Our Story

Welcome to Feride Buyuran Food and Culture Tours!

Discover cozy little towns along the Silk Road, eccentric large cities, and far-flung villages nestled in the Caucasus Mountains. Along the way, meet local artisans engaged in art and crafts unique to the region.

Savor lively market visits in the countryside, learn how to cook tantalizing regional specialties, and eat with friendly locals around abundant dinner tables in their homes.

And of all this with me as you host.

Now a U.S. citizen and Long Beach, California, resident, I am a native of Azerbaijan and I want to share with you the culinary treasures of my homeland.

How did these tours come to be? It all started with my food blog AZCookbook and book Pomegranates and Saffron: A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan. My readers asked me if I would consider conducting culinary tours to the place where this food originated.

That’s how the seed was planted. One thing lead to another and in October of 2017 I made the decision to lead my very first food and culture tour to Azerbaijan and neighboring Georgia.

I sat down and developed a vision – it had to be a unique tour that goes off the beaten path, where a traveler gets to take in the sights, tastes, and rich history of the Caucasus region while learning about a culture through connecting with everyday people. At the same time, I wanted to positively contribute to the lives of the locals.

I created an itinerary and after a few months of meticulous work on the details, I was ready to lead my first tour.

My vision came alive when a friendly group of culture and food enthusiasts signed up, among them food writer Charles Perry, President of the Culinary Historians of Southern California and former staff writer for the food section of the Los Angeles Times.

During the tour, my travelers marveled at the unique experiences they had on every stop in both countries. Mr. Perry raved about the variety of baklavas he was able to sample in Azerbaijan. Another traveler, Kathy S. Rice, called the trip ‘a once in a lifetime opportunity!’

The tour was such a success!

I hope you join me on my next culinary journey to Azerbaijan and beyond. Together, we will explore the vibrant traditions of an ethnically diverse landscape where East and West are intricately woven into the history, culture, and cuisine, and where hospitality is a way of life.

You will receive the warmest welcome everywhere you go. The Caucasus will be your home away from home. That is my ultimate goal.

Happy travels!

~ Feride Buyuran

POMEGRANATES & SAFFRON: A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan

Meet Your Tour Leader

Native of Azerbaijan, U.S. and Turkish citizen, and Long Beach, California, resident, Feride Buyuran is on a mission to bring people together and connect cultures through food. To serve this mission, she sets unique tours to her birthplace Azerbaijan and neighboring countries. Through these full immersion experiences, Feride hopes to give people the gift of better understanding one another while savoring the best the region has to offer.

Feride’s passion for the food of the Caucasus region has been the inspiration behind her debut cookbook, Pomegranates and Saffron: A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan. Broadly featured in media, this first US-published cookbook on Azerbaijani cuisine has won five prestigious awards, including Gourmand Best in the World.

Feride enjoys speaking on topics of food history and culture at public and private venues. Among her public speaking events are lectures at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and at the Los Angeles Central Library. Fueled with her contagious enthusiasm for sharing the diversity and vibrancy of the Caucasus cuisine and culture, Feride also organizes uniquely themed culture and dinner events and cooking classes in her California home and other places.

Feride has a Master’s degree in English Philology from the State University of Languages in Azerbaijan and a Master’s of Business Administration from California State University, Long Beach.

She is fluent in English, Azerbaijani, Russian, and Turkish languages and has a working knowledge of Spanish. When Feride is not working on planning a tour or researching for her book, she enjoys brushing up on her Spanish skills and learning to dance Flamenco.