“Aleppo: Culture and Cuisine” by Seta and Alec Ekmekji
Aleppo can boast one of the richest and most diverse cuisines in the world. Despite its wide acclaim, only a paltry handful of Aleppo dishes are ever served at Los Angeles restaurants and it remains a cuisine of great home cooks. One day Aleppo natives Seta Ekmekji and her sister-in-law, Rhoda Margossian, decided to compile some of their recipes to leave to their children, a project that developed a life of its own and turned into a cookbook. Seta and her son Alec will present a brief history of Aleppo, talk about the lifestyle there, and discuss some of the recipes in their book—dishes that cannot be easily found in restaurants, even in Aleppo itself. Samples will be served after the talk.
When Seta Ekmekji was thirty-five, the U.S. Consul in Aleppo invited her and her husband to immigrate to America. Here Seta created a new career for herself as a banker, ending her career as a manager of the Beverly Hills branch of Bank of America. Son Alec attended Hollywood High School and UCLA, holds a Master’s Degree in Physics, and has worked as an engineer in the defense industry. He dreamt that after retiring he would return to Aleppo and live there for a year, but the recent war has prevented this. Alec is also a writer of short stories and poetry, and recently published his first book, titled Beneath the Glass Bell. Currently he is working on a book of translations of Armenian poetry into English.
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