About the Name
Sayat (Sayyad in Persian) means hunter. Well, at least that’s what I want it to mean. It is unclear whether the Armenian name originates from Sayid or Sayyad, the former meaning ‘the one that bows down to God.’ Hunting has been at the center of Hominids’ food culture for most of our evolutionary history — take the name as an homage to this tradition!
I was born to an Armenian family in Istanbul, Turkey. Yes, at this time it is appropriate to conjure up images of a laid back life half of which is spent at the dinner table with family, friends and amazing food. My journey west started after finishing fifth grade at the Armenian elementary school, Mhitaryan Varjaran. In sixth grade, I began learning German and waltzing at the Austrian middle school in Istanbul (Sankt Georg Österreichische Schule). Then in ninth grade, I found myself at Robert College—the premier American high school in Istanbul, collecting bugs, publishing science journals and doing other geeky things.
I found myself hiking Mount Moosilauke with a half a dozen Americans about five years later. I was at Dartmouth College. An institution where people not only strive for excellence but also are wise enough to shun things they’re not passionate about. After getting my butt kicked in biology classes, I went onto studying Economics and German Studies — a much safer route.
Liberal arts is an amazing education paradigm. It literally convinced me that I could do anything that I wanted with my life. I worked in foreign policy advisory; development economics research; forex trading; management consulting; organic farming; merchandising; sql programming and application development; warehousing; procurement; transportation; teaching languages; analytics; industrial engineering; and last but not least continuous improvement.
This roundabout journey has led me to one conclusion: There is nothing more important to me than food. The way it builds communities, brings families together, reconciles differences among peoples, and stimulates all of us is so vital. The way it evolves, grows, transforms, tastes, feels, smells, sounds and looks is curious and irresistible. The way it makes us feel is so human. The impact it has on our mental and physical health as well as the health of our planet is critical.
Here we go. This is the beginning of my career in culinary arts. 5/10/2012 (Harrisburg, PA)
About the Mechanics of the Blog
In the spirit of inspiring excellent culinary experiences and share my love for food, a high level of specificity in most of the processes I document is intentionally lacking. I am trying to provide context on people, products, processes, and perspectives without being didactic.
I would very much like to hear your feedback on how this is working for you as my reader. I reserve the right to get smarter!