I was born in 1972, to a Thessaloniki, Istanbul and Mardin compound family. Being raised by a refined grandmother and a true gourmet mother, not to forget my father’s heritage of the gorgeous southeast tastes of Turkey, I heritage the best of both cultures. While cooking with my granny, I learned all about fundamentals of cooking and kitchen while my mother, living on the coast of Aegean sea, garnished me with all the produce available and unavailable. A great way to grow up! I was lucky!
Now for the curious minds…
After my graduation from Bilkent University, I worked in kitchen and service department in many hotels as part of my training, starting my way through a successful career in Food and Beverage industry. I participated in pre-opening of an international chain hotel, an international restaurant as well as a university. I was one of the first female F&B managers in the international hotel chains in Turkey. Quit my day fullday job in 2009 and writing about Turkish food and culture around my memories and experiences to Istanbul Food since.
My first book Güneşin ve Ateşin Tadı, Gaziantep Mutfağı is out in 2012 from YKY, me being the photographer.
I am still working as a professional photographer, food story teller an irrepressible traveller, after the perfect bite.
MANIFESTO of ISTANBULFOOD
We all love to eat the best food there is, but sometimes it is difficult then it seems. Istanbul Food started when I got angry while reading the reviews of the restaurants, small eateries, tradesmen restaurants and other food related places… Because they all were stated as perfect!!! It was not fair; not fair to the real food heroes of Istanbul and Turkey. So I started writing about my places, my food people, my food heroes. Just local, genuine, comfortable, real… Istanbul Food is about their food and their stories.
Istanbul Food eats like a regular customer and pays the bill.
Since Istanbul Food is against any special treatment, I do not inform the establishments prior to my visits.
Istanbul Food is against: Establishments selling a variety from pizza to tripe soup to pide. The local places who are proud of their risotto but can not cook pilav, if you know what we mean…
Istanbul Food does not have any sponsors, so I can write what ever I please.
Istanbul Food believes food is an art, a serious business, must be handled by the professionals.
Istanbul Food believes the emporiums, where you can find anything, create a cultural pollution and one way ticket to an abyss.
You will read my observations based on my expertise, my own palate, my own pleasure, my own choices, my money, my own precious time! So, establishments that match my purpose is not found here simply because I yet not find them or I did not want to write about them. Hence this is not a restaurant guide. That simple!