LONG PAST, LOST LEGACY – FOODS OF THE OTHER TURKEY

From Root+Bone Magazine

Illustrated by Vaso Michailidou for Root+Bone – ingredients of Armenian stuffed mackerel

There are some dishes you can identify by their region, and not their nationality. Bourek is one of these dishes. People say if you cannot see bourek in the shops around you, it means you are not in the Balkans. It is a dish shared by all the ethnic and religious groups. Although the Balkans is today associated with conflict, its food culture transcends its diversity and has helped to bring communities together, in the way it’s said the ancient Romans used to do in the past.*

Wouldn’t it be great if the Balkan people could have resolved conflict with a shared dish of bourek rolls?Unfortunately this didn’t happen, and the conflict led to an influx of Balkan people into Turkey; this reinforced the existing tradition of Balkan foods in the country, dating from the times when it was part of the Ottoman Empire….

 

To continue click here Root+Bone

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


M E N U

25.05.2018

ISTANBUL URBAN FEAST

BREAD & THREE SPICED BUTTER

E5 Bakehouse sourdough, house-made butter

*

WARM BRITISH LETTUCE WITH ISTANBUL TARATOR

w/tahini walnut tarator Sauce

MACKEREL PILAKI WITH PRESERVED TOMATOES

Istanbul style cooked mackerel with olive oil and herbs

YALANCHI CHARD SARMA, SMOKED STRAINED YOGURT

Chard rolls with bulgur and lentils cooked in citrusy broth

CHARRED ASPARAGUS ALMOND BEGENDI, LAMB, PARSLEY AND RAW ASPARAGUS SALAD

Vegetarian option with wood fired baked beetroot

*

DESSERT

IRMIK, MASTIC CREAM, BRITISH STRAWBERRY SORBET

Semolina pudding with mastic gum & sorbet

*Images by Engin Ozger, Kaat Dumoulin

The West London branch of the Syrian Supper Club kicks off in March! Tickets are SOLD-OUT

Enjoy an evening of beautiful Syrian and Middle Eastern food, crafted by the talented chef Irem Aksu, founder of Topik London and remind yourself of the best things that Syria has to offer. The money raised from your ticket will go to the projects supported by the Hands Up Foundation in and around Syria.

Don’t forget to BYOB!

Every first Thursday of the month |Starts in March |Thanks TABxTAB for opening their beautiful space for Syrian Supper Club west supper clubs!

House Rules: We like to place guests at our Syrian Suppers, so please make sure you let us know, in the notes when booking, if you’d like to be seated with particular people who have booked separately.

We do also cater for vegan/veggie and dairy/nut free, so please highlight this in the notes when booking so that the right food comes your way.

Thanks so much!

The Syrian Supper Club West team

For tickets please visit grubclub webpage

*photo by Inês Neto dos Santos

Istanbul Dishes on Festive Dining Table | SOLD OUT!

7 Hills of Istanbul supper club under “Festive” theme will bring some hidden classics from diverse neighbourhoods, and dishes from modern Turkish cuisine at East London’s independent artisan bakery e5 Bakehouse 

Led by Irem Aksu, a founder and head chef of Topik London, “Festive” celebrates forgotten but starring flavours of Istanbul – a capital of great empires from the eastern Roman Empire “Byzantine” to Ottoman Empire.

Festive offers diners a diverse view of the cuisine of Turkey. Also a chance to taste a selection of rarely seen Turkish wines from local winemakers using regional grapes.

Festive menu demonstrates a reverence for the fresh and local ingredients. But most importantly many dishes on the menu are inspired by the festive tables of non-muslim communities in Istanbul as well as Turkish classics. Two years ago, when Irem started building her food project Topik London, she interviewed a few Istanbul Greek, Sephardic Jews, Armenian food historians, home cooks, food writers from Istanbul. Sure there will be some beautiful stories and memories to share about the dishes from peoples’ of Istanbul. Look forward to raising our glasses together to these memories!

It is a pleasure to host my supper club 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. The supper club will be held in milling arch where the brick wood fire oven will be fired up for cooking and baking!
Is not that exciting?

7 Hills of Istanbul is a quaint supper club boasting home-style cooking done well – using fine local ingredients.

In a brick railway arch we will explore Turkey’s gastronomic culture shaped in centuries and have a relaxed dining experience accompanied by a selection of good Turkish wine.

For tickets please visit https://grubclub.com/7-hills-of-istanbul/7-hills-of-istanbul-festive/21429

Secret Supper Club at Carousel London Spaces

Topik London and Oxfam hosted their first Secret Supper Club which was a journey through Rwanda, Yemen, Iraq and Nepal, their cultures and cuisines, as well as a night to share Oxfam’s works to create a long term and sustainable change for all we want, to end poverty now and forever.
Topik London, led by Irem Aksu, a head chef and a founder, created a menu inspired these 4 countries flavours and their staple ingredients, cooked all day with an amazing team for the supper club guests.

