Chef Didem Senol has taken Istanbul by storm. The Turkish native who studied in New York at the French Culinary Institute and worked at Le Cirque and Eleven Madison Park, has returned to her hometown to create a new bistro dining experience. In 2010, she won Time Out Istanbul’s Best Chef Award. Not only has she made a name for herself, but she’s also creating a new path for female chefs in her city. She cooks seasonal and local food with mainly organic produce, her restaurants are inviting, contemporary, and refreshing.
Janice is a girl from Lima, Peru who loves a good cebiche and a glass of dry Riesling. She travels the world (often for food or to check out new restaurants) and lives in Australia. Janice tries to learn about different countries through cuisine, and takes advantage of Sydney’s multiculturalism by exploring gastronomy in all of its forms. Grower’s markets, wine tastings, restaurant openings, cooking classes, shopping for specialty spices; she’s keen to do it all.
Turkish restaurants can be divided into three large categories: meyhanes where people drink raki and eat meze, fish restaurants which involve a banquet of cold and hot appetizers followed by a showcase of fish as a main, and meat restaurants, which serve grilled meats, and all sorts of kebabs and skewers charcoal cooked to perfection. These categories, obviously, are aside from the numerous esnaf lokantasi tradesmen establishments, street foods, snacks, and produce available to grab and go.
A recent trip to Taiwan had me thinking about what constitutes Taiwanese food. Taipei, despite being smaller than many of its Asian capital city counterparts, is a food-lovers’ destination. History has made Taipei a hub for fusion. Taiwanese cuisine can’t really be defined as one particular thing. It has Chinese influences seen through Sichuan, Shanghainese, and Hokkien food. It also has the legacy of the Portuguese and Japanese that once controlled the island, as well as adaptations of common Western (fried) foods.
Sweetness is not your everyday patisserie, neither traditional French nor modern and overly elaborate. Sweetness has just the right dose of old and new. The delicacies are beautifully presented, wrapped with care, all made by hand. The flavours, on the other hand, cater to one’s inner child. They’re sweets that evoke a sense of longing – marshmallows, chewy caramel, whoopie pies, rocky road, fruit jujubes, caramel popcorn, are only the beginning of a number of insanely delicious treats.
Farmhouse is the new kid on the block; aside from being cool and chilled out, this new kid has a big, warm heart.
Sydney’s latest craze for bagels, milkshakes and sloppy joes has seen a number of cafes and restaurants pop up with specialty items. A standout is Brooklyn Hide.
It’s easy to take a place for granted. Sometimes you forget to share or celebrate the sheer brilliance of a place because it is part of your regular routine. I came to that realisation as I walked into Bourke Street Bakery yet again, as I placed my order, looked around, and with a smile on my face thought, “that’s right, this is great.”
Diego Oka is a chef who started his culinary career with direction at a young age, but his trajectory as a chef has been quite different compared to most. He quickly skyrocketed to roles of high responsibility, travelling the world, managing restaurants in North and South America from the young age of twenty-one. Diego studied hospitality while working in one of Lima’s oldest traditional Japanese restaurants, Ichiban, where he spent three years learning all the essentials, from dishwasher to working behind the sushi bar.