Chef In Residency at October Gallery

Topik London’s six months residency at October Gallery was between September 2018-March 2019, successfully run by Irem, the founder of Topik.

Topik London “food without borders” is a food culture project; works on Istanbul’s diverse culinary history and ongoing contributions made by urban’s different communities, old and new migrants.

Thanks to everyone who visited Topik’s residency, enjoyed the food and of course saw the remarkable art works exhibited at October Gallery during my residency time.


Istanbul Urban Feast: A Taste Of Spring






With so many influential dishes throughout the city, from ethnically diverse neighbourhoods, and the ones located right by the sea, Istanbul’s culinary influence dates back almost 2 millennia ago to the early days of the Byzantine Empire. Then the great Ottoman Empire, and Modern Turkish Republic has changed the urban cuisine, its diet and cooking techniques of the peoples’ of Istanbul. Yet the urban food culture today is vibrant and borderless.
The art of real Istanbul cuisine existed in the simplicity of its dishes that focused on rich and quality ingredients, and it remains the same today.
Led by Irem Aksu, a founder and head chef of Topik London, the urban spring series will capture flavours from Armenian, Greek, Sephardic, Middle Eastern cuisines which are key to the food culture in Istanbul and Turkish cuisine.

Well it is spring time, so think about the fresh, green grasses, the warm spring breezes, and of course, a beautiful sound of the sea. All the dishes are cooked with the greatest British produces from local farmers. You will taste of 5 courses from Istanbul cuisine with a balance of flavours, texture and colour.
The dinner will be held at e5 Bakehouse, Irem’s second home as a chef, which is an independent, organic bakery in a spruced up railway arch beneath London fields Station.
Urban Feast is a quaint supper club boasting home-style cooking done well and it promises for a unique dinner experience.

It is not BYOB event. To complete the dishes, a rich selection of quality Turkish wines from small batch makers will be available for your choice.


Please get in touch to reserve your seats via Topik’s contact form





E5 Bakehouse sourdough, house-made butter



w/tahini walnut tarator Sauce


Istanbul style cooked mackerel with olive oil and herbs


Chard rolls with bulgur and lentils cooked in citrusy broth


Vegetarian option with wood fired baked beetroot




Semolina pudding with mastic gum & sorbet

*Images by Engin Ozger, Kaat Dumoulin

Topik holds Syrian Supper Club February fest

The Syrian Supper Club with Irem Aksu stepping in as head chef on this occasion are holding another of their sell-out Syrian Suppers. This isn’t just any supper club popping up on your radar, it is an evening of merriment, delicious food inspired by all the flavours of the Middle East and to add the final chickpea to the hummus, it is all for charity. We’re raising money for The Hands Up Foundation, supporting aid projects in Syria. More details here

HOPS, SUCUK & EKMEK at 40ft Brewery: Sucuk-ekmek (Turkish sausage and bread) paired with Serefe IPA


Armenian Supper Club at e5 Bakehouse

A Pomegranate Odyssey; From Istanbul to Yerevan

A Pomegranate Odyssey from Istanbul to Yerevan; that is what I called this supper event at e5 Bakehouse. The food I will be cooking is not only for tasting, but also for sharing some of the memories and stories of peoples of Asia Minor – the land which is a crossroads for numerous cultures. Of course Armenian culture has many things to celebrate. So I chose the medium of food to make a contribution to our shared memories.

See you there…

Irem / Chef at e5 Bakehouse & founder of Topik London 

*photos by Sebnem Ugural 

fava and stuffed mussels / photo by Cihan Yildiz
Chemen butter, Armenian spiced marinated olives, wood fired baked flat bread
caramelised onions, currants, pine nuts in chickpea dough
Midye Salma
mussels with nutty, spiced rice 
Lahana Dolma  
cabbage rolls with minced beef and smoked warm yogurt
Borlotti Pilaki   
slow cooked beans in aromatic broth with fresh herbs
Yalanchi Sarma
lentil stuffed sour vine leaves
            Golden walnut kadaif with pears and pomegranates 
 more details here

Topik curated a dining event for a good cause

On the 24th October, Topik catered for a fundraising event for Dying to Divorce which is a brand new documentary about the women fighting domestic violence in Turkey.

As a part of the crowdfunding campaign, Topik – Food Without Borders organised a meal in collaboration with the filmmakers at L’atelier Dalston. As a Topik’s Chef, I curated a unique three course menu especially for the event, inspired by diverse cultures of the Ottoman Empire including Istanbul Greek, Armenian, Circassian, Black Sea region cuisines.

The night was in honour of all the women who died trying to leave their partners.

Many thanks to everyone who came out to dinner event in support of Dying to Divorce.

* photos by Cihan Yildiz

Topik launched at dis/placed exhibition

Topik launched food without borders at dis/placed exhibition. My stall had hundreds of people visiting at Shoreditch Town Hall. It was not only sharing food from the other Turkey but also sharing the diverse cultural heritage of minorities in Turkey. It was a truly marvellous and unforgettable launch.

Thank you to all Counterpoints Arts team and their lovely volunteers, all artists and visitors!

* photos by Sebnem Ugural 

Private view at dis-placed exhibition

TOPIK – food without borders kicks off its journey with dis/placed exhibition at Shoreditch Town Hall. I am glad to display special dishes from different ethnic minorities of Turkey. It will include foods from Armenian Cuisine, Sephardic Jews and Istanbul Greek food with their associated stories.

You can visit the Topik stall on Tuesday, 16 June.

Private View 7-10pm (booking required)
Featuring food project Topik by Irem Aksu, incorporating cultural and historical elements – food without borders.

See the week-long programme of events on


* Photo by Sebnem Ugural