Meet Nasrin Rejali - Chef owner of Nasrin’s Kitchen in NYC

Updated: Feb 1

By Lizette Kodama - special contributor

Photo courtesy by Nasrin Rejali

Growing up in Iran, Nasrin learned secret recipes and cooking skills from her grandmother. In 2014, she had to leave Iran with her three children. They first immigrated to Turkey, where they stayed for two years; in the fall of 2016, they made their journey to NYC and started over. Since her participation in the NY edition of the Refugee Food Festival, organized by the U.N. Refugee Agency and a French nonprofit called Food Sweet Food, Nasrin has been on a path to connect with people through her food, building her brand for her 5-month old Nasrin’s Kitchen, and sending a message to other refugees like her who migrate to the U.S., that they too can achieve their dreams.

Welcome, Nasrin to Chefs for Impact!

By Nasrin Rejali as told to Chefs for Impact

Who would you say is your biggest influence on your cooking? And, what was your one defining moment when you knew you wanted to cook professionally?

“My grandmother. In Iran, the children are always looking to their mother or grandmother to learn everything from. I lived with my grandmother and she taught me everything. My defining moment was when I made a stew, ghormeh sabzi, which is really hard to make. A lot of people make it but not perfectly. My aunt and my cousin were visiting us and for the first time, I tried to make it, and they loved my ghormeh sabzi! I was 8 or 9 years old at the time.”