Turn Up the Heat
Bita Milanian spotlights food, family and entertainment to reach audiences worldwide.
Bita Milanian’s home kitchen in Los Angeles is a veritable melting pot. This culinary influencer combines a cornucopia of healthy ingredients to make plant-based, gluten-free recipes from a variety of cultures, as she shares her foodie fun with thousands of fans via her social media channels.
Originally from Iran and an Angeleno for more than 30 years, Bita considers herself a global citizen. She is fluent in multiple languages and has traveled the world, experiencing cuisines from many lands.
She is just as passionate about sharing her Iranian heritage and love of Persian food as she is about bringing people together through her cooking. “Food connects us,” she says, “and when we are connected, we have the power to bring cultures together for positive change.”
While she gathers inspiration from Asian, Latin and Mediterranean fare, her recipes tend to be infused with a ton of Persian flavor. “Once you taste the mouthwatering flavors of Iranian cuisine,” she says, “you’re hooked!”
Some of her specialties include the classic tahdig, a crispy, bottom-of-the-pot saffron basmati rice dish with a golden crust; khoresh bademjoon, a vegan eggplant stew topped with air-fried crispy potatoes; and gluten-free vegan makaroni, which is Persian spaghetti.
Bita has been a social media influencer and blogger since the early 2000s, and her popular channel, BitaKitchen.com, has garnered more than 100,000 engaged followers across the globe since she founded it in 2018. Fans enjoy watching her create meals, dance around her kitchen and share stimulating conversations with friends, family members and other culinary aficionados.
Bita’s popular dinner series on Instagram features home cooks and renowned chefs from some of L.A.’s greatest restaurants. “It’s been an incredible partnership where I’ve learned from the greatest names in the industry,” she shares.
Bita finds that cooking and entertaining help her disconnect from real-world challenges. “Cooking is my true passion,” she points out. “I love hosting dinner parties and opening my home to friends and family. It is also a joy to collaborate with chefs who welcome me into their kitchens. We bring unity through food.”
She frequently creates new recipes and fresh content for her social channels. She loves to share foods that have bold flavors and are quick and easy to make at home. And this truly resonates with her audience.
“Once you taste the mouthwatering flavors of Iranian cuisine, you’re hooked!”
In her free time, Bita trains and competes in Latin ballroom dancing. She is a proud grandmother and treasures the time she gets to spend with family. An active community organizer, she volunteers her time and expertise in support of numerous causes. “I feel so fortunate for my life and career, and I try to give back as much as I can,” she says.
As a globally recognized branding and communications strategist, Bita is regularly featured in major publications. She is a member of the Forbes Communications Council, an invitation-only organization for leaders in the communications industry, and Chief, a prestigious private network for powerful women in leadership.
Follow her journey on social media to experience Bita whipping up healthy, quick, rustic meals made with love. “Food is one of my love languages,” she says, “and it’s an honor to share such an important part of myself with others.”
Makaroni (Persian Spaghetti)
- 1 box spaghetti or bucatini
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 cup mirepoix (chopped onion, celery, & carrots)
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 2 cups cremini & white mushrooms, rough-chopped
- 1 cup cooked lentils (optional)
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon powdered saffron, divided
- 2 teaspoons Advieh or nutmeg
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 cups tomato sauce
- ½ cup grapeseed oil, divided
Parboil pasta with plenty of salt until not quite done; drain and rinse with cold water. Heat saucepan and add olive oil. Sauté mirepoix with a pinch of salt and pepper. Once translucent, add mushrooms, lentils, turmeric, pinch of saffron, Advieh (or nutmeg) and garlic. Continue stirring for 2-3 minutes. Add tomato paste and continue stirring gently over medium heat. Mix in tomato sauce and simmer on medium-low heat for 15 minutes.
In a large bowl, gently toss sauce with parboiled pasta and set aside. Mix remaining saffron with ½ cup boiled water and 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil; set aside. Place a medium nonstick pot on high heat and add remaining grapeseed oil. Pour pasta and sauce mixture into the pot. Pour saffron water and oil mixture on top. Cover pot with a kitchen towel and then the lid. After 5 minutes, lower the heat to medium-low; cook for 45 minutes. Turn off heat, remove pot from the stovetop and let rest 5 minutes. Remove lid and towel. Place serving plate on pot, flip pot over and serve. Enjoy—especially the crusty bottom!