Hello! My name is Cenk (Jenk). I am an author, blogger, photographer, and food stylist based in İstanbul. In 2006, I started this blog to share my kitchen adventures with friends and it got bigger than I could have ever imagined. I made some wonderful friends along the way and look forward to many more.
My cooking adventure began during college, far away from home and my mother’s delicious food, where I shared a single portable electric burner with dozens of dormmates. It was mostly pasta or omlettes, but I managed to survive.
After graduating from college, I moved to San Francisco and that’s where the adventure really did begin.
My first day in the city was nothing but trouble (read more about it here). But as the months passed by, I started loving the foggy weather, discovered friendly coffee shops and delicious restaurants and made wonderful friends, all of which gave me a reason to take root in the amazing SF.
Then I drove along Highway 1, spent amazing weekends at the Big Sur and Carmel and started calling California my second home. One day, I found myself running to the bus stop after work and decided that it was time to move back. I loved the people I worked with, but hated my job – try cold-calling 100 technology editors back to back, explaining how ground-breaking your client’s broadband signal processors are while they’re eating lunch and you’ll understand what I mean.
I moved back to Turkey in 2003 and not a single day has passed without missing San Francisco and my friends. I miss the city so much, I still cruise Craigslist rentals in the Marina and watch my old neighborhood from the Exploratorium’s roof cam daily (update: Sadly, the roof cam moved to Pier 15).
It is quite hard to summarize the past 11 years of this adventure, but here are some milestones:
- My first press mention in The New York Times
- A personal hero of mine, Nick Malgieri, featured my Brownie recipe and photo for his article in Washington Post
- Thanks to Janet Fletcher, my San Francisco inspired Turkish menu made it to the cover of San Francisco Chronicle’s food section
- Times named Cafe Fernando as one of the “World’s 50 Best Food Blogs”
- My blog turns 4. I decide to become a full-time blogger. Mom is finally on board.
- Saveur Magazine named Cafe Fernando “Best Culinary Travel Blog” in 2010
- I designed a Brownie for Dolce & Gabbana called “Brownie Wears Lace” and Saveur Magazine named it “Best Original Baking and Desserts Recipe” in 2011
- Saveur Magazine named My Chez Panisse Experience “Best Piece of Culinary Writing” in 2012
- I ditched the corporate world in 2010 and began work on my first cookbook. “Cafe Fernando – Bir pasta yaptım, yanağını dayar uyursun”, published in June 2014, became the bestselling cookbook in Turkish history and was awarded Best in the World – First place at the 2015 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards and Best of the Best – First place among the first-place winners of the last 20 years at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
- The English-language version of my book, “THE ARTFUL BAKER: Extraordinary Recipes From an Obsessive Home Baker”, was published by Abrams on October 17, 2017.
In case you’re wondering “Why Cafe Fernando?”, here’s the short explanation: I am a huge fan of The Golden Girls, and my blog is named after Rose Nylund’s one-eyed teddy bear, Fernando. You can read more about my obsession with The Golden Girls here.
You can contact me at email@example.com or follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter. And in case you’d like to hire me, you can take a look at my portfolio here.
