As an immigrant from Azerbaijan earned selling her cooking books in the USA
Source: Sputnik Azerbaijan
Farida Buyuran moved to America after her marriage and has been living in the country for 14 for years. She is the founder of the culinary blog. www.azcookbook.com and the author of a book about the national cuisine of Azerbaijan “Pomegranates and Saffron: A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan” (Pomegranates and Saffron: A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan).
After studying at the Azerbaijan University of Languages, in which she also studied in the magistracy in the specialty "English literature", Farida began working in the journal Azerbaijan International. A year later she was sent to the American office of the magazine in Los Angeles for training. By the will of fate, it was there that she met her future spouse. After the trainings, the girl returned to Baku and continued to work first in the magazine, and then in another company. However, after marriage, she moved to her spouse in California.
Here she fulfilled her big dream - she entered the California State University, received an MBA. After graduation, she worked for some time in the field of marketing and project management in various companies. But shortly before the book was published, she felt that she could not physically cope with work, family, and her hobby. After all, while working on the book, she also kept a culinary blog. As a result, Farida quit her job and devoted herself entirely to publishing the book.
The book was noticed and appreciated not only by Azerbaijanis striving to preserve their native culture in emigration. She was announced as the winner of The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in the category of Eastern European cuisine published in the United States.
“I just sent my cookbook to the organizers of the competition in Spain. A few months later I received a letter informing me that my book won in the category of books on Eastern European cuisine published in America. This made it possible to pass to the next stage - to compete with the winning books in the same category, but published in other countries, for the title “Best in the World", - says Farida in an interview 1news.az - CeremonyBest in the World"Was held in China. We flew there with the whole family and already learned here that the book “Grenades and Saffron: A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan” received an award “2014 Gourm and Best in the World Award”, And in a category that came as a surprise to me - the international jury recognized my book as one of the best this year. Our joy, of course, knew no bounds. The first book - and such an award. A little later, I learned that my book had won an American award. Living now awards in the category of ethnic books. This is one of the prestigious awards for educational books that promote tolerance. I was shocked, but it was so nice. ”
At the moment, Buyuran holds master classes in the United States, in which it teaches Americans to cook Azerbaijani dishes. According to her, the goal was not just to write a book, but a desire to acquaint everyone with the culture of Azerbaijan.
In the book, in addition to describing the cooking process, the history of a particular dish is given, and to which region it belongs.
“They don't like to cook in America, but they have a lot of cookbooks at home. They don't cook, but read them. They are interested in it. After reading my book, I want them to fall in love with Azerbaijan, with our culture, ”Buyran said.
She is extremely happy that Americans have become the main buyers of the publication, which means she was able to interest them. The culinary specialist intends to continue her mission and plans to release the second version of her book. A curious fact: before moving to the United States, Farida did not know how to cook, well, with the exception of a few simple dishes.
- Married life, as they say, forced - you have to feed yourself and your spouse. I began to collect recipes for Azerbaijani dishes. The first recipes were shared with me by my mom, who is an excellent cook. Gradually it turned into a hobby, and then into rather painstaking work. Somehow I wanted to find books on Azerbaijani cuisine - I couldn't. There were general books where there were chapters about Azerbaijan. And I had an idea why not write such a book myself, and even a very detailed one, and present all regions of our country in it. I consulted with my mother, mobilized friends and acquaintances from all over Azerbaijan - I collected about 250 recipes, including very rare ones. I tested all of them, and photographed the finished dishes. Many of them, and this is more than 200 recipes, were included in my book.
In addition, I selected the appropriate proverbs and sayings from Azerbaijani folklore for each dish. Also collected information, historical references. By the way, the famous French writer Alexander Dumas traveled around Azerbaijan at one time, and since he was a big gourmet and lover of tasty food, it is clear that the Azerbaijani cuisine was reflected in his soul with a multitude of quotes and descriptions. Imagine, he was delighted with our jiz-byza! This approach to writing a book on cooking turned out to be, in my opinion, very successful, because Americans do not like cooking very much, but they are always happy to read and learn something new.
To be honest, despite the fact that my main goal has always been the promotion of our cuisine abroad, I thought that my work would be of interest only to Azerbaijanis living in the United States.
But more than half of my buyers are foreigners, and they live not only in America, but all over the world. As I said, the entire first print run was almost completely sold out, while the second edition included an additional 16 new pages with 6 new recipes.
From the moment of receiving the first recipe to the release of the book it took about 7 years. But Farida would like to develop this initiative, which has become a matter of life:
- I would like to participate in the creation of a TV show dedicated to cooking. Ideally, this would be a program that would combine travel and cooking. First, I think to open my youtube -channel and conduct their programs there. I love this, and I would like to devote myself to this. All this requires a lot of effort, and in all this time I realized that working alone is very difficult. Maybe someday I will have my own team, and we will go together to our goal.
Spouse and children support me very much. My family in Baku - my mom, dad, sister - were the first to support my idea and help me in every way.
In Baku, Farida happens about once a year in 2, comes to visit relatives and friends. From the homeland always brings souvenirs for friends, tea, spices:
- We even have a pomegranate tree from Azerbaijan growing in our yard. This summer I brought with me a Baku mongrel dog. Perhaps this is our most interesting and favorite "souvenir" in the house. We all love her very much. The dog was rescued by volunteers, animal lovers in Baku, and we agreed to bring it to California. This is our second dog, the first was taken from a local shelter. We always fly to our homeland with children, let them know about their maternal roots. We also visit our spouse's relatives in Turkey.
Farida speaks Azeri with the children - they both speak it fluently. In the family, they like to celebrate national holidays, in particular, Novruz-Bayram:
- Cooking holiday sweets. But at the same time, we have completely adapted in America, in terms of life, we are very comfortable here. True, it is expensive to live here, and therefore you cannot live without work. We have a small house here with its own yard. Our neighbors are very good too. In general, Americans are very welcoming and friendly. I don't feel like a stranger, California, in principle, is an ethnically colorful state, and then everyone came from somewhere. Our compatriots also live here. There are not many of them, but not few either. We are friends with some of them families.