How I Got Here: Kian Samyani

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

Kian Samyani Berenjak

Related tags: Kian Samyani, Berenjak, JKS Restaurants, Persian cuisine, Chefs, Soho

The chef behind Persian restaurant Berenjak Kian Samyani on snowboarding, the person that influenced him the most and staying up all night playing computer games.

Why restaurants?
I love stuffing my gob so I had to strategically think about where I could do this continually throughout the day without getting in trouble.

Tell us something you wish you had been told at the start of your career?
I guess I would have liked to know everything I know now. I definitely would have taken the first few years of my career a bit more seriously – I always enjoyed messing around too much just like my school days!

What’s your favourite restaurant or group of restaurants (besides your own)?
After our own [JKS Restaurants], I admire Super 8 restaurant group (Smoking Goat, Kiln, Brat).

What motivates you?
There is so much to do still to get Persian cuisine more familiar across the UK and there are so many great ambassadors in London representing the flag. So I guess we can’t rest until that’s done. 

What keeps you up at night?
Call of Duty: Warzone (a computer game). 

Which colleague, mentor or employer has had the biggest influence on your approach to the restaurant business?
My time with Jon Rotheram (The Marksman) changed me completely. We’re always learning but I feel it was the last step in my journey to discovering what kind of chef I wanted to be. He has such a strong identity and style and is oozing with confidence – he reminds me of my brother.

Worst business decision?
Luckily my worst decisions so far have only been life ones.

Best business decision?
Opening Berenjak has been a revelation for me. I feel like it’s given me a real purpose.

What piece of advice would you give to those looking to climb the rungs in the business?
Be patient and work hard.

If you could change one thing about the restaurant industry today, what would it be?
I’d make sure that guests can’t be rude to restaurant staff as unfortunately there is a really small minority who think it’s ok.

Coffee or tea?
Coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon.

How often do you check your email?
Too often. 

What’s your signature dish to cook at home?
Corn on the cobs on the BBQ. 

Favourite holiday destination?
The mountains, I love snowboarding, I hope one day I can spend a season in Whistler.

What boxset are you currently watching?
I recently just watched Vikings and loved it!

 

Related topics: Restaurant, Chef, People

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