Welcom to Lab Noon, a blog by Saghar Setareh

Leggilo in italiano.

.به فارسی بخوانید

saghar portrait 2017Hello! My name is Saghar. I come from Tehran, Iran & I’m writing this on a sunny afternoon in Rome, Italy where I live since 2007. When I was seven, I wanted to become a teacher. When I was thirteen, I decided I wanted to become a Disney animator. Drawing was an everyday must at that period. After school, almost by chance I started studying Graphic Design in university, and ironically that was the time I got more and more confused about what I wanted to become. I got further and further away from the world of animation as I got more & more into aesthetics & design in general. By that time, like most 20 year olds, I dreamed about radically changing the world. That was the period that I wanted to be everything, from conceptual artist to a translator, from a backpack traveller to a writer. Then I immigrated, and that changed my life forever, as it always does to everybody’s.

I had had no previous love affair with Italy like many other people in Iran do. It happened kind of by chance. Again. I chose to get and application to continue my studies in graphic design in Rome’s fine art academy, merely because it’s situated in the capital. But when I first saw the city, I immediately fell in love with it, and that love affair is still going on.

I would state the obvious if I said immigration is never plain easy. It’s hard to keep a balance between craving the familiar tastes and smells of home & the euphoria of a whole new world to discover. But there’s that one point in your life that you need to make a decision, because you can’t be physically present in more than one place; to stay or to leave & return. There is no better or worse. It’s just a choice to take a place and make a home out of it. For me this happened when I wrote my thesis named “The Tale of Two Cities”. I wrote about Tehran and Rome. One of these cities lives in me & in the other I live; and yet they are both always with me. One has a dark and hard shell that shields the sophisticated beauty inside, the other showers you with its jaw-dropping beauty at the first sight. They’re the introvert and the extrovert, the East and the West. They both have big shares of ancient history and culture. Tehran & Rome. One is my past and the other is my present and no matter what, they’re both my future. One flourishes when the other perishes and they fuse into each other sequentially just like the day turns into the night and the night dawns into the day. And in this mystic union the most sacred of places is conceived: home.

This is what Lab Noon is about; It’s about feeling at home. Not just physically or geographically. It’s a state of mind. It’s the smell from the oven that makes your mouth water. It’s the warmness of the sunlight that stretches out on your body when you fall asleep on the couch in the afternoon. It’s the sound of tearing the wrapping paper around a handmade gift. It’s the bubbly feeling of kneading the dough, the sacredness of the grain and its blessed matrimony with water. Just that simple, that essential, as an ancient food; the bread.*

Our “bread” makes us who we are, in other words, and more repeatedly, we are what we eat. Our body is the primary home of all of us, everywhere. Our own skin is first place we need to feel good at. It marks us at the present. The sensation of feeling at home in one’s own body comes from the awareness and the consciousness about what we’re putting inside it. It’s not just about the lavish and the delicious. It’s not only about counting calories and munching only on celery and carrots either. It’s the attention and the care. The sensibility about the right amount of butter in the puff pastry and the relieving lightness of a healthy salad for lunch. And of course, it’s the responsibility of wanting to know how and where our food has been produced.

Lab Noon | Flavors and Encounters by Saghar Setareh

I am no health or life style guru. Nor am I an expert on cooking or nutrition. But life has taught me the price of carelessness about food can be high, not only on the physique but also on the psyche. That’s why when I really had no idea about what I wanted to become, I started cooking. And it turns out I am quite good at it. It’s not because I’ve got some sort of extraordinary talent, or because I have taken expensive professional courses. Cooking is a simple and ancient art that not only is everybody potentially capable of, but it’s also a necessary life skill. So if I can do it, anyone can do it.

Lab Noon is my laboratory. It is not (only) a food blog. Here I create, I make, I experiment. From seasonal and natural food to graphics & illustrations, from photography to small DIYs. And I share them with you.

Please feel free to contact me.

I would be happy to collaborate in:

Photography; more specifically in the culinary field and for editorial or advertising purpose.
Graphic Design & Branding; in particular for the small businesses in the food section.
Personal appearances, media projects and more.

If you want to get in touch with me please email me at saghar[at]labnoon[dot]com & follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Google+.

You can also visit my creative portfolio on Behance and my CV on Linkedin.

I would love to hear from you. Let’s be “social” more than just when we’re in front of an electronic device. Write to me, get in touch & let’s create real communities.

Saghar Setareh

* Noon in Persian means bread.

14 Comments Welcom to Lab Noon, a blog by Saghar Setareh

  1. AvatarRassa

    Hey there,
    I stumbled upon the mehregan cyber feast happenings late last night while I was feeling homesick in my bed in Chicago. I just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed kind of reading your philosophy and that it resonated with me even more since I’m feeling homesick right now (be delam chasbid asasi). I’m in Italy most summers and have visited Rome a few times, I can’t tell you how much I love it. We have a good bunch in common as I’m also an art student, born and raised in Iran for most of my life, and really enjoy cooking. Anyhow, write to me if you felt like it. You can find some of my work here on https://www.behance.net/Rassakh as well.


    1. SagharSaghar

      Dear Rassa!
      Thank you very much for writing me! It’s very great to hear people know and feel that “thing” that is common. I know how it feels like. I hope you keep coming back for more.
      Loved your work on behance :)

  2. AvatarAfsi Davis (Siahkoohi)

    Hello! I just stumbled on your website and I adore it! I’m a half-Iranian, living in Kentucky, longing for some traditional recipes. Since my father is the Iranian, some things weren’t passed down. ;) Thank you for sharing your gifts on your site. It’s so beautiful and well-written.

    1. SagharSaghar

      Dear Afsi!

      Thank you very much for your sweet words! I’m so happy to have you here. From experience I have learnt that it’s often harder for father to transmit their traditionial heritage :)
      Thank you agian and hope to see you here soon!

  3. AvatarErsilia

    Cara Saghar, il sito è meraviglioso! Davvero molto fine, mi è piaciuto tantissimo!
    Brava !! Complimenti ancora,
    ciao Ersilia :)

  4. AvatarBeeta Hashempour

    You have a beautiful blog, Saghar! I love your photography, and your foods are such a joy to see and read about. Your blog is also so appropriately titled as you’re right, noon is such an absolute in our culture. In fact, I write this post as I sit here with a cup of coffee and a piece of noon sangak and panir. ;)

  5. AvatarIsra

    Hi Saghar,

    I stumbled upon your website while I was brainstorming and creating a mood board for a food concept that I’ve always dreamed of making come true. I loved your words and I exactly felt your experience, coming a graphic design background and going through the same stages in my life from changing the world to finding myself inspired by culinary art, I found myself in your words.

    The thoughts you shared about your thesis are inspiring and very true in every sense. I look forward to collaborating with you or even meeting you in the future.


    Abu Dhabi

  6. AvatarSoudabeh

    Salaam Saghar,
    Just discovered your beautiful website. What incredible images and soul enriching words. Inspiring! I am half Persian & hold a Persian supper club in Umbria. Look forward to trying some of your recipes. Thank you


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