Naz Deravian lays out the multi-hued canvas of a Persian meal, with 100+ recipes adapted to an American home kitchen and interspersed with Naz’s celebrated essays exploring the idea of home.
At eight years old, Naz Deravian left Iran with her family during the height of the 1979 Iranian Revolution and hostage crisis. Over the following ten years, they emigrated from Iran to Rome to Vancouver, carrying with them books of Persian poetry, tiny jars of saffron threads, and, always, the knowledge that home can be found in a simple, perfect pot of rice. As they traverse the world in search of a place to land, Naz’s family finds comfort and familiarity in pots of hearty aash, steaming pomegranate and walnut chicken, and of course, tahdig: the crispy, golden jewels of rice that form a crust at the bottom of the pot. The best part saved for last.
In her debut cookbook, Bottom of the Pot, Naz, now an award-winning writer and passionate home cook based in L.A., opens up to us a world of fragrant rose petals and tart dried limes, music and poetry, and the bittersweet twin pulls of assimilation and nostalgia. In over 100 recipes, Naz introduces us to Persian food made from a global perspective, at home in an American kitchen.
Radio and Podcast
Los Angeles, CA
- Tuesday September 18, 2018 – 7:00pm – Now Serving LA in conversation with Evan Kleiman
New York City, NY
- Friday September 28, 2018 – 7:00pm 92nd Street Y – In conversation with Nilou Motamed, most recently the Editor-in Chief of Food and Wine and the former Editor-in-Chief of Condé Nast’s Epicurious. Tickets available here.
- Saturday September 29, 2018 – 10am -12pm Union Street Greenmarket – Book signing. Come by and say hello!
San Francisco, CA
- Friday October 5, 2018 – NCIBA Trade Show (open to independent book sellers only)
- Saturday October 6, 2018 3-4pm – Omnivore Books in conversation with Cheryl Sternman Rule
- Sunday October 7, 2018 7:30pm –Dinner with Bottom of the Pot x Komaaj. Tickets available here.
- Sunday, October 14 2018 5:30 pm – Dinner with Bottom of the Pot x Komaaj and in conversation with Gail Johnson, food columnist for CBC Radio and the Georgia Straight. At Per Se Social Corner, 891 Homer Street, Vancouver V6B 2W2. Tickets available here.
- Sunday November 18 Time TBD – Tennessee Immigration & Refugee Rights Coalition benefit dinner with Bottom of the Pot x Louisa Shafia. Tickets available soon.
A Few Kind Words
“[A] beautiful and wistful cookbook. Deravian writes with a sure hand, treating chapter and recipe introductions as form of memoir…”
– Mayukh Sen | Bon Appétit
“Deravian’s debut book is a tour de force…the 100-plus recipes she shares…plus the lovely essays, reminiscences, and photographs serve as proof that a magnificent cookbook, like an excellent meal, is so much more than the sum of its parts.”
– Kimberly Y. Masibay | Fine Cooking
“More than a book of recipes, this is an immigrant’s story, the history of an ancient cuisine, and, ideally, a catalyst for conversations about race, class, and the Middle East.”
– Daniela Galaraza | EATER
“Bottom of the Pot is…part memoir, part literary magazine…an impressively sensible beginners guide to Persian cooking, with easy to follow recipes…”
– Nikita Richardson | Grub Street
“Deravian begins this masterpiece with ‘It begins with rice. It always has.’ Unpack that – and the foundations of Persian cooking – in a lovely way with this book.”
– Tess Koman | delish
“Deravian…adapts Iranian home cooking to American kitchens with clarity, zest, and joy.”
– Margo True | Sunset Magazine – September 2018
“I was sold on this one from the cover alone – I mean, come on, look at that – but thankfully it’s got recipe to match. [Bottom of the Pot] walks you through the process of getting that achingly beautiful golden crust on a pot of rice, which is probably worth the price of the book alone.”
– Paula Forbes | Stained Page News
“In her debut cookbook Bottom of the Pot, Naz Deravian brings us right to her table, and to all the tables that have informed hers. Every bit of writing and each recipe is a poem, each photograph so tempting. I am so taken by this book and am reminded of what made me fall in love with cookbooks in the first place: they teach us about the world outside of our own walls, introduce us to people we might not otherwise know, and invite us to make new memories and traditions in our own kitchens. In this way, cookbooks are the most hospitable political tool I know. They don’t build walls, they elongate tables. Thank you Naz for this beautiful book that I already cherish.”
– Julia Turshen, author of Now & Again, Feed the Resistance and Small Victories
“Bottom of the Pot will bring new meaning to Michael Pollan’s idea that ‘Eating is a political act.’Like Madhur Jaffrey and Marcella Hazan before her, Naz Deravian will introduce the pleasures and secrets of her mother culture’s cooking to a broad audience that has no idea what it’s been missing. America will not only fall in love with Persian cooking, it’ll fall in love with Naz.”
