When Nik Sharma emigrated from Bombay to the United States at 21, he quickly learned to adapt his traditional Indian dishes to the new flavors he experienced in the Midwest. When he married a Southerner, the flavors of the American South became a part of his recipes as well. Now a Sunday columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle whose own distinctive photography illustrates his recipes, Sharma has collected his globally influenced approach to eating in his first book, Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food (Chronicle Books).
In his columns and his own blog, A Brown Table (twice recognized with digital media awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals), Sharma puts bold flavors of all kinds in the forefront. His dishes are sparked by hot Aleppo peppers and guajillo chile, sour omani lime and tamarind, and accented by resins and roots like astefetida and turmeric. Joe Yonan, two-time James Beard Award–winning food and dining editor at the Washington Post, pulls up a chair with Sharma to discuss how he creates recipes shaped by a personal outlook on food that spans and mixes cultures, traditions, and cuisines.
Sharma’s book is available for sale and signing. Small bites are provided by Chef KN Vinod of Cleveland Park’s Indique restaurant.