Najmieh Batmanglij was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. She received her Masters degree in the U.S., and has spent the last 25 years traveling through much of the ancient Silk Road region where she has worked with regional chefs and home cooks adapting authentic recipes to tastes and techniques in the West. She is the leading authority of Persian cuisine and the author of five cookbooks, including the best selling New Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies described by the Los Angeles Times as the definitive Persian cookbook. She is a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier and has given lectures and taught cooking at a number of venues, including: The Culinary Institute of America, The International Association of Culinary Professionals, Harvard University, L'Academie de Cuisine, and The Smithsonian Institution. She lives in Washington, DC, where she teaches master classes in Persian and Silk Road cooking.