– Samin Nosrat, author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: The Four Elements of Good Cooking
“Colors, aromas, and stories seduce and transport the reader to a world of food that is simply irresistible! Naz Deravian, a passionate home-cook, created this brilliant collection of easy-to-follow recipes from her native Persian cuisine ―the mother of urban Eastern Mediterranean cooking. The author’s personality permeates the book as she complements the recipes with family narratives and traditional tales. She describes appetizers as ‘Music and Poetry;’ soups as ‘Heart,’ and Khoresh –the long-simmered, jam-like stews– as ‘the Soul.’ Rice dishes, with their crunchy tahdig are the ‘Jewels’ of Persian cooking, and the ever-present naan (breads) are, of course, ‘Life;’ Kookoo –my favorite frittata-like, egg-and-vegetable dishes– are ‘the Light.’ And we mustn’t forget ‘Love,’ the well-chosen, simple desserts. With easy to find ingredients and wonderful spice and herb combinations every dish becomes a new adventure: ‘follow the recipe for the first time,’ the author advises, ‘then relax, throw it all away, play, and, make it your own.’ The book’s beautiful pictures and clear instructions on what to pre-cook and how to store –most dishes are better the next day― or freeze, inspire everybody to get into the kitchen and recreate these tantalizing, age-old savory and sweet dishes.”
– Aglaia Kremezi, author of Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts
“With seductive must-make-it-now! recipes and gorgeous lyrical prose Naz beautifully captures the saffron-scented allure of Persian cooking, creating a rich multi-layered evocation of an entire culture at table. Whether you want to master the delicate fragrant Persian pilafs or just savor the heartrending family stories of exile and longing, every page of Bottom of the Pot is full of rewards. This is one of those rare books that both captures the culinary zeitgeist and transports you to an exotic world you don’t want to leave.”
– Anya von Bremzen, author of Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking and Paladares
“This beautiful book tells the story of the Iranian diaspora through recipes ranging from breathtaking feats of culinary mastery, to humble, everyday family meals. What an absolute pleasure to join Deravian on this sweet and tender journey; her warmth and Persian hospitality shine through the page, inviting you in like family to her dinner table.”
– Louisa Shafia, author of The New Persian Kitchen and Lucid Food
“In Bottom of the Pot, Naz Deravian has crafted a superb cookbook that combines cultural and family history with mouth-watering recipes to create a full and rich portrait of Persian cuisine. Personal memories weaved into each made-from-scratch Persian dish evoke a strong sense of place and bring alive the senses.This is a must-have cookbook that breaks down barriers by introducing readers to a colorful and vibrant cuisine and gives well-crafted advice to those already familiar with this beautiful tapestry of dishes. More than just a cookbook, its stories and recipes nourish and soothe, celebrate and unite. I will be giving Bottom of the Pot to my friends and family for years to come!”
– Marjan Kamali, author, TOGETHER TEA
“This rich and affectionate tribute to Persian home cooking in America combines traditional dishes with contemporary adaptations that reflect the cuisine’s hallmarks transposed to a new place. Deravian is a lively storyteller, happy to share everything from a dish’s regional origins to the tale of the home cooks who have opened their homes and kitchens to her and her family. She makes it clear just how traditional foods and family meals have been important to Persian expats in re-establishing a sense of community. Her charming attention to detail extends to the recipes as well, where she may tell you that a certain step can be skipped for convenience, but at the loss of a prized quality that sets a great cook’s food apart.”
– Kitchen Arts & Letters
“This book is written with love and filled with beautiful recipes that will take you straight to the heart of Naz’s Persian kitchen.”
– Meera Sodha, author of FRESH INDIA and MADE IN INDIA
“An easy access to a sophisticated cuisine.
Delicious homemade gourmet food.
Just follow the instructions, uncork the wine,
and get ready for a royal feast.”
– Shohreh Aghdashloo, Emmy Award winner
“From cover to cover of her beautiful book, Naz invites us into the intoxicating embrace of Persian-American cooking. Her stories are as charming and welcoming as her recipes, gently wafting into our own kitchens with the promise of aromatic flavors we can’t wait to experience. The procession of ingredients―from saffron and fresh herbs to rose petals and cool yogurt―is dazzling, and I feel completely at ease under Naz’s guiding hand to explore them all. The bottom of my own pot will happily never be the same!”
– Maureen Abood, author of Rose Water & Orange Blossoms
“For Persians anytime (ancient and modern) and anywhere (east and west), food is the music of love, in every pot, top to bottom, where Naz Deravian sings its rhythms in every rice kernel, pomegranate seed, and rose petal. Breathe deep and sing along.”
– Betty Fussell, author of Eat, Live, Love Die