My name is Arash Lotfi and I am working with Fatemeh and Siose Pol Travel Agency as a consultant of cooking tours, bread section.
My story and bread date back to 12 years ago when for the first time I met Bahman in mountain. Bahman loved nature and lived in mountain away from city and people and whatever resembled modern life and he had a very natural life, living without electricity and fossil fuels. Bahman tried to revive and bring back local and traditional bakery and produced organic bread. My acquaintance with Bahman was the beginning of a journey that lasted 12 years and I am still a traveler of this journey.
My acquaintance with Bahman encouraged me to go on journey and become a permanent traveler for seeing, learning and recording whatever is about bread. This journey still continues. I try to see, learn, and teach and also I try to save this thousand years of achievement by the mankind from danger and interference of those whose only thought is their investment and profit.
Every morning when I see “Bread” at breakfast table I remember Bahman who used to say “smell of bread brings unity among people” and it was with this intention that when Fatemeh talked to me about “Bread Tour” I eagerly accepted it.
“Bread” is still staple diet of Iranian people and of great importance. Perhaps no phrase can show value of bread so much that bread beside “salt” form a solemn statement (swear), i.e. “ I swear to the bread and salt that we ate together”….. Have you ever heard a more beautiful sentence for appreciating a thing? We still can see people when they see a bread left on the ground they take it , kiss it and put it somewhere safe away from trampling bread underfoot. Only bread and pages of holy Koran receive such respect.
Today, I am the first instructor of workshops for organic bakery in Technical & Vocational Colleges and Schools. Since 2008 till now in collaboration with CENESTA, an NGO (www.censta.org./en/.), I launched and monitor a project called “Farmer/ Baker” in a few cities of Iran (Kermanshah, Shiraz, Tehran, Garmsar,…) with participation of bakers from France. I passed an advanced course of “Organic Bakery” in Bordeaux –France. I teach organic/traditional bakery in largest Iranian educational organizations and institutes (education department, institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, Technical & Vocational Organization).
In 2015, I was invited by The Encyclopedia Islamica for cooperation and I had the honour to write preface (introduction) of Non-e Sangak (Persian: سنگک, Azerbaijani: səngək) or nân-e sangak (Persian: نان سنگک) is a plain, rectangular, or triangular Iranian whole wheat leavened flatbread) in biggest Persian speaking encylopedia in the world.
In 2018, I was invited as a lecturer to make speech about bread and bakery culture for a group of French exporters, farmers and researchers of flour, bread and bakery.
I have Master’s degree in the field of Middle-East Studies from Mofid University of Qum and I work for translation bureaus as an English interpreter and I know German and French too.
I am music teacher for children at institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults and for the first time I launched workshop on “Bread and Rhythm” at this institute where we teach children in front of them how to become familiar with bakery and we teach everything about bread such as obtaining seed to plantation, harvesting, grinding flour, preparing dough, oven, baking, and even distribution and supply of bread. Beside this children learn how to make musical instruments with waste material and during break in teaching bakery they make songs about environment and perform it with musical instruments that they have made.
I do Yoga and mountaineering during my free time.
If interested in Iranian bread and bakery tour you may refer to firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.