My First Cookbook

July 07th, 2010  | Category: Cookbook

Cafe Fernando Cookbook

I am writing my first cookbook. And I can’t believe I just said that.

Five months ago, I received an e-mail from a Turkish publishing house, asking if I’d be interested in writing a cookbook. The moment I read that e-mail, I stood up and started walking around the house, looking for stupid chores to keep my mind occupied. I had been waiting for that e-mail for a long time, but never thought I’d react that way. My stomach tangled up and my IQ must have dropped 50 points because I suddenly found myself in front of the mirror examining my teeth. Then I went to the kitchen, poured some cold, leftover coffee from the morning, sat down and wrote back.

Five months later, my IQ is back to normal. I am still nervous and panicked, but very happy – delirious even. It has been almost five years since I’ve started blogging and it would be a lie if I had said the thought of writing my own cookbook never crossed my mind. Developing recipes, styling food, taking photos and hunting at eBay for props are true passions of mine (and as of April became my job description), and I would like to do those things for the rest of my life, but working on a cookbook is a huge responsibility. I always thought I would find enough time only when I retire, move to Carmel and open up my antique store there. I would have all the time in the world then. But now? Now I have to finish the book in a year (maybe two). And I will not only write the book, but also do the styling, take all the photos (every recipe will have a photo) AND – if I can do it- design it.

As of now, the cookbook is scheduled to be published in Turkey only. Unfortunately, that means the majority of you won’t be able to enjoy the recipes, photos and stories, but I have this wild dream of publishing it in English as well and hope that it comes true one day.

I started working on the book about two months ago and have been testing recipes, hunting for props and writing stories since then. I just wanted to calm down before I told you all about it. I don’t want to go into too much detail about the content for now, but if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you can guess what sort of recipes will make it into the book.

A couple of weeks ago, I invited my editors over for dinner and we tested a few recipes. The first one is this Chocolate and Vietnamese Coffee Tart.

Chocolate and Vietnamese Coffee Tart

And then these dinner rolls. They are fantastic, especially when they come right out of the oven.

Dinner Rolls

Now I have to head back to the kitchen and start trying out some new recipes. Summer’s bounty is beckoning.

I’ll be back with book updates, new recipes and photos from my upcoming short travels. Check back soon, OK?

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  1. 1 - Simone on July 7th, 2010

    Wow… how cool is that! Congratulations!! I saw a RT from Helen (Tartelette) and just had to come and check it out. That must indeed be a dream come true. I love your blog and love your photography so I am sure it will all work out fine. And you would not be the first cookbook author to become wildly famous around the world so who knows it might indeed be published in english as well!

  2. 2 - Nicole on July 7th, 2010

    Congratulations!! And don’t worry, your fans will wait for the English language book that I’m sure will follow 🙂

  3. 3 - SleeplessInKL on July 7th, 2010

    Congrats 🙂 Can’t wait to see the final product.

  4. 4 - Ghille on July 7th, 2010

    Oh my…those dinner rolls look so yummy!

    I’ll be watching for the book in English!

  5. 5 - MariannaF on July 7th, 2010

    that is such great news, congrats!! i hope the book will be published in english too! this must be very exciting and it is indeed pretty much every food blogger’s dream! good luck for the rest and keep us updated 🙂

  6. 6 - Patricia on July 7th, 2010

    Congratulations! I can only imagining how happy you are, because nothing is greastes than have a dream come true!

    Lots of luck and if you can, once in a while, show us how everything is running into.

    Again congrats,


  7. 7 - Kian on July 7th, 2010

    Congrats! I’m sure it will be a successful cookbook. Yes, we’d all love to have your cookbook in English.

  8. 8 - kamran siddiqi on July 7th, 2010

    Cenk – congratulation on your cookbook! I cannot wait to read the English version of it! 🙂

  9. 9 - Umut Uygar on July 7th, 2010

    Tebrikler. İlk müşterilerinden biri ben olacağım.

  10. 10 - Feebee 62 on July 7th, 2010

    Well what a perfect break talk about being there at the right time,you will never look back.
    your name will grow as your food shows your talent of expression. Only my best wishes follow you.
    English version would be amazing when this one is published. Congratulations my friend.

  11. 11 - Ozgeee on July 7th, 2010

    Oh la la! Eminim hem tarifler, hem de içerik çok keyifli olacak. Heyecanla bekliyorum:)

  12. 12 - Leesa Garcia on July 8th, 2010

    Merhaba Cenk!

    WOW!!! Sooo exciting! You DO know that you will have to come up with an English translation for your cookbook, right?!
    Good luck to you in your upcoming project… Can’t wait to hear/see more about it on your blog…

    Take care,

  13. 13 - Bbq Dude on July 8th, 2010

    Congrats on the recipe book. At least post the photos, so those of us who don’t read Turkish can enjoy them…

  14. 14 - Oburcan on July 8th, 2010

    Harika haber,çok sevindim.Sabırsızlıkla bekliyorum !!

