Employee Profiles
and Recipes

Norman Pastorin


“A highlight for me was learning about Sensory Evaluation (SE), which occurs throughout the food industry in a variety of ways. I was tasked with creating an SE training program for the Culinary Arts instructors to establish a trained tasting panel that could be called upon in the future to conduct sensory evaluation on food products developed in PRK.”

Norman Pastorin

Norman came late to the culinary world after earning a degree in business.

He got his start apprenticing under Chef Takashi Murakami (C.M.) at the St. Charles Country Club, where he worked for five years as a junior sous chef. Not long after that, he launched the next stage of his culinary career designing, creating, and opening exciting new restaurants such as Fazzo Bistro, the Grove Pub and Restaurant, the Cornerstone Bar and Restaurant, and the Black Bird Brasserie. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced many of his restaurants to close, Norm joined RRC Polytech as a Culinary Arts instructor before joining PRK as a culinary research technician.

Norman chose to share this recipe for Persian Chicken with Tahdig because of the revelatory experience he had while developing it. “I had never tried Persian food before, but after working on this recipe with one of our students, I was introduced to new flavour combinations that I absolutely loved.”

FUN FACT: Norman started skateboarding at age 41. Boarding has since become a source of joy, stress relief, and fitness.

Persian Chicken with Tahdig

Source: Richardson Student-led Recipe Development Project


Chicken Marinade

2 eachchicken thighs and drumsticks
4 tbspvegetable oil
2 tsp turmeric
1 tspsalt
1/4 tsppaprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tspallspice
1/2 tspblack pepper, ground
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsphoney
1Juice from 1 lemon, fresh
1/4 tspcinnamon


1 tspsaffron threads
1 cupbasmati rice
 2 tbsp yogurt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cupgolden raisins
1Zest from 1 orange
 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp spread
1/2 cupspread, melted
3 tbsp kosher salt, for rice
8 cups water

Persian Chicken

  1. Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix to combine.
  2. Store in a refrigerator and marinate for 30 minutes. Prepare the tahdig.
  3. On a parchment-lined sheet pan, roast the chicken in an oven at 350°F until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  4. Remove and cool for plating.


  1. In a medium-sized pot, bring the 8 cups of water to a boil and add 3 tbsp of salt.
  2. Pour in the basmati rice and boil for 7 minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and strain out the rice.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, cinnamon, and 1/2 of the boiled rice.
  5. Combine the remainder of the rice in a separate bowl with the orange zest.
  6. In a non-stick pot, layer on the rice and yogurt mixture. Place on low heat just enough to hear the pot sizzle lightly.
  7. Once sizzling, first layer on golden raisins and then the orange zest rice mixture. Rub the spread on the inside of the pot to prevent it from sticking.
  8. Place a tea towel on the lid and tie it on the top. Place it over the pot to capture excess steam.
  9. Cook until the rice is al dente, about 5-10 minutes.
  10. Once the rice is cooked, remove the lid and pour the melted spread over the rice.
  11. Cover with a serving plate and flip the pot, transferring the tahdig onto the serving plate.

Serve hot with the Persian chicken.

Chef’s Notes: You can substitute the golden raisins with any dried fruit.

Did You Know? Tahdig means “bottom of the pot” in Persian, and describes pan-fried rice with a delicious, crunchy, golden crust on the outside and fluffy, buttery rice on the inside.