Yuma Hashemi, chef patron at the Drunken Butler restaurant in London’s Clerkenwell, has launched Persian Sundays – a new menu inspired by his childhood food experiences.
Hashemi will serve diners his interpretation of the classic dishes typically eaten in Persian homes that have influenced his style of cookery throughout his career.
These include a number of Persian mainstays such as kashk e bademjoon, comprising of sun dried yoghurt that slowly ferments to create a sour unique umami flavour, served with smoked aubergine roasted walnuts and flatbread, and ghorme sabzi, an aromatic slow-cooked stew of herbs and greens, lamb, dried limes and kidney beans.
Another quintessential element of Persian dining is saffron-infused steamed basmati rice, cooked slowly to form a crust at the bottom of the pan called tahdig, which is a universally popular part of the meal in every Persian home.
Hashemi learned the art of traditional Persian cookery as a child from his mother and grandmother during summers spent in Iran.
He honed his cooking skills in Berlin, Sweden, Portugal and France before opening the Drunken Butler last year, where he serves a menu of refined French cuisine with Persian influences.
Hashemi said: “As a child I loved spending hours sitting in front of a pile of broad beans and herbs to clean for the next day’s dinner. I would enjoy getting involved in the preparation process for every mehmuni. I get that same buzz now.
“The list of Persian recipes is endless and every Persian cooks them differently, including me, and I’ve always admired my mother and grandmother’s passion to prepare so many dishes for family and friends to share and enjoy together.
“We have spent some time developing our Persian Sunday’s to ensure that it excites and engages our diners in a way that really works. I’m really pleased to be able to formally launch it now.
“It’s important to me that people feel at home. That is what Persian cookery is all about. I am looking forward to welcoming guests into my restaurant and cannot wait to cook for them.”