultimately led me to cooking professionally for several years. I enjoyed kitchen work, composing dishes, balancing flavors, and using the plate as a canvas—all the while not realizing that this was just another form of design.

At heart, I am an articulator, an instigator of experiences, and a believer in the creative process. I have channeled all those impulses and inspiration that once went into the culinary arts into the endless challenge of solving problems through design and art direction.

Ultimately, it’s not about who I am as a person, but about what we can do together.