Moving into the Kitchen: The Culinary Evolution of a Once Reluctant Home Cook

I grew up surrounded by a small army of extraordinary women. These women were the backbone of my family. My grandmother raised four children on her own after my grandfather passed away, all while working multiple jobs to ensure that each of her children could pursue a college education, something she never had the opportunity… Continue reading Moving into the Kitchen: The Culinary Evolution of a Once Reluctant Home Cook

Karma Kitchen: A Culinary Experiment in Generosity

Years ago, I taught Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha to my high school seniors. We spent a great deal of time reviewing the tenets of Buddhism but the concept that fascinated them the most was that of “karma”. This concept is colloquially understood to mean “what goes around comes around”. Buddhist philosophers have much more to say… Continue reading Karma Kitchen: A Culinary Experiment in Generosity

A Tale of Two Markets: Baltimore and the Gentrification of the Marketplace 

One of my earliest memories of Baltimore involves making my way through a myriad of stalls at Lexington Market. It’s where I got my fresh cut fruit and where I got my first chicken boxes with the requisite salt, pepper, ketchup and hot sauce as so expertly instructed by my students. It’s also where I… Continue reading A Tale of Two Markets: Baltimore and the Gentrification of the Marketplace 

If It’s Not Yours, Don’t Claim It: A Meditation on the Dangers of (Culinary) Cultural Appropriation 

I teach a world literature course which means that I spend a lot of time thinking about culture. That also inevitably means that I spend a lot of time thinking about cultural appropriation or the act of “borrowing” elements of someone else’s culture without acknowledging or crediting the group in question. We see this happening… Continue reading If It’s Not Yours, Don’t Claim It: A Meditation on the Dangers of (Culinary) Cultural Appropriation 

The Tempest: Chef Michael and Adventures aboard The Lady Maryland

I love the water. Always have. That’s why I agreed to chaperone students on a three-day sailing trip from Baltimore to Norfolk aboard The Lady Maryland. It wasn’t until I got on board that I realized that we’d be participating in The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race and it wasn’t until I put my sleeping… Continue reading The Tempest: Chef Michael and Adventures aboard The Lady Maryland

A New Language is a Kind of Scar: Reimagining Food as my Love Language

There are few things I am more proud of than my heritage. Both my parents are Armenian but they were born and raised in Iraq as a result of the widespread displacement and dislocation caused by the Armenian genocide. My mom tells the story of how her father lost his entire family at a young… Continue reading A New Language is a Kind of Scar: Reimagining Food as my Love Language