Chef Sedrak Mamulyan teaching a class

Chef Sedrak Teaches Refugees from Artsakh’s Hadrut in Yerevan


YEREVAN — Hadrut was Armenian-populated since times unthinkable. This part of the Armenian homeland maintained its identity and local Armenian administration across millennia. This was terminated during the 2020 aggression against Artsakh, when Turkish-Azerbaijani forces conquered and depopulated the historical Armenian settlement. Many Hadrut natives moved to Stepanakert and some came to Yerevan.

Chef Sedrak Mamulyan

At the Megerian Carpet Museum, one can meet people from Hadrut every week. One of Armenia’s top chefs, Sedrak Mamulyan, teaches the art of cooking in the culinary studio part of the museum.

The beginnings of a rug

“It may sound controversial. However, we teach people of Artsakh how to cook the authentic food of Artsakh,” noted Mamulyan during our conversation. “That’s because many of our traditional recipes have been forgotten. So, we work on recovering the authentic Armenian cuisine of each region of Armenia and teach the locals,” he continued.

Mamulyan has founded the Armenian Cookery Traditions Development and Protection NGO for this purpose. The organization explores and tries to revive the best Armenian traditions of cooking.

Raffi Megerian, a businessman from New York, runs the former Hyegorg carpet factory in Yerevan. After the Soviets collapsed, the previously giant carpet factory of the Soviet Armenian republic went out of business. The Megerian rug dealers from New York restored traditional Armenian carpet weaving at former Hyegorg. Now they run a museum and a restaurant beside the factory, visited by Charles Aznavour, Kim Kardashian, US Congressional delegations, various American ambassadors to Armenia, and many other notables.

Kim Kardashian visiting the Megerian Carpet Museum

“These days, hamburgers or cheeseburgers are popular, but with the help of chef Setrak Mamulian we try to find out what traditional food was baking cooked by our parents and grandparents and teach it to our young generations. One of the best chefs is helping them here at our location,” added Megerian.

Get the Mirror in your inbox:

They both approach Armenian traditional cuisine from a broader perspective. “Traditional food is related to the ingredients that grew in local areas and to the ceremonies for which those dishes were prepared. Therefore, it is part of our cultural heritage and history,” observed Mamulyan. Per Megerian, today when some of Armenia’s neighbors try to hijack Armenian traditional carpets and dishes, such work becomes even more essential.

The video segment includes interviews with Megerian and Mamulyan and a tour of the Megerian Carpet Museum.

Get the Mirror-Spectator Weekly in your inbox: