Fresno’s Armenian Cultural Conservancy Hosts Annual Culinary Art Class

The Kufta Team. From left: Suzanne Barton, Jeanette Machoian , teacher Patty Kalajian, Margaret Tejerian, and Janice Maroot
The Kufta Team. From left: Suzanne Barton, Jeanette Machoian , teacher Patty Kalajian, Margaret Tejerian, and Janice Maroot

The Kufta Team. From left: Suzanne Barton, Jeanette Machoian , teacher Patty Kalajian, Margaret Tejerian, and Janice Maroot

FRESNO—The Armenian Cultural Conservancy of Fresno hosted their third annual Armenian Heritage Culinary Art Class. The event was held on January 25 in the Armenian-American Citizens’ League hall and kitchen at the California Armenian Home. The recipe selected to showcase was the Kharpertsi-style kufta – so well-known and loved, yet less made in today’s homes. The CAH Home Guild co-hosted this session as they prepare and sell this specialty dish bi-annually.

Guild member Elsie Bedrosian demonstrated mixing the triple-ground lean meat with water-soaked, fine cracked wheat in a Hobart mixer and how to assess its “doneness.” Delicately forming the outer shell is part of this multi-step process that requires much skill. To allow more time for practicing this particular technique, ACC and Guild member Mary Ekmalian prepared, formed, and refrigerated the “por” stuffing into walnut-size pieces the day before.

Approximately 40 participants, including teachers, students, and guests, were in attendance. To enable personalized lessons, each teacher instructed a small group of students. We thank the community kufta experts who graciously accepted the invitation to teach: Angel Bardezbanian, Anna Garabedian, Madeline Kachadoorian, Patty Kalajian, and Arda Toktas. After each group of students completed a few trays of kufta, ACC and Guild member Linda Kaloustian demonstrated how to prepare the broth. Students and community guests enjoyed a kufta lunch, which included salad, cheese boreg, bourma and persimmon cookies. Everyone received a printed recipe and additional kufta to-go, along with memories from a morning of fellowship and learning more about Armenian culture and its cuisine.

Kufta event chair Mary Ekmalian speaking to participants

Kufta event chair Mary Ekmalian speaking to participants

The CAH Home Guild’s purpose is to promote and serve the general welfare of the California Armenian Home. Throughout the year, they host bake sales and frozen kufta sales to benefit the Home. They meet on the third Friday of each month for a business meeting lunch and program, and welcome new members and guests. For more information, contact Mary at 559.261.1026.

The Armenian Cultural Conservancy is a 501c3, community benefit organization whose mission is “to collect, preserve and interpret the evidence of the Armenian experience in the Central Valley,” with an office and memorabilia displays in The Vineyards complex at the California Armenian Home, located at 6694 E Kings Canyon Rd, Fresno, CA 93727.

Office hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, or to receive a newsletter and event announcements, please email your request to [email protected] or call the office at 559.835.0837.

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One Comment;

  1. Margaret Hokokian said:

    Thank you for posting these two articles. They were wonderful to read and great publicity. The photos brought everything to life. Many thanks again.

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