15/10/15 – GOURMAND WORLD COOKBOOK AWARDS
Cafe Fernando – Best of the Best, 1st place
09/06/15 – GOURMAND WORLD COOKBOOK AWARDS
“Cafe Fernando – Best in the World, 1st place”
03/05/12 – SAVEUR
“Cafe Fernando – Best Piece of Culinary Writing Winner”
17/05/11 – SAVEUR
“Cafe Fernando – Best Original Baking and Desserts Recipe Winner”
05/04/10 – SAVEUR
“Cafe Fernando – Best Culinary Travel Blog Winner”
17/02/09 – TIMES – Lynne Robinson
“50 of the world’s best food blogs”
PRESS MENTIONS (IN ENGLISH)
08/01/20 – LEITE’S CULINARIA, David Leite & Renee Schettler
“Ep. 28: Cenk Sönmezsoy: Turkey’s Artful Baker”
06/09/19 – ZOE BAKES, Zoë François
“The Perfect Apple Pie”
28/11/18 – THE VANILLA BEAN BLOG, Sarah Kieffer
“Gift Guide 2018 – Part 1”
16/05/18 – FLOUR HOUR PODCAST, Jeremiah Duarte & Amanda E. Faber
“Interview with The Artful Baker Cenk Sönmezsoy”
12/01/18 – FOOD REPUBLIC
“Twist Up A Batch Of Passion Fruit Caramels”
09/01/18 – DAVID LEBOVITZ
“Double Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Glaze”
09/01/18 – CONCORD MONITOR, Hillary Nelson
“After surprisingly successful cherry harvest, make cake”
06/01/18 – DESIGN SPONGE, Kristina Gill
“Moist and Delicate Double Chocolate Bundt Cake + Giveaway”
04/01/18 – ZABAR’S, Tracey Zabar
28/12/17 – THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, Wendell Brock
“Ending the year on a sweet note: ‘The Artful Baker’ documents a journey of self-discovery in desserts”
25/12/17 – NEWSDAY, Erica Marcus and Corin Hirsch
“The Best Cookbooks of 2017”
22/12/17 – DAVID LEBOVITZ
“2017 Cookbook Roundup”
20/12/17 – EAT THE LOVE
“Cookbook Roundup 2017 – Part 2”
13/12/17 – LEITE’S CULINARIA
“Chocolate Bundt Cake”
01/12/17 – WASHINGTON POST
“Hazelnut and Caramel Squares”
22/11/17 – THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, Wendell Brock
“Go tell Santa: A miracle of cookbooks for everyone on your list”
17/11/17 – FOOD REPUBLIC
“Use Every Bit Of Fruit In This Peel-To-Stem Apple Pie”
11/11/17 – JANET FLETCHER
“Your next favorite cheesecake”
08/11/17 – STAR TRIBUNE, Kim Ode
“Need another baking book? Here’s the (not so) skinny on some of the best”
08/11/17 – EASY FOOD
“Our top cookbook picks”
07/11/17 – DIANNE JACOB
“Giveaway: ‘Best Cookbook in the World,’ The Artful Baker”
07/11/17 – NIK SHARMA, A BROWN TABLE
“Chocolate Lace Brownies”
05/11/17 – HURRIYET DAILY NEWS, Aylin Öney Tan
“Diversification in tourism is the key/Book of the week”
02/11/17 – DEPARTURES, Laura Sant, Avery Stone and Nina Ruggiero
“The Best New Cookbooks for Fall 2017”
25/10/17 – EAT YOUR BOOKS, Jenny Hartin
“The Artful Baker by Cenk Sonmezsoy”
20/10/17 – FOOD52.COM, Katie Macdonald
“A Buttery Hazelnut Cookie to Make All Season Long”
19/10/17 – LEITE’S CULINARIA
“The Artful Baker”
16/10/17 – KATIE PARLA
“The Artful Baker Cookbook Giveaway”
07/10/17 – BETH FISH READS
“Review: The Artful Baker by Cenk Sonmezsoy”
01/10/17 – PSYCHOLOGIES
“New baking books”
29/09/17 – ROSE LEVY BERANBAUM
“The Artful Baker”
25/08/17 – EAT YOUR BOOKS, Jenny Hartin
01/04/15 – GRAZIA MIDDLE EAST – Shitika Anand
“The Hunger Games”
14/06/14 – DAILY SABAH – Leyla Yvonne Ergil
“Expat foodies: The best Turkish food blogs”
01/07/12 – STAHL MAGAZIN
18/04/12 – GOURMET LIVE – Megan O. Steintrager
“Essential Kitchen Gadgets Around The Globe”
01/01/12 – MAXIMA AUSTRIA
30/09/11 – SAVEUR
“Worldwide Feast: 55 Great Global Food Blogs”
18/05/11 – THE INDEPENDENT
“Saveur magazine announces winners of Best Food Blogs”
01/05/11 – SAVEUR
“Best of the blogs”
01/05/11 – THE GUIDE ISTANBUL – Yeşim Yemni
“İstanbul’s Blog Gem: Cafe Fernando”
09/02/11 – FINE COOKING – Jennifer Armentrout
“The Fastest and Richest Chocolate Mousse Ever”
19/11/10 – FINE COOKING – Denise Mickelsen
“Devil’s Food Cake with a Twist”
30/10/10 – SWIDE by DOLCE & GABBANA – Yiğit Turhan
“Brownie Wears Lace”
06/05/09 – NEW YORK TIMES – Matt Gross
“Research: The Traveler’s Best Friend”
07/01/09 – GUARDIAN – Benji Lanyado
“Blog by blog guide to …İstanbul”
01/11/08 – USF MAGAZINE
“Foodie Blog Attracts Worldwide Fan Base”
11/06/08 – SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE – Janet Fletcher
“Turkish Delights/Living, eating in San Francisco infuses İstanbul blogger’s creations”
02/04/08 – WASHINGTON POST – Nick Malgieri
“On These Blogs, Bakers Can Find Their Fix”
09/12/07 – NEW YORK TIMES – Matt Gross
“Foodie Destination İstanbul/Cultures meet at the dinner table”
PRESS MENTIONS (IN TURKISH)
04/09/21 – MSA PODCAST, Can Sungur
“Kendi Yolunda Bir Başarı Hikayesi: Cenk Sönmezsoy”
27/09/20 – MİLLİYET, Aylin Öney Tan
“Kayıp Üzümün Peşinde – İzabella Üzümlü Sorbet”
01/02/15 – COSMOPOLITAN – Damla Durak
“Cafe Fernando’nun yaratıcısı: Cenk Sönmezsoy”
16/01/15 – HÜRRİYET
“Sosyal medya sitelerindeki yemek fotoğrafları nasıl çekiliyor?”
