Two basic features of Turkish cuisine differs from other cuisines all over the world. The first important feature is owning rich kinds of plants and fertile soil. The second one is having a rich culture of many civilizations on these lands until the ancient history of its own.
Ottoman Empire used to host many different cultures, like Armeniens, Greek, Arabic, Kurds, and Turks.
They all contributed to Turkish cuisine until now. The climate and the location of the country affect the variation of plants, vegetables, and fruit. That's why Turkish cuisine has been very popular all over the world.
I would like to mention some famous chefs.
1. Musa Dağdeviren - The Turkish Cookbook
Musa Dağdeviren was born in Nizip, Gaziantep in 1960 and started working in his uncle's bakery when he was 5 years old, until 1977 when he moved to Istanbul and he started to work with his uncle as a cook responsible for the wood-burning oven. He learned to make kebabs and appetizers in the Istanbul and Gaziantep styles and developed his experiences on kebab and pide. After more apprenticeship and his military service, he returned to Istanbul and worked as the master cook of kebab and appetizers in a few restaurants, and also worked in a bakery. In 1987 he opened Ciya/Kebap-Lahmacun, and in 1990, Zeynep Caliskan, who would later become his wife, joined the Ciya family. Musa’s experiences and his further researches enriched the kebab menu containing a list of 100 items. He also created the first vegetarian lahmacun and kebab. In 1998 he opened Ciya Sofra, where he created a unique menu with the local food, desserts, and drinks of a vast area. In 2001 he started another kebab restaurant, Ciya Kebap II. In 2005 Musa and Zeynep established Çiya Publishing Company and started to publish a semi-academic quarterly magazine called Food and Culture. They have now published five books and three translated books. In 2018 Netflix’s Emmy Award-winning program Chef’s Table featured Musa in Season 5. His first cookbook in English, The Turkish Cookbook, contains 550 recipes and was published by Phaidon in April 2019. Musa and Zeynep established the Çiya Foundation 10 years ago; it produces research and projects in relation to food and drinks culture. (Istanbul, Turkey) @çiyasofrasi (Instagram)
2-Özlem Warren- Ozlem’s Turkish Table
She is an international cooking teacher and Turkish culinary expert. She is a native of Turkey, having lived there and abroad. She is passionate about delicious, wholesome Turkish cuisine, and the culinary heritage that my homeland offers. She has been teaching Turkish cookery in the US, Jordan, Turkey, and the U.K. for the past 10 years and has a popular Turkish recipe blog Ozlem’s Turkish Table www.ozlemsturkishtable.com. I also organize culinary tours to Turkey.
Babaji Pide House – London: Menu consultancy to generate new ideas to include regional masses to its menu.
Gourmand Best in the World winners just announced! We are delighted to let you know that Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book got the Gourmand Best in the World award for the Food Heritage category – Turkey!
3-Yunus Emre Akkor - Kayseri Cuisine from the Past to the Future
Chef Yunus Emre Akkor was born in Kilis, in 1975. With twenty years of experience as a chef and a researcher, Akkor is an expert in Ottoman and Middle East cuisine. He gives voluntary lectures on Ottoman cuisine at universities that have cooking and gastronomy departments and also vocational high schools. Yunus Emre Akkor also provides consultancy to restaurants and hotels.
Turkish Chef Yunus Emre Akkor has won an award at one of the world's most prestigious cookbook competitions known as the ‘Oscar awards’ for gastronomic literature.
Every year, the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards are held in Madrid, and thousands of books from several countries compete.
Akkor won the award in the ‘Local Cuisine’ category with his book ‘Kayseri Cuisine from the Past to the Future’ and will represent Turkey in the grand final to be held in China in May 2020.