Many thanks to Yak Bites for their contribution on the famous Nepalese momos.

(Yak Bites is a food collective from the Himalayas:Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Ladakh, Sikkim and Darjeeling)

 

 

Photos by Begum Zorlu

An inspiring culinary journey from back streets of Istanbul to the palace kitchen SOLD OUT

 

Old Istanbul or Constantinople was built on seven hills. Each hill has a historic importance rooted back to the Roman and Ottoman empires – where the city’s diverse cuisine and culture come from.
“The Seven Hills of Istanbul” supper club represents what Istanbul cuisine is today and what it was in the past. Therefore the menu created by Irem will include inspirations and influences of the peoples’ of Istanbul – encompassing dishes from different families, neighbours, and memories from across centuries. This is distinct from the other regions of Turkey.
Irem will bring the traditional and modern cooking together at the dinner table. It is a journey from local dishes of streets of Istanbul to the palace kitchen coated up human stories. The use of seasonal food is central to real Istanbul cuisine, which is reflective of the 7 hills of the city. So expect pure Istanbul on your plates!
Turkish cuisine often conjures up very limited images such as kebab, baklava and Turkish delight. On the contrary, the 7 hills of Istanbul supper club features olive oil based green dishes, seafood, several delicate meze plates and a pudding.

 

Irem Asku is a former news reporter switched from the newsroom to the kitchen. Irem has trained at Ottolenghi, along with her successful food projects and cooking collaborations before joining the team at E5 Bakehouse. Irem also now runs her own initiative, Topik, which celebrates the food of minority cultures in Turkey.
https://topik.london/

SOOP uses it’s supper clubs to showcase refugee, former refugee, and migrant chefs every month. Irem will share with you some of the rich stories behind the untold culinary heritage of Istanbul. SOOP will also share with you it’s work with refugee chefs and the pilot culinary programme starting in May 2017. At SOOP we believe that the use of storytelling through food can connect us all, and supper clubs play a big role in communicating this.

All proceeds from the SOOP fundraiser supper clubs will go towards funding it’s upcoming pilot culinary training programme for refugee chefs in London. 

This month’s supper club is held at the fabulous E5 Bakehouse, London Fields. This is both BOYB and Turkish wines available to purchase on the night. Irem will be showcasing a selection of unique Turkish wines from local producers using regional grapes !

We are really looking forward to welcoming you all!

Stories On Our Plate (SOOP) & Irem Aksu


 

7 HILLS OF ISTANBUL MENU

25th/26th May

at E5 Bakehouse

Fava, Dill & Radishes …. fresh and dried broad bean pâté, lightly pickled radishes

Dövme Hiyar on Rye … cucumber, almond & lor cheese spread

Midye Salma … Cornish mussels with cinnamon and black currant rice

Lettuce with Istanbul Tarator … lettuce leaves, garlic and walnut sauce

Citrusy Kefal Pilaki … grey mullet cooked in olive oil with leeks, potatoes, lemon zest, herbs  

Irmik Helvasi, Irem’s Mastic Ice Cream & British Strawberries … semolina halva with milk sherbet, Mastic gum flavoured ice cream 

Many thanks to Fin & Flounder for donating fresh and sustainable seafood to our collaboration  for a good cause.

The 7 Hills of Istanbul

“The Seven Hills of Istanbul” supper club represents what Istanbul cuisine is today and what it was in the past. Therefore the menu created by me – Topik’s founder will include inspirations and influences of the peoples’ of Istanbul – encompassing dishes from different families, neighbours, and memories from across centuries. This is distinct from the other regions of Turkey.

I will bring the traditional and modern cooking together at the dinner table. It is a journey from local dishes of streets of Istanbul to the palace kitchen coated up human stories. The use of seasonal food is central to real Istanbul cuisine, which is reflective of the 7 hills of the city. So expect pure Istanbul on your plates!
Turkish cuisine often conjures up very limited images such as kebab, baklava and Turkish delight. On the contrary, the 7 hills of Istanbul supper club features olive oil based green dishes, seafood, several delicate meze plates and a pudding.

 

The 7 Hills Of Istanbul is a collaboration with Stories On Our Plate (SOOP) – All proceeds from the SOOP fundraiser supper clubs will go towards funding it’s upcoming pilot culinary training programme for refugee chefs in London.

“SOOP uses it’s supper clubs to showcase refugee, former refugee, and migrant chefs every month. Irem will share with you some of the rich stories behind the untold culinary heritage of Istanbul. SOOP will also share with you it’s work with refugee chefs and the pilot culinary programme starting in May 2017. At SOOP we believe that the use of storytelling through food can connect us all, and supper clubs play a big role in communicating this…”

For more details and buy tickets please visit grubclub website link below.

https://grubclub.com/stories-on-our-plate-soop/stories-on-our-plate-soop-the-7-hills-of-istanbul/12571