Lena Ghadanian Artunian is an American Middle-Eastern chef and food content creator. Her venture, HyeFeastLA features a series of Middle-Eastern and other recipes with detailed steps to make them more accessible. Lena developed a passion for cooking from an early age, finally transforming her affinity to a more productive end via her blog.
Belonging to a family of professional chefs, Lena was naturally exposed to many cooking-related shenanigans from her childhood. Her grandfather George Ghadanian learned cooking from his uncles, trying different Armenian-Syrian delicacies. He would spend his time and energy perfecting the process of cooking various recipes, realizing that careful application in the process adds the rich flavor and aroma to the dish that customers love dearly. These recipes were later passed on to his sons, who grew up to be excellent chefs.
Ghadanian family migrated from Syria to the USA in 1978, carrying their rich culinary legacy to the bright Southern California landscape. Mihran Ghadanian, Lena’s father, opened his restaurant in Tarzana, CA. He ran it successfully for 31 years. Lena grew up watching her father and mother manage the lively enterprise – the general hubbub of the restaurant made her feel energetic. She started participating in the restaurant at a tender age, learning the craft from her parents, where completing a kitchen chore or serving food to a customer made her happy. Thus cooking and family traditions were defining factors in Lena’s upbringing.
Despite her evident fondness for cooking, Lena opted to study Health Service Management at university, working at a hospital afterwards. Meanwhile, her father passed away, leaving Lena no choice but to sell the family restaurant. This was a hard but a necessary decision, given that she could not run the restaurant at that time. No matter what she did, her passion for cooking followed her everywhere. Whenever she stepped into the kitchen, she felt the presence of her late father, guiding her in the best of ways.
Unable to shrug off the Armenian culinary roots, Lena gave in and decided to pursue her passion in some form, if not as a restaurant owner. She made an Instagram blog HyeFeastLA to share with the world what she knew best – her family’s recipes that had been perfected over the years with love and dedication. Quite soon after its inception, it turned out that the blog wasn’t just helping Lena stay grounded and connected with her past but others as well. Quite often, she would come across messages thanking her for providing a way to connect with a long-lost recipe. She began to give offline and online individual and group classes feeling like a private chef.
Currently, Lena enjoys running her blog and classes, keeping the Ghadanian culinary legacy alive. She is also working on a cookbook with her family’s recipes. She wants to run a small restaurant or a culinary school in the future to help more people connect with old and wholesome recipes.
Keep up with Lena’s amazing culinary adventure by clicking here.