DC Middle Eastern Food

Sheesh Grill names Taraneh Salehi executive chef, launches summer menu

Salehi brings a rich experience in Persian cuisine to fast-casual chain

Chef Taraneh Salehi is the new executive chef of Sheesh Grill. She brings a unique, familial tradition and a “shared experience of cooking” to her new role. In tandem with the appointment, the restaurant chain has launched a new summer menu. Photo by Sheesh Grill.
Chef Taraneh Salehi is the new executive chef of Sheesh Grill. Photo by Sheesh Grill.

Sheesh Grill named a new executive chef, Taraneh Salehi, to lead culinary operations at its two locations in Chantilly and Falls Church. She brings a unique, familial tradition and a “shared experience of cooking” to her new role. In tandem with the appointment, the restaurant chain has enhanced the menu for the summer season.

As a culinary consultant in Metropolitan Washington, Salehi brings a thoughtful approach, integrating her native cuisine in client projects, including Chef Enrique Limardo’s restaurant, Immigrant Food. As an immigrant of Iran, she has immersed herself in Middle Eastern cooking techniques rooted in her own family traditions.

At Sheesh Grill,, Salehi is tasked with bringing her experiences and roots in Persian cuisine to locals through its menu. As such, she updated the menu to include “a mix of Middle Eastern flavors ranging Afghan and Persian, with familiar Mediterranean comfort foods,” announced the Virginia-based restaurant chain.

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New Sheesh Grill summer menu dishes

Here are some of the standout dishes that were implemented with the summer menu:

  • Cauliflower Shawarma roasted cauliflower florets seasoned with housemade shawarma spice
  • Mantu Beef Dumplings topped with garlic yogurt and split pea tomato sauce
  • Addas polo fragrant Basmati rice with lentils and lamb shank
  • Persian Baklava, topped with a choice of chicken shawarma or beef + lamb gyro, served with garlic sauce, spicy cilantro ketchup, and pickled vegetables
  • For dessert, Faloodeh, fragrant Persian ice cream with rose water and topped with cherry compote and pistachios, or homemade Persian Baklava made from scratch with toasted walnuts
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As part of a beverage lineup enhancement, the restaurants will add housemade craft sodas Strawberry Mint, Ginger Turmeric, and Orange Cardamom. Guests should expect additional, seasonal changes at Sheesh Grill in the late summer just in time for fall.

And as part of giving back to its Middle Eastern communities, the fast-casual continues its Saffron Program, which donates proceeds to women saffron farmers in Afghanistan, helping grow their production. Also, the restaurant chain began an internship program in partnership with Tables Without Borders. Within each kitchen, the newly-launched internship will offer positions to refugee chefs who have relocated to the region, providing an opportunity to apply their love of cooking.

“I am thrilled to lead the Sheesh Grill culinary team, bringing to life our collective goal of making the foods of the Middle East approachable to everyone,” said Salehi. “I believe wholeheartedly in cooking with fresh ingredients and building sustainable supply chains—things Sheesh Grill has stood for since the beginning.”

Sheesh Grill, 8190 Strawberry Lane Unit 4, Falls Church, VA 22042

Sheesh Grill, 13940 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, Chantilly, VA 20151

Photo credit: Sheesh Grill (featured preview image, inline)

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