Zov Karamardian is so popular in Orange County that she is known among many by her first name.  For the last 25 years, she has served up delectable Mediterranean-inspired cuisine at her popular eateries in Tustin, Newport Coast and Irvine.

On Saturday, July 14, at 2 p.m. at Roger’s Gardens, the award-winning chef, restaurateur and cookbook author will demonstrate some of her timeless traditional recipes, and share how she enhances them with fresh herbs and vegetables.

“There is nothing better in the world to me, and this is true for a lot of people I know, than buying or growing fresh vegetables and herbs,” said Zov, who opened the legendary Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in 1987 in Tustin. “There is something sacred about it. It is important because you know tit is organic; no spays or chemicals are used in growing them.“

During the Garden Fresh Summer Cooking seminar, Zov will prepare several dishes, including a traditional Greek salad; braised green beans with tomatoes; and, garlic and beef couscous with preserved lemons and pine nuts.

“The Greek salad most people make is not the traditional way of making it,” she said. “They add so many different ingredients that it loses its identity, so I will teach them the real deal.”

Zov also will demonstrate how to braise food, which is a technique that applies to almost all types of food, as well as ways to use your fresh tomatoes from the garden in dishes other than salads.

“I love growing herbs because whenever you are cooking you can just go outside of your home and pick the best and freshest herbs you have growing in the garden,” she said.  “They taste better, look better and are healthier. The fun part is they are seasonal and there is value to that.”