Kites, Birds & Kyleigh Kuhn

A little garlic, a lot of cilantro & the bluest eyes this side of Brooklyn

So Kyleigh is a pretty busy, pretty lady: Since 2003, she has built a school in Afghanistan, designed handwoven rugs with local Afghani artisans, shot with the likes of Bruce Weber and David Sims, was featured in a Pirelli calendar, created a stunning jewelry collection (more on that later), and just recently, published Yearbook Afghanistan, a photo book that captures some of the children who attend her namesake school, in a small village near Kabul. Here at SS, we high-five each other just for making it into the office on time so it goes without saying that we think Kyleigh is amazing. We dropped by her Williamsburg apartment last week, where she whipped us up some Afghani cilantro chutney dip…

Name: Kyleigh Kuhn

Hometown: San Rafael, CA

Current location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Day job: Roots of Peace advocate and jewelry designer

Working as a humanitarian has taught me: Giving means the most when you connect it to your own passions

Daily uniform: Striped sailor shirt, 501s, and loafers

I have a few: Pitbull chihuahuas

In the kitchen, I swear by: Letting my boyfriend take the lead

Taste I can’t live without: Umami

If I could cook for anyone, I would cook: A feast for the Dalai Lama

My first memory of Afghanistan: “The Afghan Girl” photograph taken by Steve McCurry for National Geographic. I was obsessed with that photo before I began working there, when I was 16. I ended up having the honor of Steve taking my portrait last year!

My favorite Afghani dish and drink: Their tea is delicious and I love their Afghan lamb pilaf (kabuli pulao)

While working in Afghanistan on my days off I like to: Sit on the rooftop, drink tea, and watch kites and birds soar over the Hindu Kush mountains.

I’m dying to go to: Burma

My top 5 meals:
1. The chicken plate from Sol Food in San Rafael, CA
2. The muscles from 5 Leaves in Brooklyn, NY
3. The tri-dip plate from Brazil Cafe in Berkeley, CA
4. My Dad’s tacos
5. My Mom’s lasagna

My motto: You know exactly what to do

Afghani Cilantro Chutney Dip

4 ounces fresh cilantro leaves
1 green chili pepper, coarsely chopped
3/4 tablespoon sugar
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon walnuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. I ‘m using peppercorns from a Roots of Peace field.
1/2 cup white wine vinegar

1. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and mix well.
2. Allow to marinate for at least 2 hours. The chutney will be a little watery.

Photography by Eric T. White

Kyleigh is killer, right? Pippa@sousstyle.com xx