A Stir The Pots Post

Istanbul: Part VII “Tesekkür ederim” With a little help from my friends

by | Sep 23, 2008 | Istanbul

Thank you to Turkey, a land of great food and equally great people! Thank you especially to Dilara and the friends and colleagues she generously shared with me.

Img_0487 Most mornings, the staff meandered in between nine or ten, save for one exceptional lady named Kamile. An artist who acted as and  my translator, she was also the resident lunch bartender. Besides health juices, she concocted house made liquors and jams. The woman is a real artisan. Many afternoons, she would cool me down with tamarind juice. Morning, she’d brew coffee to wake me. In general she was just an overall big boost to my days

Img_0469_jpg Then there was Hassan, a waiter who joked with me about my beer drinking. Night and day he went up and down the stairs carrying big trays of food, his skinny frame balancing these huge plates like they were nothing, periodically motioning with his hands to see if I wanted a drink…thank you Hassan!

Cimg5368 Evenings after Camilla went home, I had a back up crew who saved me. This included Ali, another conceptual artist. And a very cool dude.

Dilara had just hired a new manager. His name escapes me but I’ll always remember his gracious help in procuring me cold Birra from Img_0483_jpg Brooklyn, as well as a ride back to the airport to catch my flight.


My  fellow chef  Harun Yüce, chef de Cuisine was a total pro. He’d make his mark anywhere, Istanbul, New York… again, anyway.

Murat Ceylan, Meze chef. Without his Patlican Salatasi or his Armenian mussels with rice, I would of been aImg_0443_jpg_3 lot less informed of good Turkish food.


Gökhan of course who showed me a thing or two about baking bread.

  Mohamet his assistant,my bread baking friends.Cimg5315_2


Murat the waiter, who always practiced speaking English  "hello, Jeremy, how are you?"

Patty, the Thai chef who whipped me up some great Pad Thai and helped a lot with finding ingredients.

The demure young quiet lady from Uzbekistan who was the fry cook and Yufka rolling magician who Img_0450_jpg_2 tasted virtually everything I conjured with approval and a smile, most of the time.


The waitstaff and all those whom I may have forgotten.


But most of all my host and new friend Dilara Erbay without her invitation and help I would never of had such a fabulous adventure. Tesekkür ederim


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