Food and its preparation often serve as a way to form meaningful and lasting connections. In many traditional Asian and Mediterranean societies, a lot of care and energy goes into making food. A careful selection of ingredients leads to a well-thought execution of the recipe, patiently going through the various steps. These recipes are passed through generations, connecting them all through the shared experience of preparing food. Like other things, digital media has also transformed how we can connect through food. People have started food blogs, sharing their family recipes with strangers across the globe. Lena Ghadanian Artunian is one such food content creator and blogger.
Hailing from a line of competent chefs, Lena is a third-generation chef whose family migrated from Syria to Lebanon to the USA in 1978. Growing up, Lena was deeply inspired by her grandfather and father – both celebrated chefs who had perfected Armenian, Syrian and Lebanese recipes that were passed down through the generations. As a child, she would spend significant time at her family’s restaurant, observing her parents cook for their customers with boundless enthusiasm. This was when she realized how much pleasure food could bring to the chef and those savoring it.
With her Father’s demise, the family business faced an existential dilemma – how to keep the legacy alive. Lena, being a mother of two young kids, lacked the time and energy required to keep up with the pace and passion behind her family restaurant.Yet, she craved a space where she could relive the connection with the traditional food and family. After much thought, HyeFeastLA was born.‘Hye’ means Armenian, ‘Feast’ means eating food, and ‘LA’ signifies Lena’s initials and where she currently lives, LA. Lena’s blog acted as a bridge between herself and her heritage. Through this platform, she aims to help people stay connected with their traditional family recipes and cherish their heritage.
HyeFeastLA provides in-person and online one-on-one and group cooking workshops. Lena also shares short videos, and step-by-step recipes on her social media handles including Instagram and YouTube, making traditional recipes more accessible, easier, and a lot more fun. Whether it is Shish Kebab, Basturma Boreg, or macaroni with an Armenian twist or something entirely new, you will find it all on HyeFeastLA.
Countless people have reached out to Lena to connect with their culinary roots. People who regret not getting traditional recipes from their mother or grandmother often find solace in her blog and classes. Thus, Lena’s archive is helping herself and others.
To learn more about traditional Armenian, Syrian and Lebanese recipes, click here.