WASHINGTON, D.C. – In advance of this year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival that features Armenian culture, an Armenian-inspired dinner experience with special guest Carrie Nahabedian at the popular Mediterranean restaurant Zaytinya quickly sold out. A portion of ticket proceeds will be donated to the Armenia Tree Project (ATP), part of the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) family.
ATP was established in 1994 by Assembly President Carolyn Mugar, and since then, ATP has made enormous strides in combating desertification in the biologically diverse but threatened Caucasus region. More than 5.5 million trees have been planted and restored, and hundreds of jobs have been created for Armenians in seasonal tree-related programs.
“This year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival showcases Armenia’s culture, and food is a big part of Armenia’s identity. I am delighted to hear how fast Chef Carrie Nahabedian’s dinner collaboration with Zaytinya sold out, which gauges the high interest in Armenian cuisine. A special thank you to Chef Nahabedian for donating the proceeds of the dinner to ATP, which will help Armenia become more sustainable,” Mugar said. “For all those who were unable to secure tickets to this popular fundraiser, there is still another opportunity to experience Chef Nahabedian’s expertise on Wednesday, June 27 during the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall,” she added.
On June 27 from 1:00-2:00 PM, Chef Nahabedian will join Zaytinya’s Chef Michael Costa to prepare sou boureg, an Armenian dish made with layers of handmade noodles and cheese.
After departing her position as Executive Chef of the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, Carrie Nahabedian returned to her native Chicago to open NAHA in 2000, which garnered her a James Beard Award and seven consecutive Michelin stars. Carrie opened Brindille in the spring of 2013 along with partner and cousin Michael; while NAHA highlighted her Armenian roots, Brindille’s refined Parisian fare celebrates hers and Michael’s favorite spots in Paris.
In addition to a culinary collaboration with Chef Nahabedian and Chef Costa, the Festival will feature cooking demonstrations and an opportunity for guests to participate in cooking classes and taste regional specialties like ghapama (stuffed pumpkin) and gata (Armenian cake) in between wine tastings and cheese-making classes.
The Festival will take place from June 27 to July 1 and then from July 4 to July 8. For more information about the schedule of events, click here.
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.