She has cooked for celebrities such as Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, President Clinton, Brad Pitt and Madonna to name a few so what a pleasure it is to include Ariana Bundy as one of the members of our judging panel for the Golden Toque Middle East chefs’ competition. This truly is the first competition in the Middle East ‘run by chefs for chefs’ and Ariana has trained and worked with the best.
Her skills were honed at Le Cordon Bleu and Le Notre in Paris, and she also trained at Fauchon Patisserie preparing her for her eventual role as Head Pastry Chef at the acclaimed Mondrian hotel in Los Angeles. Motivated by her and her families intolerances she wrote the very first gluten-, dairy- and soy-free cook book by the name of ‘Sweet Alternative’ (Conran-Octopus UK). Her latest cookbook was another passionate project: recipes and stories from her heritage.
‘Pomegranates and Roses: my Persian family recipes’ (Simon & Schuster UK) is part recipe book and part culinary memoir, drawing on her family traditions and recipes in Persia. Her grandparents were merchants and landowners in Iran who grew cherries, plums, apricots, apples, sugar beet, wheat and barley, bred sheep and goats for dairy, and had beautiful vineyards producing prized grapes. Her father owned the first fine-dining French restaurant in Iran and later in Beverly Hills. In this book, she captures the exotic and sensual pleasures of Persian cuisine, celebrates traditional values and brings her skills as a chef to recreating classic Persian recipes authentically, but in a way that fits with modern life.
Author and renowned cook Madhur Jaffrey has been enthusiastic with praise of Pomegranates & Roses, ‘Each recipe is an inspiration to the palate and written with such easy directions that you might want to rush headlong into the kitchen.’ And the Grande Dame of cookery books Josceline Dimbleby says of Pomegranates & Roses, ‘A truly magical book, evocatively written. The most mouthwatering recipes imaginable are even more alluring because they are linked to family traditions and stories – my mouth waters and my spirit soars on every page.’
Ariana has appeared on TV shows such as the BBC’s Good Food Live, Sky’s Taste and Top Billing. She now lives between Paris and Dubai with her husband Paul and their son Dara.
The Golden Toque Middle East 2012 judges panel will be headed by Michael Kitts as Salon Director; he is the well-respected Director of Culinary Arts at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management and winner of this year’s People’s Choice Award at the Craft Guild of Chefs Awards. With a whole host of prizes including a kitchen supplied by Teka and a trip to dine at Peter Knogl’s legendary Trois Rois in Switzerland, the Golden Toque Middle East is building to be the most exciting chef’s competition in the region. More details of how to enter here.
Ariana joins a prestigious panel of judges for the Golden Toque Middle East chef’s competition. Michael Kitts is Salon Director, ably assisted by Helen Morris as Deputy Salon Director. Other judges are Ariana Bundy, Claire Clark, Suzanne Husseini John King Gabriele Kurz and Paul Bates.