Jason Reed

Chefs Shine at Let’s Party! @ The Kitchen for Armenian Heritage Park

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BOSTON — Talented local chefs will prepare their famous dishes during Let’s Party! @ The Kitchen, Boston Public Market, on Friday, June 9, where guests can celebrate great food to taste while mixing and mingling while supporting the Armenian Heritage Park Fund for Year Round Care.

Andrew Janjigian, chef/baking instructor at America’s Test Kitchen and senior editor at Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, will begin the evening demonstrating a “new recipe” for Choreg, certain to receive rave reviews.

Prior to his tenure at America’s Test Kitchen and as an associate editor for Cook’s, Janjigian was an organic chemist, chef, mushroom cultivator, oven builder and cooking instructor. He still teaches workshops on bread and pizza baking at King Arthur Flour, the Kneading Conference in Skowhegan, Maine, and out of his kitchen classroom in Cambridge. He worked as an organic chemist at Genzyme Corporation, and as a line cook in restaurants in New York City and Boston. He earned a master’s degree in mycology from Harvard University, and teaches occasional workshops on mushroom foraging and cultivation.

Nathan Kibarian, pastry chef at Bastille Kitchen, will demonstrate the cherished Armenian string cheese. His love of cooking stems from fond childhood memories of being in the kitchen with his mother and grandmother, where at an early age he frequently assisted them with preparing dishes boasting heavy influence from his Armenian heritage. With the hope of turning his love affair with food into a career, Nathan Kibarian began his professional training in 2009 at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, which included a three-month French pastry training program at L’Ecole National Supérieure de Pâtisserie in Yssingeaux, France. With his formal education completed, graduating summa cum laude and with solid work experience, he brought his polished approach to pastry to The Ritz-Carlton Boston Common and then to The Ritz Carlton – Tysons Corner near Washington, D.C. Bastille Kitchen is a contemporary French bistro in the heart of Boston’s Innovation District. In his free moments, he experiments with brewing beer, making homemade charcuterie, and keeping chickens and a garden for fresh homegrown foods.

Jason Reed, executive chef at Vicki Lee’s, will demonstrate a favorite, tabouleh. Reed was first introduced to food and cooking by his mother, a trained chef and well-known catering director. His quest for professional training brought him to Boulder, Colorado, working under James Beard honorary Chef Bradford Heap, and Bravo’s Top Chef winner, Hosea Rosenberg. In 2008, a friendly meeting to discuss the food scene in Boston with Vicki Lee Bayajian, his father’s high school friend, turned into an employment opportunity. Since then he has worked as a chef at Vicki Lee’s, providing fresh ideas and delicious food for her shop and catering service. Aware that his position as a chef can directly affect our environment, Jason strives to find local and sustainable sources for the food he prepares. He is excited to bring his passion for farm-to-table cuisine and sustainability to Vicki Lee’s. Boyajian is going to attend the evening.

Bedros Der Vartanian, chef/owner, Eastern Lamejun Bakers, will demonstrate how to make lamejun.  For more than 35 years, he has sold fresh Lamejun, breads, cheese, pastries, cookies, spices and nuts to the Greater Boston community from the small bakery with the red awning on Belmont Street, Belmont. He and his family, immigrants from Aleppo, Syria, have always had a passion for cooking Armenian and Middle Eastern Cuisine. When they acquired the store in the mid- 1980’s, they knew that “they were meant to share that passion with the community”. Working on his skills and baking techniques year after year with frequent visits to Syria, Lebanon and Armenia, Bedros has tried to perfect the Middle Eastern experience that all his customers are accustomed to. “We, as Armenians living outside our homeland, must preserve our culture. We are diverse in language, religion, cultural customs and dress. I just want to do my part in preserving the cuisine and gourmet dishes our people have to offer!”

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Topping off the evening will again showcase pastry chef Nathan Kibarian demonstrating of paklava and chocolates. He credits his Armenian-American family for fostering his interest in food. “I’m a first-generation American. My grandparents lived next door and there were always family dinners, and everything was homemade, the desserts were homemade. Armenian flavors are natural, and home-style, with lots of fresh ingredients.”

Guest will also enjoy roasted nuts courtesy of Susan and Souren Etyemezian, owners of Fastachi in Boston and Watertown, and wines courtesy of Tutunjian Estate Vineyards.

Wendy Semonian Eppich, publisher of the Improper Bostonian, is the evening’s emcee. Semonian joined the magazine in 1993 and in 2003 became publisher of the bi-weekly magazine, headquartered in the Back Bay. Today, the Improper, 26 years after its founding, has become a local institution that reaches an audience of more than 426,000 readers. With 25 issues a year covering everything from food and fashion to arts and entertainment, the editorial staff prides itself on highlighting the people and places that make Boston a world-class city. She graduated from University of Maine, Orono in 1992 with an international affairs degree with a concentration in Russian language. She resides in Sherborn with her husband Bill and three young sons.

Advance reservations are necessary. Space is limited. To receive the e-invite, email hello@ArmenianHeritagePark.org.

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