14/01/15 – TIME OUT İSTANBUL 14. YEME İÇME ÖDÜLLERİ
“Yılın Yemek Kitabı: Cafe Fernando”
31/12/14 – OI THE BLOG
“Cafe Fernando: Biraz Yemek, Bol Bol Tutku ve Var Olmayan Müthiş Bir Kafe”
28/12/14 – SABAH – Nur Çintay
“2014’ün gastronomik tortusu”
07/11/14 – SABAH – Sühendan Turgut
01/10/14 – VEGGIE LIFE – Hülya Ulupınar
“Sanal Mutfağın Yükselen Fenomeni – Cafe Fernando”
01/09/14 – MARIE CLAIRE – Selen Meçoğlu
24/08/14 – YURT – Selin Sayar
“Yemek deyince gözüm hiçbir şeyi görmüyor”
01/08/14 – TIMEOUT İSTANBUL – Seda Naniç Zeybek
“Bir pasta yaptım, yanağını dayar uyursun”
27/07/14 – SABAH – Nur Çintay
“Keşke her ‘miskin’ böyle olsa”
21/07/14 – MİLLİYET KİTAP – Levent Özata
“Okumak için kafe: Cafe Fernando”
13/07/14 – SÖZCÜ – Oray Eğin
“Çok tehlikeli bir kitap”
12/07/14 – HÜRRİYET – Ayşe Arman
“Çikolata ağzınızda eridiğinde şehvete dönüşür”
05/07/14 – RADİKAL – Tuba Şatana
02/07/14 – HABERTÜRK – Damla Çeliktaban
“Yaratıcı İnsan Tembel Olur”
14/06/14 – VATAN KİTAP – Buket Aşçı
“Bitter çikolata tadında”
23/09/12 – SABAH – Nur Çintay
“Cenk Sönmezsoy’un Bulaşık Makinesi Fantezisi”
20/05/12 – SABAH – Nur Çintay
“Şampanyayla küşneme, şarapla enginara karşı!”
