Cihangir Potato and Asparagus Salad with Kalamata Olives, 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…

Greek Island Tzatziki with Dill and Mint

Originating from the Ottoman Empire, this is my version of the popular Greek dish, tzatziki (known as cacık in Turkey). It’s simply a bowl of authentic Greek yoghurt getting it on with little cubes of crunchy cucumber, lots of finely chopped garlic, briny sea salt, a generous glug of grassy Kalamata olive oil, an audacious…

Souk el Tayeb Freekeh, Borlotti Bean and Pomegranate Salad

The vibrant and colourful Souk el Tayeb – literally translated as ‘the good market‘ – in central Beirut is famed for the way it showcases the produce of local farmers and the very best of Lebanon’s organic ingredients; it’s literally a deep dive into the rich and inspiring culinary traditions of the Middle East. The peoples of Lebanon…

Pera Garlicky Spinach with Yoghurt and Biber Salçası

After a dark and stormy 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…

Moroccan Zaalouk Tartine with Whipped Feta, Lemon and Mint

Dusk falls and the Jemaa el Fna – place of the vanished mosque – in the heart of the ancient walled médina is transformed into a seething mass of tribesmen, Berber villagers, performers and musicians who converge upon Morocco’s ochre-tinted city every evening to tell stories, juggle, bang drums in a trance-like state of bliss, dance, charm snakes,…