People | Pouya Jalali

An Iranian raised between Toronto and Dubai, Pouya is an accomplished strategist with a rare ability to find quality food from holes in walls and a semi-retired electronic music DJ.

At Embassy East

At Embassy East

You have advised everyone from NGOs to energy corporations on how to position themselves for the complexity of the future but where will you be in 10 years? Growing old on a pistachio farm in Iran and expanding my cryptocurrency fund. Is there any organized crime or Bitcoin loopholes within the global pistachio industry? Because of the sanctions over the years, Iranian pistachio exporters and traders have become some of the most innovative - owning a tire company and some Ethereum on the side are handy for smuggling runs into Dubai... Apart from stuffing pistachios inside inner tubes, where is the best place to pass time in Iran? The dying Lake Urmia or skiing and eating kubideh in the Alborz mountains. 

Pouya wears the Branca shirt

Pouya wears the Branca shirt

You moonlight as a DJ - what tunes are currently in circulation? Anything from the label 1080p and the new BadBadNotGood album is on heavy rotation. What's happening in the electronic music scene in Tehran today? It's mostly an illegal rave scene enabled by social media and popular guys like Ash Koosha are now based in London as they aren't actually allowed back.

They call you 'noservicecharge' on social media as you know your food and won't hesitate to send plates back so what is your favourite dish in London right now? The truffle mushroom bun at A Wong. And worst recent meal? Brunch at Morito in Hackney (London)...I gave them 3 chances.

At the Dusty Knuckle bakery

At the Dusty Knuckle bakery

You grew up in Dubai so what's a lesser known thing to do there? Eat the lari kebab at Ostadi. You also studied in Toronto and what's one thing to check out? Order the veal sandwich at the original California Sandwiches on Claremont street - I was there at least once a week. Although the polish sausage with all the relish at the Coach House Press hot dog stand behind Innis College comes a close second. What do you drink? Herradura tequila neat.

You are an aficionado of niche crafts - what's currently keeping you up at night? I'm obsessed with rare Japanese denim right now and I just figured out you can bypass the hefty price tag outside of Japan for a pair of Oni's (scarce) unsanforized secret denim from stores like Son of a Stag by contacting Japanese fanboys directly through reddit instead who can then 'mail' the jeans to you for a fraction of the price...

You once played football to a high level - what happened? I played centre-back for Al Ahli F.C. when I was younger but tore all my knee ligaments when a 6ft7in man known locally as 'six-seven' fell on me after leaping for a header. You are a Bayern Munich fan but, more seriously, who is your favourite Brazilian footballer of all time? Rivaldo - that left foot and that dive during the 2002 World Cup...legend. 

Pouya wears the Branca shirt

Pouya wears the Branca shirt