Parsi Food in North California – Dinyar Anklesaria
He is a name synonymous with Parsi Food in Northern California. People who know him well, call him ‘Dino’ with love.
Dinyar traveled thru East coast of US to the West, served many a celebrities in his restaurants and charmed many thru his delicious cooking recipes handed over for generations.
He is not only good at dishing out Parsi cusine to name a few Dhanshak, sali boti, chicken farcha, patra-ni-machi, but also serves mughlai dishes which includes, Mutton Biryani, Tikka Boti, Butter Chicken, Nihari, etc.
Born to Noshir and Roshan Anklesaria in Ahmedabad, India. Brought up in close knit parsi community of Karachi. His interest with food was attained at an early age, when he saw his mom cook delicious parsi dishes. Her Dal-ni-Pori, Bhakra, were very famous in Karachi households and till date in Vancouver.
After completing his schooling from B V S High School, Karachi, he went on to complete his studies in science. He always dreamt like many youngsters of setting foot on American soil and achieve what’s called “The American Dream”. This American dream of succeeding in life took him to the door steps of New York city, where he started working as a car salesperson. The job did not interest him much so he moved to try his hand at cooking and start a restaurant of his own. “Times were tough. It was not easy to penetrate the restaurant market with already established brands” says Dinyar.
He partnered with a Parsi friend to set up a Parsi restaurant. He met with good success and people were flowing thru but location had parking issues which made them draw down shutters and move. ‘I had to sacrifice a lot, and make some life changing decisions at that time’ says Dinyar.
He moved to Conneticut and later travelled thru a few states before making his mark in California where he now has his roots firmly sunk in. He has established himself well in California and is a household name amongst most parsis.
Dinyar says “They order food during special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, Navjote, Weddings”. He laughs and says “they need a reason to order my food”.
He also provides catering service to large companies in the Silicon Valley. His vegetarian dishes are a hit amongst the cross section of population he serves in these companies. He states “Dal Makhani, Sak, topped up with mango lassi are instant hits”. He goes on to say “if someone places an order for 50 people I make sure I have more food, in case of last minute arrivals. There have been instances where the crowd turns out to be more then the order placed by the host”.
Dinyar knows his patrons well and they know that Dinyar will never disappoint even if there are changes to the menu at the last moment or if the number of guests goes up.
Dinyar attributes his art of cooking to his mom Roshan from whom he learnt cooking in his earlier days and attributes his taste for good food to his dad Noshir from whom he also learnt the art to negotiate at the time of buying groceries.
Presently he has ventured into consulting and managing restaurants, wherein he takes up restaurants which are not doing well and turns them into profitable ventures. He says “First thing I look at is the menu and suggests changes, then I look at the décor, if it is not suitable I get it changed. These things bring in more business for restaurants and some of the owners do not pay attention to these finer details”. His consultancy is increasing and he has to turn down some of the offers he gets. As he says “I am a one man band and cope up with so much of quality work and do not want to disappoint anyone”
Courtesy : Aspi Ustad