01/05/12 – ELELE – Irmak Özkaşıkçı
“Hayat bir ‘tık’ uzakta…”
17/04/12 – MİLLİYET
“İstanbullular yeme-içme dünyasının en iyilerini seçti”
01/02/12 – ALL DECOR – Meltem Kerrar
“Öğrenci mutfağından New York Times’a”
28/01/12 – MİLLİYET – Murat Bozok
“Geleceğe Dair Keyifli Notlar – Medarı iftiharımız: Cenk Sönmezsoy”
10/09/11 – HÜRRİYET – Doğan Hızlan
27/08/11 – MİLLİYET
“Çikolata Tadında Bayram – Cafe Fernando’nun Meşhur Brownie’si”
21/08/11 – SABAH – Melis D. Çalapkulu
“Evet, sahiden mutfakta erkek var”
20/08/11 – HÜRRİYET – Ezgi Atabilen
“Elinin hamuruyla mutfaktaki erkekler”
01/07/11 – TRAVEL + LEISURE – Biray Anıl Birer
22/05/11 – SABAH
“En iyi özgün tat dantelli brownie”
01/02/11 – VOGUE – Barış Çakmakçı
“Tekno – Sosyal Yemek Ağı”
18/12/10 – HABERTÜRK – Heja Bozyel
“Mutfağa Girmekten Korkmayın”
20/11/10 – MİLLİYET – Elif Berköz Ünyay
“Şeytan Çikolata Giyer” – Page 1, 2
01/09/10 – TEMPO – Emel Gülcan
“Bu Türk’ü Dünya İzliyor – 15 bin kişi her gün bu kafede” – Page 1, 2
08/08/10 – SABAH – Ahmet Örs
“En İyi Yerli Yemek Blogları”
01/07/10 – TRAVEL + LEISURE – Zeynep Erekli
“Mideye Çalışan Blog”
24/04/10 – SABAH – Aslı Çakır/GUSTO dergisi
“Yeni merakımız zevk blogları”
01/04/10 – GUSTO – Aslı Çakır
“İnternetin zevk günleri”
13/03/10 – POSTA – Merve Özaytekin
“Sanal Alemin Şöhretleri…”
25/12/09 – HÜRRİYET – Yonca Tokbaş
“Blog deyip geçme kur sen de”
08/11/09 – HABERTÜRK – Özdemir Erkan
“Ben de Web Gezginiyim”
01/01/09 – MİLLİYET SANAT – Hülya Ekşigil
01/12/08 – TURKISHTIME
“İnternetten çıkan kanaat önderleri”
08/09/08 – MİLLİYET – Betül Yüzüncüyıl Tavlı
“The New York Times Türkiye’yi Ona Sordu”
26/04/08 – RADİKAL – Seda Niğbolu
“Ödüllü yeme-içme öyküleri”
10/12/07 – RADİKAL
“2008’in yemek başkenti İstanbul”
10/12/07 – TARAF
“İstanbul yemek başkenti”
I have known you as a “gourmet of life”, not just in food…Not having tasted as much of your delicious recipes as I had wished, I look forward to the jello version of Istanbul if you will. 😉
Wow! Blogging in Turkey. Funny how I keep finding people all over the world who have fallen in love with San Francisco…Turkish food is very good though…you shouldn’t complain too much.
Wow Cenk! Who knew?! I had never seen this side of you before, and I thought I loved what I knew about you before…now I’m in awe! Great job with everything! I’m addicted to your site!
My fantastic, creative, incredible brother;
My family and I love your site, you are really amazing… You don’t just cook food, you combine your love and friendship and serve… I think that’s why I am 100 kg now 🙂
I am so proud of you.
Cenk, What a great website! I wish you were still in SF. I’m going for a trip at the end of July, and it won’t be the same without you. You look great — I hope all is well. All the best, Nicole
Hey Nicole. Now you made me homesick! I hope you have a great time in SF! Eat at The Slanted Door (www.slanteddoor.com) for me.
Kiss Luke for me.
New York Muhtari
I was following the links through a website that I am very fond of, and saw this one and simply loved it. Not only the beautiful pictures but also the way you describe it made me love your site instantly. Great job!
So, I did’t know you were Turkish. Really proud of what I’ve seen here. Hope I get a “hello” back 😉
Evertything looks great here 🙂 As a big fan of cooking, eating, and San Francisco, I will be visiting your website more often…:)
amazing in every sense of the term. i found your photos on flickr, and discovered your blog and boy am i impressed! please continue posting and photographing delights!
awesome blog cenk. i am now ashamed that i haven’t checked it out yet. it is very inspiring for a lazy cook like me and i especially like the layout
Zeynep – Finally Dolly! Where the hell have you been? What happened to your blog? Can’t wait to check your photos at flickr and leave nasty comments…
Hi again Cenk. I just read your profile. You used to live here! Wow. I live in Pac Heights and loving it but my city with seven hills is still very different from your city with an equal number of hills. I’m mesmerized every single time I go to Istanbul. The sights, the sounds, the shopping and the good. Cok guzel. I long to see it al again…
I am definitely bookmarking this page. Thank you.
Thank you Alicia! Actually Istanbul constantly reminds me of San Francisco. They are both wonderful cities…
There is a bread I need the recipe for. It is called Lapinja in Serbo-Croatian, but some also call it Bosnian bread and others say it is Somen. Do you know this thin chewy wonderful bread. It is not pita/peda.
Also there is a little machine in Bosnia that my son-in-law, Sejo talks of that makes the cevaps/cevapcici. Have you this in Turkey?
BTW We live 25 miles east of SF in Alamo. We have visited Turkey many years ago and enjoyed the cuisine very much!
