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…

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…

Mexican Sweetcorn and Chilli Fritters with a Chipotle and Lime Salsa

The joyful exuberance of Mexican culture has always appealed to me but it was the sound of a hundred beating drums that first drew me to downtown Austin one hot and sultry Sunday morning. It was late October and a time of celebration for the Mexican people who were gathering together to pray for, and remember,…

Sheinkin Fattoush with an Aromatic Green Olive and Za’atar Tapenade

When I used to work there, Sheinkin was one of the coolest streets in Tel Aviv. It was where the beautiful people came to meet with friends, talk about life, listen to music, drink coffee in one of the myriad café-bars and to shop the funky independents (I have a treasure chest bursting with glittering Michal Negrin…

Turkish Menemen

Menemen, a traditional Turkish dish made from eggs, cheese, tomato, green peppers, onions, herbs and spices – is one of the mainstays of the rich Turkish culinary repertoire that pretty much everyone interprets in their own way. Just this week, for example, I’ve been served an incredibly spicy version scattered with hot red chillies as well…