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American celebrity chef Mary Sue Milliken will visit Armenia for a culinary diplomacy program

10:55, June 6

American celebrity chef, cookbook author, restaurateur and founder of the Mundo Hospitality Group, Mary Sue Milliken will visit Armenia June 7-13, 2024 for a culinary diplomacy program focused on sustainability and food entrepreneurship, hosted by the U.S. Embassy, in collaboration with The Culinary Diplomacy Project.

Chef Milliken has broken barriers as a female entrepreneur, pioneering sustainability initiatives and bringing her innovative approaches to the American public with her popular “Too Hot Tamales” cooking show. She opened the critically acclaimed City Café (“with her business partner Susan Fengier”), followed by several Border Grill restaurants in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, to serve street food inspired Mexican cuisine with a commitment to sustainably-resourced ingredients. She has continued to develop her culinary offerings into a variety of restaurants, food trucks, and a catering business including BBQ Mexicana, Pacha Mamas, SOCALO, and Alice B. in Palm Springs. Chef Milliken has competed on “Top Chef Masters”, co-authored five cookbooks, including Mesa Mexicana and Cooking with Too Hot Tamales, and is the recipient of the James Beard and Julia Child Awards. She will be joined by Lenora Marouani , chef/co-owner of Barsha Wine & Spirits, and Barsha Restaurant in Hermosa Beach.

Chef Milliken and Chef Marouani’s culinary diplomacy visit to Armenia will include cooking demonstrations, masterclasses, and workshops with aspiring chefs and food entrepreneurs, with a focus on innovation, sustainability, entrepreneurship, and women’s empowerment. Educational engagements will be held in partnership with Yerevan Wine Days Festival, Yeremyan Academy for Culinary Arts, the Pastry Art Academy, and Vayots Dzor Regional State College.

Chef Milliken and Chef Marouani will also visit Armenian food producers throughout Vayotz Dzor and Syunik provinces, supported by USAID Armenia’s rural economic development initiatives, where they will learn about Armenia’s food traditions and discuss food sustainability.

“Sharing a meal together can promote a deep understanding of shared values and traditions,” said Ambassador Kristina Kvien. “We’re delighted to host Chef Milliken and Chef Marouani to strengthen U.S.-Armenian culinary ties, spark important conversations about sustainability, and shine a light on Armenia’s amazing food entrepreneurs in Syunik and Vayots Dzor.”


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