About the Author
Donia Bijan is an Iranian-American immigrant who was forced to move with her family from her native Tehran during the Islamic Revolution. Originally pre-med in college, Bijan fell in love with cooking and eventually abandoned her plan to be a doctor in favor of being a chef. After graduation, Bijan moved to Paris to study at Le Cordon Bleu, the famous culinary institute where Julia Child learned her trade. When Bijan returned to the states, she spent many years working and being recognized for her work in San Francisco’s best kitchens before eventually opening her own French restaurant, L’Amie Donia, in Palo Alto, California. After 10 years, she closed the restaurant in order to spend more time with her family. Her first book, entitled Maman’s Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen was a memoir in which she told the story of her childhood in Tehran, her journey to America, her time in cooking school, and the foundation of her restaurant, all intertwined with recipes from different points in her life, with an emphasis on Persian recipes from her childhood. The Last Days of Café Leila was inspired by her return to Tehran in 2010. She is married to artist Mitchell Johnson with whom she has one son, Luca.
The Last Days of Cafe Leila Homepage
Jessica Jenkins ’19