Born and raised along the South Coast of Cornwall, we catch up with self-taught chef and business owner, Kate Attlee. Inspired by her Father’s Iranian heritage, Kate spent several years training at Michelin Star level before relocating to the South and opening Sabzi; the now award-winning series of delis that specialise in curating deliciously seasonal food and drink. Get an insight into Kate, and read a little more on whats coming soon!
A lot of the your dishes are Iranian inspired which we absolutely love. Where has your love for food stemmed from?
I was lucky enough to be exposed to some great food growing up. My dad's an amazing cook, but food for us day-to-day was more of a necessity rather than a passion at home. As is the often way with many children of immigrant parents, my wonderful dad had to work incredibly hard to provide a good life for us here, and I don’t think I truly learnt to love food for pleasure until I was much older.
I think I really fell in love with food when I had my first experience of Michelin level dining in London, and it absolutely blew my mind. The idea that food has the ability to leave such a positive impression on anyone when done right was a really pivotal moment for me. I think that is when it became an all-consuming love and passion of mine.
What motivates you to get up, to cook, to be in the kitchen?
The thing for me that is so special about Sabzi is the incredible relationship we have with our community, the team of people that we work with and the relationship of the business with our customers. That's the 'thing', the joy that we can bring through what we do. That is the bit that makes me excited every day!
You cook with such an assortment of different ingredients. In your opinion, what is the most underrated ingredient, and why?
Definitely herbs. Sabzi actually means ‘herbs’ in Farsi which is one the languages of Iran. At Sabzi we rely on the way we cook with humble, accessible ingredients, and what we can do to lift them and make them exciting.
One of the key ways that we do that is by respecting and loving the ingredient and being sensitive to it, but also by using clever ways to elevate it. For me, using herbs creatively and appropriately can completely transform something very simple into something really special.
“Providing our customers with the highest level of service and experience is something I am incredibly proud of at Sabzi. Every single element is carefully considered and I think that is our way of demonstrating our genuine appreciation of our customers. We want people to feel special. Everything we do is a real labour of love. And I want to make sure that is felt”.
With can't wait for more... and the good news is theres new locations opening soon! Be sure to check out Sabzi and Kate's work here.