  15. 15 - yasemin on July 8th, 2010

    I’m sure it will be a great success..
    I am looking forward to it..:))

  16. 16 - Nevra Sezer on July 8th, 2010

    Cenk, this is just the kind of news I had been waiting to hear from you 🙂 I am so excited for you, and surely I am also excited for the opportunity to be one of the lucky readers 🙂

  17. 17 - Joana on July 8th, 2010

    So HAPPYYYYYYYYY for you. I wish you all the best and I hope one day we can see it in English.It’s nice to see the hard work pay off. So … once again GOOD LUCK.

  18. 18 - Maria Beatrix on July 8th, 2010

    Wow! Congrats. It worth learning Turkish!
    I don’t think I can stand wainting for this in whatever other language…

  19. 19 - Neeti on July 8th, 2010

    Congrats….!!! I cant read Turkish but the idea of English version sounds great.All the best for your book.

  20. 20 - Sarah on July 8th, 2010

    Congratulations, I’m sure it will be a delight. Please assure your editors that an English language release would have customers everywhere. Global economy and all that, not to mention all the English speaking people living in the region already. Your blog has a global following, your cookbook will too.

  21. 21 - Ozlem on July 8th, 2010

    Hmm, I knew you had a cookbook coming out when you first said you were leaving your job.

    Congratulations and I’m looking forward to seeing it. Too bad your book won’t be in English but I’ll just have to check out the Turkish version…I’m sure they’ll have it on sites like, right?

    Also, do NOT tell me I’ll have to wait till the book comes out to get the recipe for the Vietnamese Coffee Tart, it looks so good!

  22. 22 - Irene on July 8th, 2010

    congratulation! I hope it will be in English as well and have non metric measurements. I have enjoyed following your site and your history in SF, as I live there as well.

  23. 23 - Fazela on July 8th, 2010

    This is fabulous!!! Congratulations and loads of best wishes on this new endeavor. Have fun all the way!!

  24. 24 - Rachelino on July 8th, 2010

    Congratulations Cenk! I love your vietnamese coffee twist on a chocolate tart. Very clever and makes your time in SF evident.
    If you need any recipes tested, I will happily volunteer. Metric is fine; you know we serious bakers use scales! 🙂
    Kudos to you and mazel tov!

  25. 25 - Clarice on July 8th, 2010

    Congratulations! Please let your editors know that your many San Francisco fans will be anxiously awaiting the English version. When you go on your book tour (!), you must contact Celia, the owner of Omnivore Books, so you can talk about your new book:
    I hope to meet you there one day!

  26. 26 - Jill McKeever on July 8th, 2010

    Congratulations! You’re going to have one of the most mouthwatering cookbook on the planet.

  27. 27 - Hope on July 8th, 2010

    Good luck!

    I’ll be watching for the book in English.

  28. 28 - Nisrine@Dinners & Dreams on July 9th, 2010

    Congratulations!!! Well deserved! I am confident your cookbook will a masterpiece and can’t wait for it to be published in English.

  29. 29 - Lora on July 9th, 2010

    Congratulations! Well deserved and I look forward to the English version.

  30. 30 - irepkrep on July 9th, 2010

    Go Cenk gooo! I am so excited and thrilled. And I am looking forward to your book.

  31. 31 - Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf on July 10th, 2010

    why do i suddenly have the urge to learn turkish ?! 🙂 congratulations !! how exciting ! i’ll still be buying the book as soon as it comes out, if simply to admire your gorgeous food styling and photography, from cover to cover. lots of good luck ! looking forward to previews along the way…

  32. 32 - nandini.p on July 10th, 2010

    Congratulations!!!. Absolutely delighted to know about ur cookbook. Waiting for the english version. The Chocolate tart looks divine.

  33. 33 - robin on July 10th, 2010

    I would love to have your cookbook, I hope it includes lots of wonderful photos!Heres waiting to see the english version………Good Luck to you.

  34. 34 - Paula on July 11th, 2010

    I absolutely love that tart!

  35. 35 - astheroshe on July 11th, 2010

    Congratulations! I am sure you could get it published in English..and i look foward to it. What an awesome adventure for you 🙂

  36. 36 - Ivonne on July 11th, 2010

    Congratulations, Cenk! Based on your blog, I know it’s going to be a beautiful cookbook!

  37. 37 - Cenk on July 11th, 2010

    Thank you all for your great wishes. Fingers crossed for the English version.

    Ozlem – I’ll look into that and will let you know. Re: Vietnamese Coffee Tart, you would have to wait for the book! I promise, it will be worth the wait.

