Mahin Driskill became passionate about food and a huge fan of home entertaining entirely by accident. Growing up in Persia her dream was to work for the United Nations, to travel the world and to make it a better place. With a sense of adventure and seeking further education, she persuaded her very conservative parents to let her pursue her studies in London in the mid seventies.
Once there, she soon fell in love and married a Texan, entered a different world and totally unknown territory – a place she had never been before and had no desire to be – the kitchen! It became her responsibility to host and cater for her husband’s many business associates. She could not cook and was not particularly interested in food. An array of cookbooks and persistence were her only allies. Her early culinary efforts were far from successful … but her desire to be a good cook and hostess grew stronger.
Meanwhile, married life – and her husband’s job – took her from London to Scotland, America, Norway, Scotland and back to London. As they moved from place to place, from home to home with two young sons, entertaining became her lifeline, her way of getting to know new people wherever she lived. Mahin’s parties, however, were still like a dry roast. They fell short on the gravy of entertainment. Her determination to succeed grew ever stronger. She enrolled in local cookery courses every time she arrived in a new country. As her cooking improved, so did her morale and she became interested in personal development. She took courses in nutrition, Feng Shui and many other things and took on board the wisdom of these diverse disciplines. Over time, she started weaving her new knowledge into her parties.
Traveling gave Mahin new ideas and inspiration. She began experimenting and merged dishes from the West with the gentle, fragrant herbs and spices of the Middle East of her birth place and created new exciting recipes. Initially, she used her degree in Marketing and Management to pursue a career in finance. However, the creative side of her personality longed to be expressed. It was this that provided her with the impetus to start her own catering company in 1986. Mahin’s reputation as a stylish caterer spread far and wide and clients highly praised her “elegant, simple and exclusive flair.”
If learning how to cook and entertain had served her well throughout her marriage, it became her mainstay when she went through a bitter divorce. In spite of everything, her food remained sweet and delicious and she continued to thrive as a businesswoman.
Mahin believes that honing her home entertaining skills was better than any personal development course. It enhanced her creative side, boosted her confidence and gave her the skills to survive on her own and make great friends. Her thirst for self-improvement led her to join Toastmasters International where her leadership skills improved so much that, over time, she became President of London Athenians and met many people from diverse backgrounds with more opportunities to entertain and be entertained. Meanwhile, she married a wonderful man who appreciates good food as much as she does. When asked what she does, Mahin says: “I take away the fear of home entertaining and inspire individuals to make their home a more inviting place and provide delicious food. That way, they can proudly open the door of their home and use home entertainment as a time-honoured way to build, cement and enrich relationships.”
Even though she is enthralled by the alchemy of cooking, Mahin believes that home entertainment is also about artistic pursuits and the little touches that make such a difference in creating an ambience for the whole experience of sharing a meal which gives and provides enjoyment.
A strong desire to share her love of cooking and entertaining resulted in this book being written. It captures only part of a lifetime’s experience of tried and tested recipes and tips and all the things that go into making home entertainment wonderful, giving it that “wow” factor that makes each occasion a joy.