While growing up, I was part of a lot of Armenian cultural activities. A couple of these activities were done by some of the same people, so I had a duplicated group of friends in two different activities. One of these friends became one of my good friends. Her name was Nataline. A little shy of my own age, she and I had a lot of similarities. We were both very creative and enjoyed laughing a lot. She was the only friend my parents would let me stay the night at her house.
At a very young age, Nataline was diagnosed with leukemia. I remember the day I found out, and I couldn’t believe it. She was the sweetest and most peaceful person I knew! Even when I had problems with other people, she would always encourage me to not assume the worse in people and to always assume the best. I remember one time, we were walking to the car to go home, and I told her, “I don’t think anyone likes me here..” and she just casually said, “you don’t know that… and even if you’re feeling is right, don’t pay attention to it.” She was 8 years old, spewing out older wisdoms.
All this to say, Nataline passed away, fighting hard, and because of the injustice of the health care system. You can read more of her fight HERE. Her parents, filled with zeal and anger against the injustice, decided to form an organization that would, “save innocent lives, and to make changes to our healthcare system in the United States” (natalinesarkisyan.com). They were inspired by Nataline’s fashion sketchbook. She had a dream to one day become a fashion designer. They started remembering her by holding an annual fashion show called Nataline’s Fashion Legacy every July (her birthday month).
Her mom, Hilda Sarkisyan, found out that I had become a chef and at once contacted me with quick details asking if I’d be interested to have a table filled with appetizers. I didn’t even think about it and just jumped on the boat.
(stay tuned for recipes in future posts)
I made tabouleh, peaches with prosciutto, a delicious tomato and olive bruschetta, asparagus with puff pastry and parmigiano reggiano, bite size sartu di riso, red wine caramelized onions and strawberry tarts… the table was filled and GONE in a matter of 15 minutes (might I add)!
On July 8, we celebrated Nataline, with Talin’s Table appetizers, and a remarkable fashion show. We love you and miss you Nataline. We will always remember you. ❤