Looking back at 2019, we have had so many memories to share and are so thankful for our experiences this past year especially as we head into 2020.
With some very big changes coming in 2020, some of which you have already seen, we really have to thank 2019.
It is very fitting that we start with a story of December 2018. Chef Leyla and I headed to South America with our family. This was not a family vacation, but an opportunity for Chef Leyla to represent Azerbaijani cuisine for a reception celebrating 25 years of Azerbaijani and Argentinian diplomatic friendship.
Chef Leyla also participated in an international grape leaf rolling festival. I actually just provided a presentation on the same subject at the Azerbaijan Consulate in Los Angeles this month. There is an art to grape rolling and it is tradition that was passed down to us and something that we will have already passed down to our children! You should see our six-year old daughter, she has amazing grape leaf rolling technique.
We had some knowledge of Argentina before our visit in 2018, mostly from tango classes that Chef Leyla and I took. We fell in love with the tango and more so with Buenos Aires just as soon as we set foot into the city. Such beautiful architecture, wide avenues, and friendly people. Monuments and parks, almost every where we turned was reminiscent of European cities we have visited in the past.
Argentinians welcome each other with kisses on the cheek. Such a warm way to greet people, it automatically makes you fee comfortable, like you are surrounded by family and friends.
As Chef Leyla and I have dabbled in dance of tango, which I must mention not so successfully, we can’t stress enough the impression it made on us especially when we were in Argentina. We took some more classes, inspired by two restaurant hosts dancing tango and inviting patrons in their establishment. It was and is so very magical. We even made it to an amazing and beautiful professional performance.
One thing that really resonated with us was the the dinner start time of 10PM! How different and it just made the end of the day something to look forward to. We have somewhat incorporate the 10PM dinner back here in the USA.