Louisa Shafia is a passionate advocate for Iranian cuisine. She has written extensively on both Iranian food as well as her mixed Jewish and Muslim heritage and its impact on her cooking style. Louisa’s unique take on Persian cooking has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, and on National Public Radio. She has spoken about Iranian food at numerous venues including Harvard, Google, and The Museum Of Food And Drink.
Louisa is the author of two cookbooks: The New Persian Kitchen, winner of Food52’s Piglet award, and Lucid Food: Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life, an International Association of Culinary Professionals award finalist. Louisa cooks Persian guest chef dinners at restaurants around the country, including Zahav in Philadelphia, Maydan in Washington, DC, and Kismet in Los Angeles.
At her online store, Feast, Louisa sells a curated selection of Iranian ingredients, cooking tools, and gifts. The mission of Feast is to showcase Persian cuisine, and operate on a model of sustainability and ethical choices. To that end, the store’s textiles are sewn by graduates of Sew For Hope, a non-profit where refugee women learn sewing and business skills. Feast’s cardamom coffee is sourced from Café Femenino, a collective that provides direct compensation to women coffee farmers. The majority of Feast’s spices are organic, and the product packaging is compostable. Both Feast’s Persian Spice Set and Rice Bonnet – a tool for making delicate Persian rice known as damkoni in Farsi – have been singled out for praise by the New York Times.
Currently a resident of Nashville, TN, Louisa serves as Culinary Liaison for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC), a non-profit that is a model for immigrant rights organizations in the Southeast and throughout the United States. Louisa developed a partnership with TIRRC during the 2017 Muslim Ban crisis when she cooked a series of sold-out Persian dinners to raise funds for TIRRC’s work. Now in addition to cooking, Louisa organizes events throughout the year that feature chefs from Nashville’s diverse immigrant community and many of the city’s leading restaurants.
In addition to her writing on Iranian cuisine, Louisa also writes about the diversity of American food, including such topics as the mother daughter team behind the gourmet Chinese import company the Mala Market, the ice cream artisan Lokelani Alabanza who uses Black history and culture as inspiration for her flavors, and Nashville’s remarkable immigrant food corridor of Nolensville Pike. You can read Louisa’s writing here. Read press about Louisa and her products here.