Hi Mary-Anne – Unfortunately I have never heard of Lapinja or cevaps/cevapcici. Sorry.. Glad to hear that you enjoyed our cuisine. I will try to add more Turkish recipes in my blog, so keep an eye.
I was on Selin’s blog, and just felt clicking your name, wondering why a man leaves comment on ‘pirasa’ (you guys usually do not like it) and just loved your pictures.
P.S. S.F. is also my favorite city.
As I consider myself amongst a few who were privileged to taste your early works of menemen and pasta, I miss your cooking and your company.
Keep in touch.
I just found your blog which I will be enjoying. I have visited Turkey, and find that Istanbul reminded me of San Francisco in some regards…
I’m putting yours in my favorites!
Congratulations!!! I’ve just seen your blog and I must tell u that your recipes are great..I’ll try some of them then I’ll write my comments promised, but I’m sure they are soo delicious…By the way your blog is loooking really nice. Good job!
Recently you updated your banner, and it is really beautiful. I love the beautiful dark blue sparkling with pinks, yellows, and reds. A beautiful design feature, Cenk.
Thank you Shaun! Actually, it is a painting by a very famous Turkish painter called Mustafa Pilevneli. I morphed the painting into a horizontal banner – with his permission of course.
You can check out his portfolio at http://www.mustafapilevneli.com
The website is in Turkish but you can still navigate through his paintings.
Hey Cenk, your website is absolutely fantastic. I just love it. It is so eye-catching that I cannot help myself trying some of them
Thank you Betul!
Hersey cok ama cok guzel basarilarin devami dilegi ile ben de 1 ay a kadar yurtdısına cıkacagim.Artik ordan takip ederim.
My daughter is off to university for her 3rd year. The difference this year is that she transfered to Vancouver to take Food Sciences because they no longer offer what she needs here…so she will be living in the dorms. You would probably have many stories to tell of your culinary days at university. She has a toaster oven, a crock pot, a kettle and a coffee maker for her room. She will have to get creative!!!!
Hi Valli – Since she is studying Food Sciences,I am sure she will be quite OK! She shoul start a blog and tell us all about her cooking adventures.
I just got trough all your posts youhave a great blog,the food are just eye-candy! love the dog Ralph!
I would love to hang at the Grand Bazaar one day with you and your shopoholic friends dipping into some creamy Hünkar Beğendi…
Love the blog, love the recipes (am working up the gumption to test drive your brioche)… Keep it happening Fernando.
Sarah – Thank you!
daniesza – We’ll be more than happy. Thank you for your comment!
your aprticot brioche on tastespotting caught my eye! yum.
im a university student with limited money and limited time but a humongous apetite for cooking, its good to see that theres so many other enthusiasts too! im gonna go try to make the brioche now! thank you! cute dog btw
Thank you Lana. I hope you like it!
Love the blog, love the recipes and adore the dog! I just stumbled upon it and I ‘m so glad I did…you are doing a great job! Thanks for sharing.
Hello again! I made my first comment on your best ever chocolate cupcakes and here I am again to make another comment . . this time about your blog. One word to describe it . . . I love it! The recipes, the pictures and everything else about your blog. I will definitely visit your website soon and often. If you don’t mind, I’d like to have your blog site as one of my favorites. Take care, and keep up the nice work! Ciao . . .
Hi Cenk! I’m a food-blogger from the SF bay area, and it’s really nice to have discovered your blog. You do have a great site going on here, and I will surely be adding you to my read-list, and also to my Food BLogroll:)
Wishing you the best in everything!
Bu siteyi tesadufen gullac tarifi ararken buldum. Gozlerim yerinden cikti.. Gercekten cok guzel.. Tebrik ederim. Takip edecegim.
I love your website SO much. I’m mesmerized by Turkey now and am actually planning a trip to Istanbul in late-January. I was wondering what the weather is like over there though at that time. Can you please advise? Keep up the great work! Thank you so much.
Hi Jamie – Thank you! Glad to hear that you’re coming to İstanbul. I hope you enjoy your stay and the great food. Late January will be cold. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see some snow…
hey there, i just discovered your blog by accident..im totally smitten..hard to believe that’s a “guy” behind this amazing food blog!! you seem like a real cordon bleu chef!!
