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How Out Chef Andy Baraghani Seeks to Pique Your Culinary Curiosity

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The Cook You Want to Be: Everyday Recipes to Impress (out this month), is more than a simple cookbook. Baraghani wants you to learn something about cooking — and in the process, the world.To do that, he’s bringing his whole self to the table: the bullied first-generation American gay kid who liked to put everything in his mouth, the experienced chef, the editor known to spend weeks developing recipes in test kitchens, and the inquisitive world traveler.“I really wanted to represent all the different lessons I’ve learned throughout my life as a cook or chef so far.

Lessons I’ve gathered from being a child of Iranian immigrants and those flavors and those dishes to my time working in restaurants in California, in New York, on the line, to my solo travels, to working in test kitchens.”Baraghani’s love affair with food began at home. “Iranian food is so distinct,” he explains, acknowledging that most Americans aren’t familiar with it.

In part he says that’s because the cuisine isn’t easy to whip up. “It’s very labor-intensive,” he says. “There’s…picking herbs and slicing and chopping and hours of prep and then afterward the slow braises and stews and the elaborate rice dishes — they take a long time.”When it came to developing his craft Baraghani jumped right in, forgoing culinary school for hands-on training.

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