In 2007, he published a cookbook with Harper Collins, Mantra: The Rules of Indulgence. In 2009, he was the runner up in the Next Iron Chef competition show. In 2012, he participated in Food Network’s Next Iron Chef Redemption and he has also been a guest on Martha Stewart Living.
Right now, you can’t enjoy a special culinary experience at his restaurants, because of COVID-19, but he plans to open back up at 25 percent capacity in October. In the meantime, Chef Jehangir has created uniquely delicious recipes using our farm-fresh ingredients that you can make at home:
Persian Potato Eggs
Tomato Bell Pepper Rice
Sesame Cilantro Chili Eggplant
So, why did he agree to do this? Here’s what he had to say.
“The Chef’s Garden produce is so fantastic,” Jehangir says, “so amazing that you can even smell the difference. Picture walking down a vegetable aisle in a grocery store and there is virtually no smell. Open a box of The Chef’s Garden vegetables and you can breathe in the earthy scent. It’s like vegetable perfume.”
You know what else is sweet? According to Jehangir, Farmer Lee Jones—and Jamie Simpson of the Culinary Vegetable Institute. “The whole time you’re at the farm with them, you’re surrounded by a feeling of kindness and a sense of Zen.”
Lee, in return, is grateful for all that Jehangir has contributed to the farm and Culinary Vegetable Institute—and to their friendship. “Food is the common denominator that brought us together,” Lee says, “and then, as we both have gone through some challenging times, that has made the friendship even more solid.”
Lee greatly appreciates Jehangir’s delicious recipe contributions to the blog. “Before COVID,” he shares, “more than 50 percent of meals weren’t eaten at home. But, at least for now, we’re back to 1950s numbers. So, people are looking for new ways to keep their food exciting and to stay entertained at home—and Jehangir’s recipes provide a unique take on food, while still being ones that people can make at home.”
He also notes how “Jehangir is such a deep thinker that even a conversation about a recipe with him goes way deeper than which ingredients to use or what techniques. In fact, although food fulfills a crucial physical need, it also plays a huge role in our lives, emotionally and socially, and Jehangir really gets that. He obviously recognizes, for example, that an artichoke it beautiful, but you need to peel it back to see the heart—but then he applies what he intuitively knows about food to life in general.”
Going Back in Time: Roots 2018
This was a very hard year for Jehangir, one in which his father died, his mother had a bad fall, and his wife was diagnosed with a serious disease. “Then,” he adds, “my sister died, as well. When I lost my sister, I lost my soul mate. I was grieving then and I’m still grieving now.”
Jehangir seriously considered canceling his participation on Roots panels that year, held at the Culinary Vegetable Institute, but then he remembered the sense of peace he’d gotten while participating at a previous Roots conference. “And, when I arrived and talked to Lee, his willingness to let me be open about my grief only deepened our personal connection.”
Had you listened to Jehangir share his points of view that year as part of panel discussions, you never would have known that he was struggling with grief. He was professional, insightful, even humorous. This may be one of life’s paradoxes. By being open about his grief, he was able to keep moving forward.
If you weren’t able to attend that conference, here is one of the panels he was on during Roots 2018: Food as Medicine: Healing Yourself.
(And, if you think that his outfit looks remarkably like one of Farmer Lee’s, that’s because it is. Jehangir asked to borrow one and then he hid in what looked like a big box of vegetables, setting on the stage where panelists sat. When the box was opened, Jehangir sprung up to surprise and delight attendees.)
After Roots 2018 was over, it was clear to Jehangir that he’d made the right decision about going to the conference. “Lee and Jamie, the entire farm team, they are such genuine people,” Jehangir says, “truly as sweet as the vegetables they grow and prepare. They welcome everyone to their place, not because of who those people are or what they can do for them, but because that’s just who they are, as human beings.”
Farm-Fresh Vegetables for Jehangir’s Recipes
You can order our Best of the Season vegetable box here.