Thank you very much for this absolute treat of a blog. I just moved to Istanbul from Paris. I have lived all over the place (Madrid, New York, Paris, Lausanne) and now Istanbul. This is the best gastronomy blog I have ever read ;-). It’s wonderfully hedonistic (in a delightful, charming and generous manner). Thank You.
I came across it by chance delighting myself in Ciya in Kadakoy last Saturday 🙂
Was a real pleasure viewing not only the many fantastic creations but the responses from appreciative surfers. I am a retired NewYorker living permanently in a suburb of Istanbul. Being married to a great Turkish cook I am eagerly awaiting her experimentation from your great site. Perhaps she will share some of her secrets with you.
One question does anyone know where to get crÃ¨me chantilly – schlagsahne -light whipping cream??
This is one of the best blogs I’ve seen so far! Beautiful pictures, interesting posts, delicious food! It’s rare to see men cook let alone write about their adventures on blogs:) Keep up the good work! Merhaba from Azerbaijan. Feride (aka Farida)
WOW! you are awesome! I thought you are a cook at first.
I love your blog. I am learning from your great recipes a lot. Thank you very much. And please keep up the good work.
This photo is so beautiful.
just found your site. it’s great. i’m also ex-sf from university days, we were probably there the same time in fact (was it so long ago?!) i still cruise craiglist rentals too, lol, maybe one day… thanks for the great recipes!
I enjoy looking through your links especially when it is related to something in Turkey! Like Pukka – Lvng guide to Ist. Thank you!
Until last week my main association with Turkey was Orhan Pamuk, now it’s you :). I came across your blog last week and have practically learned it by heart by now 🙂 It’s awsome! Thank you for the recipes!
Margarita – Thanks for the nicest comment. Glad to hear you enjoyed the posts!
I first came upon your blog after reading a article on Istanbul in the food/travel section of the NYT. Have been following your posts regularly since and have since decided it’s about time I left a comment 🙂
Needless to say, as a foodie, I enjoy the blog very, very much – though I don’t cook much at all! Just looking at the lovely photos is good enough. And of course, I adore the Istanbul posts though they fill me with a weird sense of complete yearning and homesickness for the city and its gorgeous food. So, thank you!
Szerelem – Thank you! Glad to hear you liked the posts. Come summer, there will be more İstanbul posts. Hope you enjoy them, too!
I loved reading your blog as of late. Great looking food and photos. I’m excited to move next month to a place with more than 2 feet of counter-space. I’ll be taking a crack at some of these recipes.
Great site, great photos, great recipes with a wonderful, cheerful, adventurous owner. Istanbul definitely in my list of visits and probably whole Turkey as well… 🙂
2 Thumbs up!!!
Is it possible for you to put up also video or clips of your field trips- say for example of the market?
I will try out your recipes and let you know the outcome.. LOL. Thank you for a wonderful blog!
You have a great blog! I cannot remember how I came upon it but I have permanently linked to you so I can always drop by whenever I want. Cheers!
What a wonderful blog, well done!!
I will visit on a regular basis and have signed up for the email alerts 🙂
I was browsing the net for some Turkish recipes and I found your blog which is really really great. I am French married to a Turk and we live in Artvin (…. a little far awy from Istanbul but …. ).I am slowly learning about Turkish cooking and experimenting but here there are two ingredients that I have never come accross in France and that is ‘Malhep’ and ‘Keten’ (flax seeds in English I think). Do you have any suggestions / informations how I can use these in cooking? Thank you so much and I am looking forward to visiting your blog regularly now.
Wonderful site! Googling for granolas, that’s how I found your blog. I Lived in the Bay Area for 4 years before moving back. And yes, I miss SF so much 🙂
Thank you for the recipe, btw. Excellent!
Simply from having a hobby for cooking, borne out of necessity, you have landed yourself in the SF Chronicle, Washington Post, and NY Times. You must be so proud of yourself.
Your blog always puts a smile on my face and a (loud, persistent) growl in my tummy. One too many diets have been broken after viewing your recipes. I look forward to visiting your site (and cursing the day i found it) for many years to come.
But if I ever find you…i will have no choice but to kill you!
Ekin – Thank you! Yes, I am very proud. Even more proud when I read comments like this.
After stumbling upon your beautiful blog, I have spent half my day engrossed in you wonderful stories, amazing photography and mouth-watering recipes.
As an Aussie girl currently residing in Portugal, I can empathize with your moments of homesickness. In Portugal they have a great term for it: “saudades”, which actually doesn’t have a literal translation in English but is something along the lines of an intense and deeply experienced longing.
