I had the pleasure of attending an all Iranian gourmet celebration catered by Iranian 
Artist Samiramis Houshmand 

Samiramis completely at ease in the kitchen

Samiramis is a soft spoken woman with a magnetic personality; she was surrounded at the party by close to fifteen guests with questions about ingredients and specifics about the several dishes she brought.

She was in her element, unable to contain her engaging smile and personality.


I am Vegan these days and to my surprise she brought a delicious Vegan choice I had to mention here. 

My Vegan lifestyle is just getting started and I have become aware of a strong trend that supports the plant based lifestyle. 

When asked about her Vegan choice Samiramis became passionate about not only ingredients but about Iran and her family connection to the food; it was pleasant listening to her. I could not retain the information so I asked her to send me a few notes:

'NAME: Nazkhatun (the vegan version) a local dish specific to northern region of Iran, the province of Gilan.

INGREDIENTS: spinach, Italian parsley, cilantro, (I added basil and rosemary as well), eggplants, garlic, and tomatoes, lime or lemon juice.

SUGGESTED COOKING OIL: Olive oil/grape-seed oil/coconut oil (I prefer grape seed oil);

typically made with red meat as the main ingredient which I like to substitute with potatoes.

Served with basmati white rice.

My connection to this stew goes back to the days growing up in Iran, especially during summer and spring when my mom would prepare this dish often'

I told Samiramis she was going to be famous and laughing she said 'what I really like to be famous is for my line of fashion design and/or my paintings'; spoken like a true artist! I had then to ask her for photos of her art I wanted to include here.

When I received the images all I could think was 'Samiramis paints with the same intensity and  ease as she does her food';

Her art is very personal and has an atmospheric quality,  it is soothing and easy to contemplate; pastel colors and a combination of realist passages set in the midst of surreal landscapes.  There is a strong sensual quality to her work very much reminiscent of her personality.

You can see her work at 


These are some of the images she sent