Preserving the Art of Central Valley Armenian Home Cooking

Three years ago, I was planning to move to Washington, DC for my job when my life met a major detour. Following my heart led me back to Fresno, a move that extended my commute to work by about 2,500 miles! For the next 2 years, I tried to “stay the course” as my detours multiplied, and then I finally gave in.

Here are three points about detours that I’ve since come to understand:

  1. Stepping off any given “track” yields perspective, and perspective is really helpful in navigation.
  2. Detours for caregiving disproportionately affect women, and the economic consequences are quantifiable. (I replaced the “o” in “Detour” with the female symbol to underscore this point.)
  3. Detours can lead to interesting places. This cooking project – for example – has long been my dream, but I never would have set aside the time to do it pre-detour.

Because I expect to gain rich perspective from the detours up ahead , I’m dedicating this section of the blog to celebrating them and seeing what more can be learned from the inevitable twists and turns.



There’s a whole lot of gagging going on these days. Gaggles. Gag orders. To indulge my mother, I made a different kind of “gag”—  a

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About Julianne

Julianne Burk was born and raised in Fresno, California. She graduated from Harvard University and received an MBA from The Yale School of Management. A marketing professional and business consultant for over twenty years, Julianne took a detour in 2016, following her heart back to Fresno where she devotes herself to multi-generational family caregiving, writing, grassroots advocacy–and, of course, cooking! Most days, you can find her in Downtown Fresno at her P. Street office. To make contact, reach out to

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