Enough of me prattling on, just wanted to say thank you for absolutely making my day. Certainly cheered me out of a slump.
Erin – I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed my posts. Thank you for stopping by. Also, thanks for the info on saudades, it is fun learning a word with such an important meaning. I’m pretty sure I’ll never forget it.
I’ve spent some time in Istanbul and as a food enthusiast I’m always on the hunt for those hidden gems of the city. Stumbled upon your blog today and I must say, stunning images! Coupled with those tongue in cheek write ups, I’ll be a regular follower.
I just found your site while searching for Turkish recipes! I LOVE Turkish cuisine but have never cooked it.. I wonder why, since I LOVE to cook and bake just about everything… Maybe one reason is because I am pretty unfamiliar with it aside from being invited to dinner parties by my Turkish friends in San Diego yearsssssssss ago… I am hoping to learn more about the cuisine and embark on some cooking.. Turkey is one of my most desired destinations- I am indeed very fascinated by the culture, people, and cuisine! I am going to explore your blog some more right now…
Z – Thanks! Glad you liked my blog.
Leesa – Thank you. I am planning to add more Turkish recipes in the future, so stay tuned. By the way, fellow blogger Alan of Eating Out Loud has been cooking Turkish food all week long. Have a look at his blog here. His photos and recipes make me drool.
Thanks for the link… and I’m glad that you are adding more Turkish dishes, can’t wait! I am really happy to have found your blog… I am going to start trying out some recipes. Take care, Leesa : )
I was hoping you can help me figure out what kind of flat bread I’ve been looking for. I had some great Middle Eastern/Mediterranean takeout the other day…and the chewy flat bread was the best part. There’s no big pocket (I don’t know if pitas have to have pockets in order to be considered pitas), but there are a lot of air bubbles. It’s pretty thin, but not as thin as lavash. It seems to be cooked on a baking stone rather than fried on both side, as the bottom is brown while the top has collapsed blisters, kind of like a pizza. It looks like small holes were punched all over in order to prevent too much blistering. It wasn’t crispy at all on the outside, but relatively soft (but maybe because it was delivered and we hadn’t eaten it right away from the oven?), and it’s super chewy. It does smell like pizza crust, and it seems to have been made with all white flour. (I have a wedge of it in front of me right now, which is why I can describe it so well). Oh, but if I do pull at the bread, the sides will pull apart pretty cleanly and easily.
We had it with chicken and beef, which looked to have been cooked on skewers. The flavors weren’t too strong, but the chicken was more flavorful and had a yellow coloring to them, maybe turmeric? It also came with tzatziki I think, or some kind of yogurt sauce. We also had roasted tomatoes and white rice – if that helps at all. Oh, and it also came with diced tomatoes and cucumbers with parsley in probably lemon juice and olive oil.
Sorry this post is so long! But I really love this bread, whatever it is, and I couldn’t really find anything on the internet. I MUST bake some of my own! I hope you can help me!!! Thank you!!!
Jean – Did it look something like this? If so, it is called Ramazan pidesi. Here’s the link to Binnur’s recipe. I have never tried baking it at home.
That could be it! I’ll have to try it out as soon as I can. Thanks!
Great site, the food looks delicious. I discovered your blog from Rasa Malaysia and glad that I did. I’m going to put a link to your site on my very plain blog if you don’t mind. Thanks!
Hi Cenk! Wonderful site! I’m so happy I’ve found it. I am a yabanci living in Antalya for a year (already!) and stragling a bit with finding my way in the kitchen with many delicious fresh foods and lots of ingredients that I miss from abroad and seem to be at a loss without. To know that there is someone living in Turkey and cooking/baking Turkish but also more familiar food is a great relief! I will be trying out your recipes and letting you know how I do along the way! Thanks!
I just discovered your blog through the DMBLGIT contest. It’s got some great stuff and I like its name — Plus you’re cute too. 😉 I’ll be adding a link to Cafe Fernando on my food blog. Good luck with ALL.
I’ll go through my September photos and sumbit something to DMBLGIT soon. Thank you very much.
Nibbles of Tidbits
I was wondering if anyone figured out where we can find those dolma makers?
Great site 🙂
what is really a turkish kind of food? something that you can say it’s from Turkey.
How someone which sees world so colourful and beautiful can have so much pain and sadness in eyes.. Don’t keep so many questions in head and let yourself to be smiled like your photos and people who can watch them:)).
