Hurriyet Daily News
Culinary exchanges The crowd was anxious to hear. Young ehefs vvere waiting nervously, hoping that their names would be called.
The winning team vvould have a big revvard: a trip to Turkey. This was at the "Skills for Chefs" event last July at Sheffield University. As part of the event, a competition vvas dedicated to encourage talented teams; "Young Restaurant Team of the Year" had a very special treat. They vvould win a culinary training week in istanbul, hosted by the MSA-Culinary Arts Academy.
The vvinners vvere Martin Lane and Jamie Mallett under the leadership of Alan Paton, the executive ehef of Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa. Six months after the gala night, the young toques finally arrived in İstanbul, impatient to discover vvhat the city vvas about to offer. Cem Erol, head ehef of MSA, vvho masterly prepared an unforgettable Turkish dinner at Sheffield, vvas going to be their culinary guide and tutor. http: / / www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ chefs-with-skills.aspx?pageID=238&nlD=69053&NewsCatlD=473.
Actually, the Sheffield experience was a turning point in MSA's ambitious mission to make Turkish cuisine known in the world. The academy has spent tlıree years developing a special education program called "Turkish Cuisine to the VVorld Movement," which is aimed at training foreign chefs and bringing Turkish tastes to an international platform. The movement encompasses a wide range of academic and cultural studies, researehes and projects. Accredited by the international City & Guilds organization, MSA conducted demonstrations and training sessions in the leading culinary schools within this context, as well as launching an internationally certificated Turkish cuisine program. Previously, the academy had realized a special Turkish dinner at the prestigious culinary school South Downs College. There will be second one; together with a course for Level 3 culinary students on March 24. It was not only learning for the training chefs. Jt was a twoway exchange; they also presented their own cuisine and culture to the students of MSA within the "MSA Demo Days" seheme. İt was days of mutual experience.
Their Turkish cookery expedition ineluded a visit to the spice market exploriııg local spices, tasting "lakerda," the sublime cured bonito at Beyoğlu fish market, and observing the fasciııating skill of baklava makiııg in Karakoy. They learned to make several typical dishes ranging from Ezogelin soup, the ubiquitous lentil and rice soup to sakızlı muhallebi, milk pudding with mastic. They tried their skills at rolling mounds of Swiss chard into cigarette-thin dolmas; learned how to properly char eggplants to make the smokiest Hünkar Beğendi, the lamb stew with eggplant puree; let themselves be amazed at the wonders of salep, the orchid root to make the most astoııishing ice cream. They also had the opportunity to meet the leading chefs of Turkey and listen to their ideas. After days of intense submersion in the istanbul culinary scene, the pupils of Paton, at the very beginning of their career, took a giant step into a culinary world that was alien to them just half a year ago.
TALK OF THE WEEK: Another cultural exchange is taking place at the Consulate General of Greece ın İstanbul. Lectures on "Food, Spirits and Gastronomic Traditions in the Eastern Mediterranean" continue to take place every month at the Sısmanoglıo Megaro ın Beyoğlu. This month's focus is on Byzantine food, vvith talks by IIias Anagnostakis [National Hellenic Research Foundation] on "Byzantine Diet: Myths and Realities," and by Angelos Sıkalıdis and Aleksandra Kristo (Yeni Yüzyıl University] on "The Old and Nevv Diet of the Aegean Populatıon." The lectures are free of charge. Jan. 20, 7 p.m.
EVENT OF THE WEEK: Culinary exchanges of the week incilide inter-city activities. Last week. Burçak Desombre flew from İstanbul to Ankara to lead an annotated dınnerat No. 4 Restaurant prepared by ehef Kemal Akman at the Wyndham Hotel. The "Sommelier's Table" events wiLl continue featuring dıfferent wines; the events will ınclude pop-up restaurants within the hotel and whole-day wine elasses led by Mehmet Yalçın in the coming days. Check it out at the hotel.
CORK OF THE WEEK: The undiscovered gem of the dinner by Burçak Desombre was from Tomurcukbağ, a delightful Trajan Reserve 2011 Kalecik Karası. Having visited the wınery as a resident of Ankara, I was already a fan of the owner, Dr. Sabit Ağaoğlu, but I can say it vvas a total revelatıon for my Istanbulite friends. Trajan wine is a totally bio-dynamic wine made from ali natural wild yeasts of the terroir, refleeting the true character of the ındıgenous Kalecik Karası grape, natıve to Kalecik, just a half an hour's drive from the Ankara aırport. F0RK0FTHE WEEK: One taste that baffled the guest chefs from the U.K. vvas elotted cream from buffalo mılk. High-quality buffalo "kaymak" and buffalo yoğurt can be found at Manda Yoğurdu, Sair Nedim Caddesi, Çatlak Cesme sok. No 1/C Beşiktaş; 0212 258 11 41. Their grass-fed buffalo butter is also ideal for your bulletproof mornıng coffee vvith butter. firstname.lastname@example.org