Nazie Fatima Shekarchi - PRIVATE CHEF (NYC - Hudson Valley)
In my previous life before cooking, I was an art director and graphic designer in NYC and Los Angeles.
Although I grew up in restaurants and my Dad, Grandfather and Great-Grandfather were all chefs, my siblings and I were discouraged from pursuing cooking. – Inadvertently, my first teacher was my Ugandan grandmother who taught me how to cook starting at the age of 4. She taught me the importance of good ingredients and making things from scratch, while my childhood in Iran opened my world up to the pure deliciousness of perfectly ripe fruits, seasonal ingredients, and community... years later, all these elements instilled in me at a young age, would go on to create the foundation of my cooking.
In 2007 I decided to give up design to pursue my dream of cooking for a living, and worked my way up "old school" like my Dad before me, (getting a real world culinary education working at restaurants in lieu of school) through some restaurant kitchens in NYC. After closing my wine bar/restaurant in SoHo/NYC I returned to Los Angeles where I've worked as a Private Chef since 2010.
Cooking Practices/Food Philosophy:
I have a deep connection with the farmers and vendors I source my ingredients from. The traceability of my ingredients is paramount. –– I have diligently worked to build the foundation of my cooking through the important relationships I’ve built with my farming/culinary community which are the source of everything I bring to the table. Anywhere I go, I first start by learning about local resources, growers, and artisans. I believe that it is incredibly important to be connected to the origin of the beautiful ingredients I am fortunate to use.
Source of ingredients:
All produce is sourced from Local farmers/markets.
ALL menu items are GMO free, including oils used to cook food.
All Dairy and Eggs used are sourced locally from Pastured/Free Roaming, healthy animals.
All Grains (including flour) and Legumes and Sugars/Honey/Syrups are Organic unless Local/Pesticide Free sources were used.
Chocolate is Fair Trade and/or Organic and GMO free.
Meat is Certified Organic or sourced from Local Pastured/Free Roaming Animals raised
without the use of growth hormones and antibiotics.
Seafood is chosen in accordance to Sustainability in the Oceans.
Coffee is Organic, Fair Trade or Wild Harvested.
I am very comfortable cooking for specific dietary needs/preferences including: Kosher and Halal Menus, in addition to Gluten Free, Pescatarian, Paleo, Vegetarian, Vegan, Macrobiotic, The Hippocrates Diet, The Mediterranean Diet, as well as Detoxifying menus!