June 01, 2024

Imagine a home where the doorbell never stops ringing, the rooms echo with laughter, and the kitchen is always in full swing. That was my childhood house. Hosting thirty, fifty, or even more guests wasn’t a big event; it was just another weekend. And as the youngest, I was right in the middle of it all, soaking up the energy and excitement.
Our house was the unofficial headquarters for every family gathering, ceremony, and celebration. My father, the family’s calm and ever-helpful social coordinator, had a special talent for making everyone feel like they belonged. He wasn’t just the go-to guy for hosting; he was the go-to guy for everything. Have a money issue? Go to my dad. Family troubles? He’d listen and offer advice. Marital problems? He was there with a sympathetic ear and wise counsel. Our home became a sanctuary for family, friends, and even people we barely knew.
From a young age, I was my mom’s sidekick in the kitchen. Picture me, a little kid, trying to balance trays of tea without spilling (not always successfully!) and sneaking bites of dessert before serving them. My tasks grew with me: setting the table, serving food, and then diving into the cleanup like a whirlwind. And yes, I was always the one delivering trays of sweets or cups of tea, making sure everyone felt pampered.
High school? That didn’t change my role. Even in college, when my friends were finding every excuse to dodge family duties, I was still knee-deep in the hustle and bustle at home. My parents knew they could count on me to show up and help, no matter what. Saying no just wasn’t in my vocabulary. I was the guy always asking, “What do you need next?” or “How can I help?” It was never a chore; it was just part of who I was. That’s probably why big crowds and busy scenes never fazed me. Thirty guests, fifty guests—it was just another day in the Reza household.
One of the funniest and most heartwarming memories was my father’s knack for turning a quick visit into a full-fledged meal. People would drop by for a quick chat or a cup of tea, and next thing you know, they were staying for lunch or dinner. My dad had a way of making you feel so welcome that you couldn’t bear to leave. And my mom? She was like a culinary superhero, effortlessly whipping up a feast to feed our suddenly expanded guest list. I can still see her, apron on, conjuring up delicious dishes with a smile, as if feeding a small army on short notice was the most natural thing in the world.
And it wasn’t just friends and family who got the royal treatment. Even the folks who came over to do some work—fixing the roof, laying tiles, you name it—ended up staying for meals. My father would insist, and my mom would prepare extra food to make sure they felt just as valued and welcome as anyone else. It wasn’t just about feeding people; it was about making everyone who walked through our door feel like part of our family.
Fast forward to today, and those lessons are the heartbeat of Shiraz Kitchen. Busy lunch crowd? Bring it on. A packed dinner service? I’m in my element. I thrive on creating an atmosphere where people feel as welcomed as those surprise dinner guests from my childhood.
At Shiraz Kitchen, I aim to bring that same warmth and hospitality to every table. I want every guest to feel the joy and comfort I felt growing up, where a meal wasn’t just food—it was an experience, a memory in the making.
So, next time you step into Shiraz Kitchen, remember, you’re not just a customer. You’re stepping into a space brimming with the laughter, hard work, and endless hospitality of my youth. Welcome to Shiraz Kitchen, where the spirit of my lively, welcoming childhood continues to thrive.

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