Originally Published by Hilton
Hilton McLean Tysons Corner invites culinary enthusiasts, guests and locals alike to experience a series of dinners in partnership with Tables Without Borders at Härth, featuring Chef Nejat Ahmadollah on Oct. 18th, Oct. 25th and Nov. 1st from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Diners can savor Chef Nejat’s dishes via a special tasting menu or à la carte. Highlights include Kabuli — braised rice with lamb, topped with raisins and slivered carrots; Kadoo — baked pumpkin with yogurt sauce, garlic and mint; and Chicken Kabob, featuring an Afghan spice blend and cilantro chutney. A portion of the proceeds from all three dinners will be donated to Tables Without Borders’ nonprofit partner, HIAS, a leader in refugee resettlement and advocacy, and to help sustain Tables Without Borders after the event.
“I’m looking forward to sharing my passion and love for cooking and Afghan cuisine with guests at Hilton McLean,” said Chef Nejat from Tables Without Borders. “Tables Without Borders enables me to showcase authentic dishes representative of my country’s history and timeless traditions while adding a modern twist.”
Arriving in the U.S. with his wife and two children in 2015, Chef Nejat is an asylum seeker from the Baghlan province in Afghanistan. Having learned about his country’s traditional cuisine at a young age, cooking with his family in their restaurant business while growing up in Afghanistan, Chef Nejat continued to perfect his craft of cooking and developing his culinary skills while holding positions in family-owned restaurants and catering for local weddings and events.
One of the honored traditions that Chef Nejat continued to refine was the creation of Afghanistan’s national dish, Kabuli — a rice pilaf consisting of raisins, carrots, and lamb. While many of his recipes modernize and honor traditional Afghan cuisine with a creative twist, he’s remained true to the preparation of Kabuli, using the same recipe as his ancestors.
In June 2019, Chef Nejat participated in Tables Without Borders’ nonprofit inaugural dinner series at Maydan. Participating in Washington, D.C. restaurants welcomed four other refugee and asylum-seeking chefs into the kitchen, helping them to re-establish their careers while building a community motivated to support them.
As part of Chef Nejat’s preparation for the dinner series at Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, he will spend several weeks in paid part-time training, working collaboratively alongside Executive Chef Philip Thompson in Härth’s kitchen to create the menu featuring locally sourced and traditional Afghan ingredients.
“We’re excited to welcome Chef Nejat to the Härth kitchen at Hilton McLean,” said Executive Chef Philip Thompson, Hilton McLean. “Our partnership with Tables Without Borders provides us with the opportunity to introduce our community to traditional and authentic Afghan cuisine while engaging our Team Members who can learn new techniques from Chef Nejat while working alongside him in the kitchen. It also helps us contribute to Hilton’s global commitment to creating opportunities for all as part of the Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals.”