Menlo Park author and chef Donia Bijan will discuss her book, Maman’s Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen on Sunday, May 6, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at the Menlo Park Council Chambers, 701 Laurel Street. Part memoir/part cookbook, Ms. Bijan uses the language of food to tell her story, and to honor her mother from whom she learned to cook and to follow her dreams.
The author shares her memories of growing up in Iran, her family’s departure due to the Iranian Revolution of the 1970s, her teenage years in the United States, her culinary studies at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, and her life as a successful chef in the San Francisco Bay Area. No matter how far she traveled from home, it was her mother who helped her find her way.
“I’ll be talking about my mother and the ways in which she gave me the courage to chase my dreams, take chances, and make my work,” says Donia. “I’ll also talk about her role in the women’s rights movement in Iran prior to the Islamic regime and how many, like her — unheralded heroes of an entire generation of Iranian American women — lost everything and built a new sense of place for their children. To conclude, I’ll use examples such as the film A Separation to view Iran through the lens of culture and history rather than war and aggression as a means to bridge the divide and override the rhetoric of politicians.”
Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing after the talk. Donia plans to prepare sweet pleasures from her own original recipes for the event.
The program is free and open to the public — no reservations are required. Free wheelchair accessible van service is available for Menlo Park seniors and people with disabilities. Call 330-2512 for van reservations.
Photo by Gillian Bostock