Topkapi Fig, Raspberry and Vanilla Compôte

Throughout Turkey, luxurious Ottoman-inspired fruit compôtes – ranging from a simple sultana-based version to a complex mix of apricots, figs, prunes and nuts often subtly highlighted with a delightful floral note of rose or orange blossom water – are an integral part of the ritual of eating. No matter what the season, there is always…

Pera Garlicky Spinach with Yoghurt and Biber Salçası

After a bone-chilling day we literally fell through the doorway of Asmalı Cavit, a treasured wooden-fronted traditional meyhane in the centre of Pera in Istanbul. Here, the walls are lined with photographic portraits of people from a more glamorous age alongside vintage posters promoting wine, long forgotten theatre productions and the seaside resorts that were…

Bebek Börek, a Spinach and Feta Filo Pie with Sweet Cicely

During the winter months, the beautiful Istanbul suburb of Bebek sits quietly on the European shore of the Bosphorus as if waiting for an errant lover. It was once the favourite resort of Ottoman aristocrats who built their grand summer houses here, dozens of beautiful white jewels glittering against a backdrop of verdant jade. Not many remain…

Aleppo Muhammara, a Spicy Red Pepper and Roasted Walnut Dip

It was coming to the end of a long and sultry day as I languidly lay upon a heap of vintage embroidered cushions, the candle-lit lanterns flickering in the warm early evening breeze. The music in the background was haunting and exotic as if it were calling me from a far away place. I learned…

Turkish Yoghurt with Mint, Pul Biber and Lemon Zest

Yoghurt is one of the most important components of the modern Turkish diet and, certainly in my experience, there is rarely a table where it isn’t featured in some form or other; as part of a main dish, or as a dip mixed with a copious amount of chopped herbs, in a dessert or even…

Cihangir Potato and Asparagus Salad with Dill and Mint

High above the heart of the richly historical neighbourhood of Cihangir in Istanbul there is a restaurant of unparalleled beauty complete with a wonderful terrace from which one can enjoy panoramic views of the mouth of the Bosphorus and the first bridge. Here the elegant wooden furniture is bleached by the sun and the tables are covered with…

Turkish Carrot and Garlic Yoghurt Salad

The stories that I tell are inspired by a lifetime spent travelling around the countries that kiss the coasts of the Mediterranean sea, by every restaurant and cafe I’ve had the pleasure of kicking back in; by the bustling markets, glittering delicatessens and traditional food stores that have sparked new idea; by the forgotten recipes I…

Citrusy Herbed Labneh and Roasted Tomato Tartine

Yoghurt is one of the most important components of the modern Mediterranean diet and there is rarely a table where it isn’t featured in some form or other; as part of a main dish, as a dip mixed with chopped herbs, in a dessert or even as a drink. On Mondays, our evening meal often consists of various…