    Rachelino – Many thanks for the offer 🙂 All recipes need to be tested with the ingredients available here to maintain a standard (some are very different than what you can find in the US). But if I ever start working on the English version, I’ll definitely let you know.

    Clarice – Book tour! Sounds almost surreal. Thanks for the suggestion – I am a huge fan of Omnivore Books and it would be an honor to have my book displayed there. Hope to meet you there one day, too!

  38. 38 - Charles G Thompson on July 11th, 2010

    Congratulations! That is amazing, wonderful news. I don’t speak or read Turkish but if you tell us where we can buy one I’ll buy one anyway! That Chocolate and Vietnamese Tart looks like my kind of dessert – so chocalate-y!

  39. 39 - Emma on July 11th, 2010

    This is awesome news!!! Congratulations Cenk.

  40. 40 - beth on July 11th, 2010

    Can’t wait to bake from it. Please include that chocolate cheesecake.. that’s the best I’ve baked so far.

  41. 41 - Soo on July 12th, 2010

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! I’m sure it’ll be a great experience. Wow, just imagine yourself holding your finished cookbook in your hands…

  42. 42 - Val on July 12th, 2010


    I have been following this blog for quite some time and am really in love with it. There is no doubt in my mind that you can get an English version published. You have great talent, have faith in yourself!

  43. 43 - Barb on July 12th, 2010

    Wow that is great news !! Congratulations, hope to see an English version too 🙂

  44. 44 - Hummingbird Appetite on July 12th, 2010

    Congratulations! I hope it will be printed in the U.S., too.

  45. 45 - Dudegr on July 12th, 2010

    So proud of you and not at all surprised.

  46. 46 - Pat on July 13th, 2010

    Oh, yes, English, please!! It will be a bestseller, I’m sure. Congratulations, Cenk! I NEED that chocolate and Vietnamese coffee tart recipe. Cheers!

  47. 47 - Julie on July 13th, 2010

    Such wonderful news for such a talented guy! Congratulations!

  48. 48 - Natalie on July 13th, 2010

    Congratulations! Hopefully they will publish it in English.

  49. 49 - Sarah on July 13th, 2010

    P.S. Any recipes for Ralph?

  50. 50 - red dragon on July 13th, 2010

    Selam Cenk,

    We’ve been using your recipes forever ve de kitabini hemen kapacagiz cikinca. Yolun acik olsun.

  51. 51 - Mirşad on July 14th, 2010

    Super haber kesinlikle hemen alacagım, tebrikler.

  52. 52 - Maggie on July 14th, 2010

    What a great opportunity!! I hope your book is just as or even more successful than your blog.

  53. 53 - Elif on July 14th, 2010


    Congrats. Can’t wait for the book, well deserved.

  54. 54 - Anna on July 14th, 2010

    That is so exciting! I love your blog and your photography is fabulous, I’m sure the book will be great!

  55. 55 - Cenk on July 16th, 2010

    Sarah – Ralph passed away a year ago 🙁 Never thought of including a recipe in his honor, but sounds like a great idea! Many thanks for the suggestion.

  56. 56 - Maninas on July 16th, 2010

    Congratulations! Well deserved!

  57. 57 - Shaheen on July 19th, 2010

    Dinner rolls look perfect!

  58. 58 - Marisa on July 20th, 2010

    Congrats! So you’ll teach us Turkish so we won’t miss out on your first book, right?

    PS: Love your writing style.

  59. 59 - Kimby on July 22nd, 2010

    Tebrikler and congratulations!! Your book will be great, in any language!!
    Your book will be incentive for me to improve my Turkish!

  60. 60 - zeynep on July 23rd, 2010

    sooo happy for you and even happier for myself
    i can hardly wait…

  61. 61 - fragolina on July 27th, 2010

    Congratulations for the new cookbook. From these 2 pictures, I bet that the book will be fabulous.

  62. 62 - Soma on July 28th, 2010

    Congrats Cenk! As if anyone can expect anything less from you. Just seeing these 2 pictures, I would get the book, even if I could not read a word of it. Great news!

  63. 63 - Andreas on August 1st, 2010

    I wish you a great success and guess that it will be… looking forward to your book!

  64. 64 - Tara on August 2nd, 2010

    Very happy for your good news. Hayirli olsun! If you need someone to help taste your recipes, this Bay Area girl is moving from Golcuk to Istanbul in September. Joking aside, best of luck in your creative endeavor. You inspire the rest of us!

  65. 65 - thepinkpeppercorn on August 8th, 2010

    Awesome! Enjoy the process, it surely will be delicious.

  66. 66 - layal on August 8th, 2010

    congratulations! I will buy the book along wiith a turkish english dictionary. I like your style of writing and presentatio. All the best.

