Shadi Afshar came from a long line of powerful women, all of whom shared a love of food. Growing up in Tehran, Iran, Afshar cooked with them, learning family recipes.
In 1999, she and her husband Sonny moved to Tulsa, and there was no big family to cook for. One day, she wandered into a little restaurant on Garnett and the owner, also Iranian, asked her to help him make a few dishes. Within a few weeks, she and her husband bought that restaurant. They named it Shish-Kabobs.
Ten years later, Shadi wanted a bigger, better, livelier place. Enter Saffron.
In addition to the luscious, juicy kebabs and fluffy rice at her old restaurant (which is still open), Saffron’s menu features several Iranian slow-cooked stews, including ghormeh sabzi – piquant and herbal – and fesenjoon, a traditional holiday dish featuring walnuts, pomegranate paste, turmeric, cinnamon and orange peel.
Other entrees include salmon, lamb chops and zereshk polo, made with barberries and saffron imported from Iran.
“Saffron is elegant and expensive, and Iranian saffron is the best,” says Shadi, “and that’s why we named our restaurant Saffron.”