Posts Tagged ‘Milwaukee Armenian’

By David Luhrssen

 

Dawn MacKeen Book Dawn Anahid MacKeen grew up hearing stories of her grandfather’s survival. Like many Armenians, Stepan Miskjian was marched into the desert under the brutal prodding of Turkish police with little hope of staying alive. But he eventually made his way to the New World after being sheltered by an Arab Muslim sheikh, a tribal leader in Syria who saved other Armenians as well.

MacKeen’s grandfather left behind a memoir of his experience that became the inspiration for her own journey. In 2007 MacKeen, a journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Smart Money and elsewhere, set forth for Turkey and Syria to retrace her ancestor’s steps. The book that resulted from her journey, The Hundred-Year Walk, is a well-documented and written account of the Genocide and her grandfather’s quest to live. The New York Post called The Hundred-Year Walk a “must read.”

For its 2017 Culture Month event, St. John the Baptist Armenian Church will present Dawn Anahid MacKeen, 1:15 p.m., Sept. 17 at St. John’s Culture Hall. A light luncheon will be served before her talk begins. Admission is Free. General public is welcome.

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By David Luhrssen

Justin Aprahamian, chef de cuisine at Sanford Restaurant (1547 N. Jackson St.), achieved national recognition this spring as a finalist for Best Chef: Midwest and semi-finalist for Rising Star of the Year at the James Beard Awards—fine dining’s answer to the Oscars. Aprahamian started in his uncle’s catering business at age 12 and grew up with stories about the importance of food in his Armenian heritage. “A big part was the power it had to bring people together,” he says. For the month of September, Aprahamian has prepared an Armenian menu, offered Monday through Friday at Sanford for $49. The courses include grilled eggplant stuffed with mint, raisins and pinenuts; sorrel and lentil soup with cherry tomatoes, tarragon and candied garlic; braised chuck and grilled tongue of beef with bell peppers and toasted bulgur; and semolina walnut cake with preserved cherries and walnut ice cream. According to Aprahamian, putting a gourmet spin on family recipes passed down through the generations was simple. “It’s very soulful,” he says of the dishes. “It’s easy for me to relate to and pass that joy on to our guests.”

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