Hafez Restaurant, established in 1983, is one of London’s first and most authentic Persian Restaurants. Their cuisine is a fusion of ancient Persian and Modern Iranian techniques. Head chef, Farshid Ziafat, has been at the heart of the restaurant for 25 years; his passion for great food is the key to Hafez’s long standing reputation for quality and excellence.
Farshid has 40 years experience in an ancient and influential cuisine. From the age of sixteen he developed his specialist skills working with Head Chef Nassar Sharif at the ‘Royal Tehran’ restaurant in Old Pahlavi street, central Tehran, Iran.
We caught up with Farshid this week for a few quick questions…
Which is the last restaurant you visited and what were your thoughts?
The River House in Windsor Berkshire. A local Restaurant-Great setting over looking the Thames in Windsor, excellent service and wonderful food.
Which is your favourite London restaurant?
I work in London so usually go out to eat locally with my family.
What is the most important attribute for a chef to have working in your kitchen?
He /she would have to be a perfectionist by nature but calm under pressure.
If you had to give one piece of advice to give an up and coming chef, what would it be?
Always listen to feedback from your customers. They are the most precious part of your business.
What is the most difficult part of your job?
The unsociable hours and the lack of time with my family.
What would you choose for your last meal?
Without a doubt a charcoal barbecue at home with my family but it would have to include my lamb chops. Looks like I’d have to cook my own last meal!
How challenging is it running a restaurant in London?
Very challenging- the diversity of choices available in London makes the restaurant business very competitive. You have to stand out.
What is your favourite ingredient to work with?
Saffron-I love its beauty-the colour, the aroma, the flavour -which is so recognisable without being overpowering. It really is the Queen of spices – What would Persian cuisine be without saffron?
What is your signature dish of the moment?
Keresht-e-Fesenjan- Tender chicken pieces slow cooked in a sweet and sour puree sauce of pomegranate and ground walnuts served with steamed saffron rice. An authentic Persian dish.
Interview posted by Mise En Place Hospitality RecruitmentShare