The spice trail
From Parisian pâtisseries to aromatic bazaars of Iran, chef Ariana Bundy’s quest for good food continues
Michelin stars aren’t quite enough to impress Ariana Bundy. Despite her presence in many international travel and food shows including BBC’s Good Food Live, this celebrity chef prefers to try out the family recipes handed down from generations to fancy meals at gourmet restaurants. Set in a strictly down-to-earth backdrop, her latest travelogue Ariana’s
Iran (nominated for global Gourmand Awards 2016) explores the country’s traditional markets and flavorsome recipes through the eyes of its saffron pickers and pomegranate farmers.
While the Cordon Bleu alumna is excited about the show, she feels that there haven’t been many shows that present Iran to a foreign audience in the right light. Having
single-handedly managed the direction and scripting while hosting of the show, this 45-year-old chef defines her work as as ‘labor of love’ that seeks to unravel the intricate details of Iranian
culture and geographical diversity to an international audience. Filmed over a span of two years, she will be seen cooking alongside her family in this candid show. “The real star was my son Dara, who was four at the time. We made an ice cream dessert together— his absolute favourite — and he was so focussed on getting to eat it that we were able to do the whole scene in one take!” begins Bundy. As for the favourite Iranian dish, she doesn’t have to think twice, “Nothing beats a sandwich made of Iranian saffron, rosewater and pistachio ice cream between two crisp biscuit wafers,” says the former head pastry chef for the Mondrian Hotel (Los Angeles) adding that what intrigues her the most about Iran’s food culture is the independent streak of innovation that each Iranian woman brings into the age-old recipes.
Growing up in Beverly Hills, Bundy spent most of her time at her dad’s French restaurant which fueled her passion for food. Being well-versed in both Parisian and Persian recipes, she rose to fame with her culinary memoir Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes — which won the Gourmand Cookbook Awards in 2012— and Sweet Alternative (2005), one of the first cookbooks on gluten, dairy and soy-free desserts. Her fans have much to look forward to as she does have a number of projects coming up later this year, including a book to accompany the show.
4.30 pm on Fox life
— Arya P Dinesh