Armenian cuisine is among the oldest in the world, with some recipes over 2,000 years old. The legacy lives on as the secrets of traditional Armenian cuisine are passed down from generation to generation. Lena Ghadanian Artunian is one of the third generation of chefs and food content creators based in LA. She inherited the legacy from her grandfather and father who is currently running HyeFeastLA to carry on the tradition.
Born in Lebanon into a culturally rich family, Lena developed a keen interest in food at the young age of 7. Her family owned a restaurant in Aleppo, Syria, then to Beirut, Lebanon, before coming to the USA in 1978.
The food culture of Syria and Lebanon is rich and resonant, reflecting both its Mediterranean setting and deep anthropological history. Entering a Lebanese restaurant in any part of the world takes you back on a special journey to the beautiful countryside of Lebanon, which sits between a lovely sea view and green mountains. This essence of Lena’s hometown is reflected in her food which makes it all the more special. Lena’s grandfather George Ghadanian was a skillful chef who was passionate about passing down flavorsome Syrian delicacies, which he had learned from his uncles. The recipes and the cooking methods haven’t changed, which shows the family’s dedication to its culture and cuisine.
Trained by the best, Lena Arturian took after her father, her mentor. She learned to master traditional Syrian and Armenian recipes and did not stop even after her father’s death from a heart attack. She felt responsible for keeping the family’s legacy alive. To make her dream come true, she sowed the seeds and started HyeFeastLA 10 years ago on Instagram. Lena had a strong determination when it came to her mission: to honor and share her family’s recipes while also helping people establish meaningful connections with traditional cooking.
Lena has ventured into various platforms such as blogging, creating video content, providing courses and one-on-one lessons, holding group classes over Zoom meetings — the list goes on. Despite being a mother of two kids and all the responsibilities that come with it, Lena pursued her dream and made it all happen with determination and dedication.
Lena is grateful to her fans, followers, and supporters for being a driving force in her journey. She still has dreams to accomplish, which include a cookbook documenting her grandfather’s and fathers’ tips and recipes. She also wants to open a cooking school, a small restaurant, or even host a cooking show someday. This is her way of ensuring that the Ghadanian culinary legacy is carried on.