Iran food and culture tour with Simi Rezai-Ghassemi

“Soak up the sights, sounds and flavours of Iran on this culinary tour, in the company of a renowned food expert and a small group of likeminded travellers.”


Shiraz | Isfahan | Tehran | Shopping in local markets | Cooking class | Cooking demonstration | Learn about rosewater distillation

Description of Iran food and culture tour with Simi Rezai-Ghassemi

On this Iran food and culture tour you’ll spend 10 adventure packed days under the watchful eye of Simi Rezai-Ghassemi, a well-known cookery expert. As well as visiting food markets and local gardens you’ll also catch some of the country’s top historic highlights.

The main event of this tour is the food, and there will be plenty of opportunity to learn about, taste and cook this diverse and sophisticated cuisine. Simi will be your guide on your journey through Persian food culture and some of the flavours you’ll encounter include saffron, orange blossom and dried limes. You’ll also become well acquainted with typical Persian meals, from the flatbreads, jams and fresh cheeses of Persian breakfast, to the marinated meats of Persian dinner and the baklavas, nougats and rosewater ice creams of Persian dessert.

To complement the food tours, you’ll get a hearty dose of architecture and history, in the form of storied Shiraz, Persepolis and Isfahan, among others. This really is an incredible opportunity to get to know one of the world’s most fascinating, historic, and misunderstood countries.

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Iran food and culture tour with Simi Rezai-Ghassemi


We are promoting the ancient heritage and natural landscape of Iran through visiting Golestan Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sites are chosen by the UNESCO committee and must "bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to civilisation", "an important interchange of human values" or be outstanding examples of major stages of Earth's history or ecological and biological processes in evolution.

We have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the environments we visit are not damaged in any way. Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to each one of our trips, and as a responsible tour operator, it is something we are careful and steadfast about promoting. Each one of our guides are trained to uphold, promote and put into practice such responsible behaviour, especially in wilderness areas or whilst traveling to UNESCO heritage sites, which many of our trips undoubtedly do.

We attempt to reduce plastic bottle use wherever possible by promoting use of reusable bottles. We understand this is not always possible in countries where tap water is not safe to drink.

By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12, we can also minimise the human impact on the fragile sites and ecosystems we visit.
We attempt to reduce plastic bottle use wherever possible by promoting use of reusable and filtered water bottles.

Our partnership with Water-To-Go provides a discount on filtered water bottles to our clients. We do not provide water from plastic bottles to our clients in country but always ensure there is regular access to drinking water on our tours.

When you take one of our tours, me make a contribution to ‘Carbon Clear’ – an organisation devoted to ‘offsetting’ or ‘neutralising’ harmful greenhouse gas emissions caused by your flights. This is done by funding projects across the world that will reduce greenhouse gases on our behalf through sustainable energy or rain forestation.


In this culinary tour we will be delving into the food culture of Iran. Iran is a diverse country and this is reflected in the food – which has had Persian, Russian and Central Asian influences over the centuries. The best way to share stories and meet new people is over a plate of great food and a glass of wine in hand. Simi will be our guide and she will take us through the country, visiting her local friends who will help her cook amazing food for you to share. Supporting the local food industry in Iran not only maintains the cultural identity of Iran and connects cultures through the most ancient of pastimes, eating! On this particular tour we will be enjoying a cooking demonstration in Shiraz and Tehran with Simi and local experts. Most days we will also be visiting Simi’s recommended restaurants to explore the different flavours of the destinations and the people who create them.

Simi is an acclaimed cookery teacher, food judge, researcher and writer who has been featured in the Guardian, the Foodie Bugle, Kinfolk and Crumbs Magazine. She teaches at Simi's Kitchen in Bath, and in a select number of cookery schools and festivals. Simi was born in Tabriz, on the Silk Road in Iran, and grew up in Anglesey, North Wales.

She studied her first degree in Bath then returned to her alma mater to complete her PhD before working in industry in Toronto and London. She teaches a variety of cuisines and is a known expert in Persian and Azeri cuisine, consulting for a number of television productions. Simi enjoys researching seasonal food, from growing and harvesting, to cooking and preserving, on annual visits to her native Azerbaijani region. She is an enthusiastic organic gardener and forager. Simi is looking forward to sharing her intimate knowledge of Iran's famed culinary traditions and hospitality with you on this tour.

Responsible travel and sustainable tourism are fundamental ideas that we have been committed to since our conception. It is part of our core sets of beliefs that these words are not simply scattered nonchalantly into our literature and on our website but moreover that they are central to each and every trip. Our adventures are therefore carefully curated celebrating all that is local from the people, to the culture. We believe that a successful trip delivers a unique and authentic journey for our clients, but furthermore benefits the people whose land we have the privilege of encountering.

On each Group tour we use local ground handlers. This means that all operational costs go directly into the local economy and help improve employment opportunities in remote regions. Such support can also be seen in our incorporation of homestays, locally owned hotels, family run restaurants and the services of local guides and drivers into our itineraries, which ensures that the money you spend with us goes directly into the local economy and local community.

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