Matt Lauer's series of travel adventures is where I first heard of Mehmet Gürs. Both his Turkish and Finnish background caught my interest as well as his knowledge of Turkish cuisine. In my own neighborhood we have a large Turkish community, we can get just a sampling of some of the diverse ingredients, like yufka,pomegranate molasses. Or buy the bulgar to make pilaf which make up a small part of the Turkish kitchen repertoire.
Istanbul is the point where east meets west in a geographical sense, but in the culinary terms it's the city that blends many different cultures including Mehmet Gür's take on Turkish food by blending Finnish smoke with Turkish flavor,or as he says fusion without confusion. In his restaurants he incorporates the spices and staples of the bazaar, the Anatolian interior, and then combines it with Finnish austerity to stir the pot in Istanbul's growing culinary restaurant world.
From the Topkapi kitchens of the Ottoman sultans, Turkey has a rich history in food, from previous rulers and empires it has absorbed as well as spread it's cuisine across the world bringing a unique flavor to the table. Mehmet has been described as the Jamie Oliver of Turkey, with his own TV food shows in Turkey. He also wrote a book,(Downtown Cook Book) and is currently writing another, named after his restaurant Mikla. It will be published in both English and Turkish, if you can't wait take a listen.