Resounding success?  That would be an understatement, according to Rita Jury, speaking of last weekend’s auction and bazaar at St. John’s Armenian Church of Greater Detroit in Southfield.  The two day event, October 3 and 4 drew several thousand guests and raised record-breaking figures for the church and its charitable outreach efforts. 

Additionally, it was a great showcase for Armenian culture, especially food and art and music, and will prove a colorful segment for ‘Our Armenian Story’.

The auction’s highlight, according to Rita, “Is the gourmet dinner for eight, prepared by Anita Arslanian, Marie Vanerian and Dolly Matoian, the same three responsible for the delicacies available throughout the auction.  The raffle, chaired by Maral Thomas, broke all records.”

The trio of cooks who will prepare the winning meal were also at the helm throughout the bazaar, preparing such mouthwatering items as kufta (an Armenian meatball which requires three days to prepare and which we filmed ‘in process’ as an earlier segment), beef and lamb kebabs, and an Armenian favorite, bulgur wheat (parboiled and dried as it has been for nearly fifteen hundred years.)  The meal was rounded out with Armenian pastries, for which the cuisine, a kind of blend of Arab and Greek traditions (a vast simplification, of course) is known.  Our particular favorite proved to be kataifi (chopped nuts inside shredded wheat soaked in honey.  Along with the Women’s Guild, Paul Yousoufian lent his personal expertise to the entire food experience, much appreciated by young and old.

Music by the Nigosian Band, an oud-centered combo, kept the crowd alert and focused despite the steady  food consumption!  Led by Greg and George Nigosian, this energetic band has been dedicated to sophisticated and traditional interpretation for over twenty years.