If you’ve ever wanted to cook alongside a legendary chef, here’s your chance.

Chef Zov Karamardian, owner and founder of the Orange County-based Zov’s Bistro and Bakery, will be hosting a Virtual Holiday Cooking Extravaganza that will benefit the Santa Ana-based charter school, Samueli Academy.

Karamardian, better known by her Chef Zov persona, founded her bakery Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in 1987.

Today, more than 30-years later, Chef Zov continues her culinary legacy in Orange County with restaurants in Tustin, Irvine and Newport Beach specializing in Mediterranean-inspired fare, as a family owned and operated business.  

On Thursday, Dec. 3, with the help of Zoom, Chef Zov will be hosting a live cooking class, and teaching the audience how to make her “#1 dish.”

That dish will be Chef Zov’s famous Moroccan salmon salad with lentil and rice pilaf and charmoula sauce. Chef Zov said she learned how to make this dish during a visit to Morocco, adding that it has become a permanent fixture on her menu.

“I learned this dish from my visit to Morocco many many years ago and recreated the dish,” Chef Zov explained in an email to Irvine Weekly. “To this day I will be crucified if I ever take it off the menu. It is healthy, delicious, and beautiful on the plate.”

The virtual event, aptly named, “Virtual Holiday Cooking Extravaganza,” will start at 4:30 p.m., with a sponsor cocktail hour, where guests will have the chance to chat with Chef Zov during the Q&A session.

For those looking for some holiday cooking advice, Zov can answer the specifics, but she reminds everyone at home to that cooking should feel stress-free.

“All I can say is try to keep it simple,” she explained. “Don’t try new recipes or get creative, try recipes that your family loves.”

Chef Zov’s virtual one-hour cooking class will begin at 5:00 p.m., and will include a tasty lesson from one of Orange County’s greatest culinary minds.

For Chef Zov, cooking is a creative outlet that allows her to experience “instant gratification,” on so many levels.

“What I love most about cooking is that it gives me a chance to be creative and indulge in some cooking playtime. When I cook, I lose myself in the rituals of chopping stirring and tasting. Cooking is also a stress reliever, one thing that will never stress me out is cooking,” she explained. “I also get great enjoyment from finding new ingredients and combing flavors to make the best foods and sauce possible. Making great food also means you get instant gratification from guests and friends while eating your food.”

Tickets for a Virtual Holiday Cooking Extravaganza featuring Chef Zov can be found here. There will also be guest speakers that include past alumni from Samueli Academy, along with a silent auction during the virtual event.

Tickets are $60, and all proceeds will benefit Samueli Academy.