Food cultures collided last week at ICE during a special recreational class taught by Chef Fehmi Samanci of The Istanbul Culinary Institute. The class highlighted flavors and tastes from traditional Turkish food and included such dishes as Fried Eggplant and Peppers, Octopus and Shrimp Salad, Lamb Stew with Prunes and Cucumbers with Tarator Sauce.
Chef Fehmi is a chef instructor at The Istanbul Culinary Institute, located in the historic Pera section of Istanbul. In January of 2009, The Institute of Culinary Education partnered with The Istanbul Culinary Institute in its first ever venture to provide ICE instruction, methodology and teaching abroad.
Chef Fehmi took special care in demonstrating how to prepare each of the traditional Turkish dishes and also discussed Turkey’s rich food history as a result of a blend of Armenian, Jewish and Greek cuisines. An emphasis was placed on preparation of the Fried Eggplant and Peppers with Tomato Sauce and Yogurt (pictured below). This classic dish is made by deep-frying eggplant and peppers until golden brown. The warm vegetables are then topped with a layer of homemade tomato sauce and a dollop of plain yogurt.
Locals and Turkish natives alike celebrated the country’s rich food culture and capped off the night with a bowl of Semolina Halva with Pine Nuts, a dessert made by combining semolina with a sweet milk and sugar syrup.