Some say talent runs in the family, but this is ridiculous! In a new video, Persian star chef Najmieh Batmanlangij invites her son Rostam—the celebrated former member of Vampire Weekend, now a solo artist who has lent his talents to contemporary greats like Solange and Frank Ocean—to cook a traditional Persian meal, much to the delight of Vevo’s Kim Taylor Bennett.
Both Rostam and his mother have produced beloved works, with the former’s solo debut Half-Light releasing back in September. Meanwhile, Najmieh’s cookbooks Joon and Food of Life have become indispensable to English-speaking audiences looking to explore Persian cuisine.
Watching the pair together is an unexpected joy, with Rostam’s mother lovingly criticizing her platinum-selling son’s hands as they fumble to cut up herbs. Her encouraging and peaceful demeanor is absorbing to watch, and the collection of dishes the two plate includes kuku and pistachio meatballs, both based on Najmieh’s published recipes.
When asked about her son’s new record, Najmieh gushes. “I loved it. When he performed, I start crying so much, it touched my heart…about 800 people were at Williamsburg Music Hall…It was such a spiritual experience. For me, for sure, as a mom, I know I’m biased. But I noticed all of the people had the same feeling.”
Rounding out this incredibly talented creative family is Rostam’s brother Zal Batmanglij, a filmmaker whose most recent work was the series The OA on Netflix, made in collaboration with Brit Marling.
Check out the new video for a peek at how Najmieh and Rostam share a kitchen, as well as some fascinating details about their individual creative processes.