CHEF ZARAH KHAN’S STORY
Originally from Seattle, WA Zarah’s passion for food started at a young age, learning to bake with her dad as a little kid and cooking for weekly dinners for her family beginning at age thirteen. In college studying environmental science and forestry at the University of Washington, she would stay up researching recipes and dish ideas late into the night. Throughout her studies, Zarah was struck by how human impact on the planet is most damaging through our food systems. She decided that she wanted her cooking to connect people to the environment they live in, and inspire people to become more cognizant of the choices they make a minimum of 3x a day.
After graduating, she decided to dedicate herself to learning in professional kitchens, starting first in pastry and then expanding to savory. Zarah spent several years throughout her twenties working on farms both domestically and abroad. Always inspired most by the hard work and passion of farmers, she has been known to parade an especially bright leaf of rainbow chard around the restaurant to show the whole team and get them as hyped as she is about it.
Zarah has worked under Jerry Traunfeld of the Herbfarm and Autumn Martin of Hotcakes and Frankie & Jo’s, both of whom have greatly influenced her commitment to local organic products and prolific use of herbs. Her first executive chef job was at the esteemed Matt Dillon restaurant The London Plane in Seattle, where she made a name for herself with her bright, flavorful, veg-forward cuisine inspired by her Middle Eastern heritage. Now in LA, Zarah helms the kitchen at Botanica, where she brings a commitment to good vibes and beautiful healthful food. An avid runner, she is also a certified yoga teacher who can be found reminding her cooks to breathe through the dinner rush.