Gift boxes of kata ready for purchase (photo Sossy Yogurtian)

Boston Tekeyan Cooking Series Kicks Off with Kata


WATERTOWN — The Tekeyan Cultural Association (TCA) Boston Chapter held the first of a series of Armenian cooking demonstrations on the evening of Thursday, March 21. Dr. Knarik Arkun illustrated how to prepare the traditional sweet pastry known as kata/gata or nazouk.

Samples of kata/gata or nazouk (photo Sossy Yogurtian)

Chapter Co-chair Dr. Aida Yavshayan introduced Dr. Arkun, a Tufts Medical Center neuropathologist who has recently become a member of the local TCA chapter. Chapter Co-chair Rita Balyozian spoke about the cooking demonstration series, for which she is the coordinator. Audience members were asked to write down suggestions for future cooking classes.

Arkun spoke a little bit about her own background and about the ancient traditions of baking bread and kata in the Armenian highlands before beginning the demonstration. A live feed to a screen on the wall allowed participants to view her step-by-step actions more closely, while those who wanted could try their hand afterwards at making their own kata. They could then check to see when it was ready to take out of the oven and were excited to be able to take home their own creations.

Dr. Knarik Arkun speaks about the ancient Armenian tradition of kata-making (photo Aram Arkun)

TCA chapter executives Maral Der Torossian, Sossy Yogurtian, Balyozian and Yavshayan assisted in the preparation with baking, and adorning the tables with colorful fresh-cut spring flowers. Some kata was baked ahead of time for participants to eat after the demonstration (or to take home), along with coffee and tea and fruits. Beautifully packed boxes of kata were available for purchase.

Rita Balyozian, left, and Knarik Arkun preparing the dough (photo Aram Arkun)

Yavshayan announced that in addition to the next cooking demonstration, the TCA Boston Chapter has several upcoming events, including a celebration of Hampartsoum on Sunday, May 5 and a barbecue for Father’s Day, June 16, both at the Baikar Building, along with several cosponsored events: the April 10 screening of Nubar Alexanian’s “Finding Armenia” at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research and Nora Armani’s performance in “Mercedes and Zarouhi” at the Armenian Cultural Foundation on April 28. In the fall, there will be a jazz night starring Angelina Nazarian and other musicians.

Audience members make their own kata at front table (photo Aram Arkun)

For more information, contact the chapter via email at or see its Facebook page.

Some of the Tekeyan Cultural Association Boston Chapter executive members: from left, Rita Balyozian, Maral Der Torossian, Jeanine Shememian, Knarik Arkun, Suzy Naroian, Sossy Yogurtian, Aida Yavshayan (photo Aram Arkun)

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