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
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
Chemen butter, Armenian spiced marinated olives, wood fired baked flat bread
caramelised onions, currants, pine nuts in chickpea dough
mussels with nutty, spiced rice
cabbage rolls with minced beef and smoked warm yogurt
slow cooked beans in aromatic broth with fresh herbs
lentil stuffed sour vine leaves
Golden walnut kadaif with pears and pomegranates
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
“I had never considered living in Athens. When I was in Istanbul I thought the cuisine in Greece and ours would be the same but as I arrived here, I realized it is much different than I expected. Therefor, I started to research our cuisine in Istanbul to find out the connections between our culture and the food we enjoy.”
The Greek cuisine in Istanbul is not only unique to its own but tells also the story of a culture which has been living in the region for 1500 years. Their food history dates back to even before the Byzantine Empire. Their roots are still visible today in Istanbul through the strong mezze culture. In the past, many from the Greek minority worked as cooks in the Lokantas and Meyhanes (traditional neighbourhood restaurants and Istanbul taverns) who have contributed for the popularity of the meze culture of today. Sula Bozis, a Greek from Istanbul shares her thoughts and knowledge about their food culture and the history of food in Istanbul with Topik:Continue reading “Stuffed Cooked Mussels from the Greeks of Istanbul”
“Our cuisine is simple – no spices, no heavy sauces, no fancy decorations, not so much meat, a lot of vegetables ! A lot of aubergines and courgettes, in fact. We even have a poem, which explain the 40 different ways of preparing an aubergine dish “ – Orly Toledo
“For some reason, my parents did not have the habit to buy ready-made Meze but preferred to prepare it by themselves at home. We would rather prepare every meal we had together as a family. While my father insisted that no other woman could cook better than his own mother, my mother absolutely did not compromise what she had learned from her mother regarding in cooking. As a result, our meals became a source for happiness and joy. I think the reason for that was my grandmothers were two very close friends from Çorlu, even before my parents existed. One of them Mrs. Takuhi and the other Mrs. Akabi, or in her husband’s words Akabi Sultan.
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
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 http://counterpointsarts.org.uk/event/displaced/
* Photo by Sebnem Ugural