A food blog with delicious recipes and stories

Azerbaijani Cooking Class Hosts Mike and Feride

A bit of a belated post, but wanted to share about an exciting event that took place earlier this month. On June 5, I co-hosted the very first Azerbaijani cooking class in Los Angeles with my friend Mike Benayoun of 196 flavors. The class was taught in Santa Monica’s very cool place – Stage+Table.

Mike created the event in honor of the celebration of Republic Day of Azerbaijan on May 28th. It was part of a  monthly series of interactive and social cooking workshops hosted by 196 flavors that features a different cuisine or theme every month. He invited me to co-host and I didn’t hesitate to agree.

Azerbaijani Cooking Class - Making Dolma

I personally had an amazing time. We had the most friendly and fun students, open to learning about new, unfamiliar (to most of them) flavors. During the meet and greet, Mike treated everybody to a refreshing Azerbaijani lemon drink sharbat he had made beforehand. Then we proceeded to the fun part – hands-on cooking!

We started with vegetarian dolma—grape leaves stuffed with rice, onions, and copious amounts of fresh herbs. The class did a fantastic job despite the fact that dolma- making was totally new to most of them. Look at the result! So proud of what everybody did!

Azerbaijani Cooking Class - Dolma


  • Azerbaijani Dinner
    Exclusive Azerbaijani Dining Experience in Our House & You Are Invited!
    October 13, 2016 by
    About a month ago, I hosted an exclusive Azerbaijani dinner in our house for the members of the Culinary Historians of Southern California, following my lecture at the Los Angeles Central Library. My goal was to offer the guests not only a unique dining experience, but also allow them to immerse in the Azerbaijani culture even if it was for...
    Read more
  • Colorful Cauliflower
    Links to Reads, September 2016
    September 28, 2016 by
    September is drawing to an end and this month’s Links to Reads are here! Oh what a month it has been so far!  Tons of scheduling, focusing, and delivering. I had a lecture at the Los Angeles Public library, hosted Culinary Historians for the exclusive all-Azerbaijani dinner in our house and have been doing cooking classes at home (yay, they...
    Read more
  • Fresh Walnuts. Istanbul, Turkey.
    Links to Reads, August 2016
    August 29, 2016 by
    Hello, friends! Time for August  Links to Reads!  That picture above was taken in August too, but two years ago, when I was in Istanbul to print the First Edition of my Pomegranates & Saffron cookbook. One day, I had some time to take a stroll in the bustling aisles of the city’s magnificent Grand Bazaar, where walnuts, some still...
    Read more
  • Azerbaijani Firni in Lahij
    Links to Reads, July 2016
    August 2, 2016 by
    Welcome, August! And good-bye, July! Time for a new round of cool links from various sources, so hi there, July Links to Reads! Top 10 links I enjoyed reading. * In Mexico City, trash is recycled both to curb the local waste disposal problem and help the poor get food in return. * Unlike Japanese sashimi, Korean sashimi prizes live...
    Read more
  • How to Dry Mint Leaves
    How to Dry Mint Leaves
    July 27, 2016 by
    When life gives you mint, dry it. And store it. Because you can use dried mint in so many ways in the kitchen and stocking up on it to last through a long time is always a good idea. Dried mint is one of my most important pantry staples and I often use it in Azerbaijani and Turkish dishes. The...
    Read more