  67. 67 - joey on September 3rd, 2010

    Congratulations Cenk! This is truly well deserved! Your dishes and images are gorgeous, with delicious recipes to match so I’m sure your book will be a roaring success!

    My only with is that you do indeed one day publish in English so we can enjoy it as well 🙂


  68. 68 - Simon on February 26th, 2011

    Good Luck with the Cookbook,
    I read your blog regularly, I am not a cook but I look at recipes for occasional inspiration to surprise my middle eastern wife.

  69. 69 - Dilek on March 6th, 2011


    Tebrikler, doğrusu ilk yemek kitabınızın çıkacağını öğrenmek beni de heyecanlandırdı. Blogunuzun düzenliliği, içeriği ve gördüğü ilgi düşünüldüğünde mükemmel bir iş çıkaracağınızdan şüphem yok. Kitabınızı heyecanla bekliyorum.


    (Congratulations, I am also excited about your first cookbook. Considering the content, the well ordered structure of your blog and the interest of people towards your blog makes me sure that will be a great one. I am looking forward to have one of them.)

  70. 70 - Alev on March 30th, 2011

    Hi Cenk,

    Will the Turkish version be available in US?

  71. 71 - Cenk on March 30th, 2011

    Alev – I don’t know right now, but I’ll look into it.

  72. 72 - Jenne on April 29th, 2011

    I just stumbled upon your incredible site, I’m totally smitten. I hope I don’t have to find a Turkish interpreter, if so, it’ll be worth it! How exciting!

  73. 73 - Paula on July 20th, 2011

    Hi I just found your blog and I wanted to see if you had an English version of your cookbook yet?

  74. 74 - Cenk on July 26th, 2011

    Paula – Hi! My cookbook is scheduled to be published in Turkish only. I don’t have plans for an English version at the moment, but if I ever do, you’ll read about it as soon as I sign the papers.

  75. 75 - Paula on July 27th, 2011

    Maybe I should learn how to speak Turkish 🙂 Thank you for letting me know.

  76. 76 - Aubrey on August 16th, 2011

    Hey! I just found your blog via the 50 Best Food blogs list, and it does indeed deserve to be there. Congrats on your book, and I really hope it comes out in English! I’d buy the Turkish version for the pretty photos, but the recipes would be wasted on me.

  77. 77 - Cenk on August 20th, 2011

    Aubrey – You’ll buy just for the photos? Well, thank you! I’m flattered.

  78. 78 - Vildan Yahni on January 24th, 2012

    Hi Cenk,
    Congrats on the book! I’m surprised you don’t have a publisher for the English version yet… all they have to do is visit this site to see what they are missing!!! I can read the Turkish version, but do prefer to wait for the English version though. Have you decided how many recipes you will have? As a fairly new blogger, you are an inspiration!

  79. 79 - Cenk on January 25th, 2012

    Vildan Yahni – Thank you! I haven’t decided on the number of the recipes just yet.

  80. 80 - erinc on February 1st, 2012

    i have been following your blog for such a long time. looking forward to your cookbook ! congrats ! 🙂

  81. 81 - Lana Kent on April 26th, 2012

    I’m from Vietnam and so excited when I see Chocolate and Vietnamese Coffee Tart :D. All of your photos are really really lovely and beautiful.

  82. 82 - rukiye on September 5th, 2012

    CENK,çok teşşekkürler harika paylaşımlar bunlar .mutfak senin sayende daha eğlenceli:)

  83. 83 - Henry on October 3rd, 2012

    Thank you for your wonderful blog, Cenk! So glad that all the work you put in the past few years paid off! I started my own blog recently and just wanted to tell you that you were a source of inspiration!

  84. 84 - Mine on November 20th, 2013

    Hi Cenk! Any updates on the book? I really miss your gorgeous recipes, stories & pictures by the way. Hope all is okay with you 🙂
    Greetings from the Southern Hemisphere x

  85. 85 - Cenk on June 16th, 2014

    Mine – Yes, it is out! I’ll write a post about it here soon.

  86. 86 - Shree on June 21st, 2014

    Hi Cenk,

    I just came across your blog while watching FIFA Germany vs Ghana n I must tell you that I was getting distracted from such a interesting game cause of your beautiful writing n pics. It’s such a wonder that I am unable to stop reading. Reading about your book got me more excited and if I was reading that now, am sure I would have not been able to put the book down till I read the last page. So fingers crossed that it is soon published and available here in the US.
    Next few days, months am going to be busy reading each one of your story, recipe and can’t wait to try these different recipes with my husband in our kitchen. we both live n love food.
    So a BIG thank you and keep blogging n creating magic with your food n pics.

  87. 87 - Mandy on March 26th, 2016

    Oh please please put up the recipe for the tart. I’ve been having dreams about how it tastes for days 😉 and like the other comments above, I have contemplated learning Turkish!

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