Omid Roustaei

Omid Roustaei was born and raised in Tehran, and spent his summers by the Caspian Sea — building sandcastles, flying kites, and riding his banana-seat high-handlebar bike. Like many others, he was sent off to the US as a teenager to become a doctor or an engineer. So he studied microbiology and worked in cancer research, subsisting on white-bread bologna & mayonnaise sandwiches before turning his attention to the ways food itself can be a cancer-preventing and fighting resource. One day he quit his job, packed his truck, and moved to Boulder, Colorado to attend a plant-based culinary program.

These days you will find Omid working as a psychotherapist while secretly wishing he could be tending to his garden or experimenting with exotic herbs and spices in his West Seattle kitchen. Laboring over food preparation is a Persian virtue and a source of national pride — and caramelizing onions, chopping herbs in vast quantities, and sprinkling rose petals on cookies are Omid’s methods of self-care.