Brookhaven foodies share new recipes – Advice Eating

NICOLE SGROI

When it comes to the culinary realm, Andy Baraghani has spent many years of his life honing his craft and fully immersing himself in the world of cuisine. From preparing onions and making broths to getting behind the line at some of New York City’s best restaurants, Baraghani has done it all. Now, Baraghani shares his love of food and the techniques he’s acquired throughout his career with home cooks around the world in his cookbook, The Cook You Want to Be, out May 24.

Taking the time to keep up with his 300,000+ Instagram followers and traveling back and forth between his New York City residence and his cozy home in Brookhaven, Baraghani still makes time to experiment in the kitchen . Raised in an Iranian household in the East Bay region of California, Baraghani’s love of food began at a young age. In the late 70’s both parents left Iran for the United States, making Baraghani the first generation. Iranian culture played a big role in shaping his childhood and he grew up eating Iranian cuisine for most of his youth.

As for his passion for cooking, Baraghani first developed a deep love for actually eating food and it wasn’t until around the age of 10 that he developed a new love for the creative process of cooking. He started with small experiments in the kitchen and let his imagination run wild.

A few years later, Baraghani became more interested in restaurants and became acquainted with many different cuisines from around the world, expanding his mainly Iranian palate. Already at the age of 16, Baraghani wanted to gain professional experience in the industry and landed his first internship at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. He worked his way up from intern to line chef and, with this experience, laid the foundation for becoming a chef as a profession.

While studying at NYU, Baraghani continued to develop as a chef, working his way up at various restaurants across the city. At some point an internship at his favorite food magazine at the time, saveroffered him the opportunity to switch from working in restaurants to work in test kitchens and into the field of food media.

After graduating, Baraghani worked at Estela restaurant in downtown New York for a year before being hired to work at a “first digital food media publication.” tasting table, for almost two years. The bold choices he made in publishing caught the attention of the national food magazine Good Appetite, where he was senior food editor for six years. He left the publication a year ago to have time to finish his debut cookbook, which will be published later this month. Did I mention he did all this without ever going to culinary school?

Baraghani spoke about how a while ago he was asked to write a book, years before he even wanted to write a cookbook but felt he wasn’t ready. “It just didn’t feel like the right time. I felt like I had a lot of work ahead of me and a lot of things I needed to learn about myself as a chef and as a writer,” Baraghani said.

After spending three years creating his cookbook from start to finish, Baraghani is ready and excited to share his masterpiece with the world. The Cook You Want to Be encompasses his Iranian culture and the lessons he has learned throughout his life working in two different food sectors, restaurants and media.

“I know a lot of people in the food world, and they’re either very heavily involved in the restaurant space or in the media space,” Baraghani said. “You really don’t see people going from one to the next. I made that switch and it allowed me to take a trajectory that I hadn’t really planned.”

The pages of his book are filled with various recipes, photos, ingredients, techniques and essays about his childhood, travels, dining experiences and more that show his more personal side. By sharing his lessons, Baraghani hopes “the home chef will take them and really apply them to their own cooking so they can discover the chef they want to be.”

Baraghani began developing recipes for his cookbook in 2020. While some might think being confined to your home during a pandemic must be great for productivity, for Baraghani it was quite the opposite. “My inspiration when it comes to the kitchen goes beyond the kitchen. It takes inspiration from my experiences of dining out, living in New York and my travels, and those are the things that inspire me in the recipes I create,” Baraghani said.

Baraghani has been in the food media space for so long and has been able to study many cookbooks, observing the trends that come and go and seen recipes written in many different ways. Baraghani recognizes how recipes serve as a “template” for the chef to bring ingredients together to produce something delicious, and he hopes his own will serve the same purpose.

“My goal in writing these recipes is not only that, but to really make the reader feel like I’m right where I’m encouraging them, where it’s not necessarily stiff and robotic, but rather I’m holding their right hand during the.” entire process,” said Baraghani. “I really had a goal in developing recipes that were very doable, to the point that if I can make it in my tiny kitchen, anyone should.”

What’s next for Baraghani? He will embark on a two-month book tour consisting of book signings, parties, restaurant pop-ups, collaborations with other brands and more. Don’t worry, a Long Island stop for his book tour is a “must do and non-negotiable.” He also hopes to work on another book in the future.

Hardcover and autographed copies of The Cook You Want to Be can be pre-ordered at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/ and can also be found wherever all books are sold on May 24th.

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