2257 Days

February 25th, 2011  | Category: Travel

Cenk San Francisco

Or 6 years, 4 months and 11 days. That’s how long it has been since the last time I’ve visited San Francisco.

But somehow it really doesn’t feel that long. I wonder if this is because even after all these years I still cruise Craigslist ads for rentals (both in San Francisco and Big Sur) or can’t go to bed without watching my old neighborhood from the Exploratorium’s roof cam or occasionally “walk” from my old apartment to my old school, thanks to Google’s street-level maps.

I remember feeling the same when I moved back to Turkey many years ago. It was as if I had never left İstanbul. There’s only one logical explanation: San Francisco, just like İstanbul, is my home.

Even though it feels like cheating on my yet-to-be-published cookbook, I am going home for a while. In fact, as you are reading this, I’m either licking my fingers after a roast chicken and bread salad at Zuni Cafe or admiring the vintage collection of Le Creuset pots & pans at Cookin!, hoping the owner is in a good mood. And if it’s Saturday morning, I’m most definitely in front of the computer in the lobby, hitting the refresh button to find out what I’ll be eating at Chez Panisse on Thursday – all the while praying there’s “Meyer Lemon Pavlova” or “Vacherin with Mint and Chocolate Sherbets” on the menu.

Wish me luck.

Never miss a recipe. Subscribe via email.


  1. 1 - Yonca on February 25th, 2011

    I am anxiously waiting for your book to be released. Best of luck!!

  2. 2 - ALIŞVERİŞ CİNİ on February 25th, 2011

    SF is a great city! Wsh you good luck and happy moments out there!

  3. 3 - Ipek on February 25th, 2011

    I hope you will eat the bread pudding at Tartine!

  4. 4 - karin on February 25th, 2011

    let me know if you stop by los angeles, enjoy SF 🙂
    have a great trip…

  5. 5 - Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy on February 25th, 2011

    How long is a while?? I’ll be in the States in March but not making it as far as SF until this summer…..will you still be there? 🙂

  6. 6 - Clarice on February 25th, 2011

    Cenk – Great to have you back in San Francisco! My husband and I are huge fans of your blog. We would love to take you out for dinner. Are you free on Saturday or Sunday?

  7. 7 - ayşem on February 25th, 2011

    good luck…

  8. 8 - Katia on February 25th, 2011

    Great to hear that! Bring an umbrella and rain gear, since winter finally hit. It’s supposed to snow today or tomorrow, but probably won’t be too bad, just really cold. Welcome back.

  9. 9 - Ediref on February 25th, 2011

    So, what are you waiting for ?

  10. 10 - Charles G Thompson on February 26th, 2011

    Really wonderful post! San Francisco is an amazing place. I was born in ‘the City,’ grew up elsewhere but went back to go to culinary school after which I worked in the restaurant business so I know the city very well. I consider it one of several ‘homes’. Zuni is always a must-go-to when I visit. Chez Panisse another favorite. Enjoy your visit!

  11. 11 - Irvin on February 26th, 2011

    Yay! Welcome back to San Francisco. I can’t believe you’ve been away from here for so long. SO much has changed, so much has stayed the same.

    There was predictions of snow, but it’s been beautiful and I doubt it will happen, despite how much everyone here wants it. Enjoy the city!

  12. 12 - Kat on February 26th, 2011

    Oh lala, welcome back to the Bay Area! Those are indeed treat restaurants. Hope you have a fabulous time!

    I recently downloaded your app, both the free recipes and the paid recipes. Beautiful photographs, can’t wait to start baking/cooking!

  13. 13 - Cenk on February 26th, 2011

    Clarice – thanks for the generous offer, but I have dinner plans for both days, then leaving for Carmel. Sorry I posted this too late on my blog, but I knew there’d be million things I’d like to do and that I’d have time enough for only half of it.

  14. 14 - Val on February 26th, 2011

    Aw man, Cenk. I know exactly how you feel about sf. I wish you the best.

  15. 15 - Amy Sherman on February 27th, 2011

    Make sure you visit Omnivore Books! It opened after you left, but I know you will love it. It’s a bookstore dedicated to cookbooks. Have a wonderful visit.

  16. 16 - Ivana on March 2nd, 2011

    I wish you luck. And I envy you ;-)… and, please, say hello to San Francisco for me – one of my favourite cities in US. Have fun!!

  17. 17 - NY Muhtari on March 5th, 2011

    Best of luck Cenk..

    Will you be stopping in NY on your way back???

  18. 18 - Trissa on March 6th, 2011

    Good luck in SF! A suggestion if you find SF isn’t home anymore, please come and visit Australia. We need talent like you here!!

  19. 19 - shelley on March 7th, 2011

    and it’s raining! I am sorry — but it must feel like old times with the mist and drizzle! Seriously as Ipek — Tartine on 18th and Guerrero is a must do. Elisabeth Pruitt was asked to cooks the birthday cakes for Alice Water’s family. There is so much on 18th on the block between Dolores and Guerrero it’s worth a visit. Bi-Rite Creamery, Delphina, etc… have fun! I can’t wait to hit Istanbul this June!

  20. 20 - joey on March 7th, 2011

    Lovely! Have a ball! 🙂

  21. 21 - Ilke on March 9th, 2011

    Just found your blog, Cenk…Lovely… Hope you are having great time in SF! I loved the city when I visited. I will make sure my brother has a copy of your cookbook waiting for me when I visit my family in Istanbul next time!

  22. 22 - Cenk on March 16th, 2011

    Ipek – I had a chance to visit Tartine only once and there were so many things I wanted to try, so the bread pudding didn’t make it. Hopefully next time.

    Sara – Sorry for responding so late… Wish I could tell you yes, but unfortunately no. It was only a 12-day vacation. I’m already back.

    Amy Sherman – Thanks for the recommendation Amy. I did visit Omnivore Books. Wish I had more time to spend there.

    NY Muhtarı – Thanks! Unfortunately no..

    Trissa – Thanks for the invite! I actually have relatives living in Australia, so who knows, maybe one day…

    shelley – Thanks, I’ve been to all the places you mentioned. Photos coming soon.

  23. 23 - nil on March 17th, 2011

    ilginç oldu bloguna “bakındıgım” non-türk bloglardan biriyle ulasmak.. ama yolculugun vardıgı yer beni mutlu etti
    herkesler seni oraya buraya davet ediyor
    ben de seni hayatımın başkentine;izmir’e davet ediyorum .. ki gelmedigin yer değil sanırım.
    gideceği-her-yer-için-önce-yemek-rotası-hazırlayan- ve-yemegi-seven-kadın nil

  24. 24 - Hospitable Scots Bachelor on March 21st, 2011

    Turkish Cuisine – probably one of the most underrated national cuisines!

  25. 25 - Stacie D on March 25th, 2011

    From one San Franciscan to another — Welcome home. Hope your visit is great. Stay dry!

  26. 26 - Scott on March 25th, 2011

    Best of luck and San Francisco is a great city!

  27. 27 - Leesa on April 2nd, 2011

    Merhaba Cenk!

    Just catching up with your blog now that I’m back home in France. Three months on the Caribbean coast of CR did wonders for me! You’re looking delightful in this photo…

    Cheers, Leesa

  28. 28 - Catherine A. Lumayaga on November 5th, 2011

    This is my first time checking this blog. As I was browsing I saw this pic and I was like, “Oh, what a happy smile.”


Leave a Comment