Many happiness, thanks for such nice place like here.
luvOfood, Shelly – Thanks!
Marta – Hope you like the recipes. Thank you.
Jake M – The list is too long, but here’s a start.
CornFlower – It was actually taken after long hours of baking. I wasn’t sad at all, just tired but I see what you mean. I should definitely have a more energetic photo taken. Will do so soon. Many thanks for your lovely words.
I love your Tuxedo strawberry and wondered if we could use the image on a mail out that we are doing please? We organise conferences and events and sometimes get asked for Turkey!
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
came across your blog from another food blog. enjoyed browsing through each recipe. i (too) love to cook (and bake) and hopefully, i can try some of your recipes.
Love your blog! Mostly because of its traditional Turkish flavour. I think that’s what makes it so special. However, I couldn’t find any baklava recipes. What kind of a in-love-with-cooking-Turk are you without something so popular and savory as the baklava? Looking forward to see that on your site! :d
Alexandra – Thanks a lot for your kind words. Preparing baklava from scratch is very difficult to do at home. I might try it one day tough…
Ok, I’ll just wait…and keep an eye on the new posts. Until then, I’m thinking of that baked salmon in parchment (yes, I’ve browsed most of your archive and, yes, I seem to have an obsession for salmon lately!!). It seems easy to make, but the day I’ll finally find the courage to cook it hasn’t arrived yet. I guess it’s just like making baklava for you. ^_^
Como tu web lleva nombre español, me dirijo a ti en este idioma.
Llegué aquí por casualidad a través de un blog: “El tiempo de la marmota”. Me gusta la gastronomía y el mundo de la fotografía que he visto bien reflejado en tu web, por lo que te visitaré de vez en cuando si no te importa.
Creo que pronto cumpliré el sueño de ir a Estambul, puedo preguntarte cosas de allí?
Cenk, this is mind-boggling. I will be downloading your recipes and trying them out in my tiny NY kitchen. Congratulations on a beautiful, informative site that makes me want to cuddle my silpats and run out to buy the Golden Girls DVDs at the same time.
I love your site, in fact my link is called “As closest to Turkey as I can get”, I love Golden Girls too, I am going to be a goldgirl myself. I so enjoy reading your articles.
Keep it up.
Visit my sometime, how about an ingredient exchange?
Cenk, you resemble an Indian film star – Saif Ali Khan Pataudi! your food is gorgeous… nice to see you bring out your country’s culinary traditions… I’d love to Visit turkey someday!
Would also love to see you share the relevance of the recipes – like how it is traditionally eaten, any religious / festive significance etc.. ancient cultures rarely have food standalone, there is always a significance – be it religious, ceremonial, seasonal, medicinal, etc & that is what makes food so interesting!
Mehmet - Resimli Yemek Tariflerim
Nice blog, i like it. But i just wondered why you choose to name it cafefernando?
Mehmet – Thanks. I named it after Rose Nylund’s (from The Golden Girls) one-eyed teddy bear. I am a big fan of the show. You can read more about it here or here (second link in Turkish).
BTW, I had the privilege to visit Istanbul last year.Short visit, but got to meet your Prime Minister (not to mix politics with cooking….)
Hey! I’ve been a follower of your blog for a long time. I’m from Canada have a degree in communications/advertising and am pursuing and education in culinary arts after working in Graphic Design (which I still love). I’m young and ambitious, from Canada and in Istanbul next week. I would LOVE to meet up with you when Im in the city. Maybe you could show me around a little bit. I think your blog is lovely and would love to have you as a guide to the city.
Britt – Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I am swamped with projects and do not have time to meet up, but I’ll send you a list of my favorite restaurants via email. Hope you have a wonderful time.
Hi Cenk, will you tell us something about the gear you are using for these amazing shots??
Mrs Ergül – I use a Canon 5D mark 2. My favorite lens for food photography is 50mm f1.4.
Dear Cenk, I really like your bolg, loved the dolma gadget, where can I find it online ? since Dolma is my one and only meal !
too bad your not my friend, else I would’ve visited you all the time 😀
love your plates too
keep up the good work
Hela – Thanks! Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the machine online. You have to visit Istanbul to buy one.
I like the pictures of food you have on your blog. I’ve always wanted to see Turkey.
I don’t know you, but am wondering if you know of anyone (female) who may be interested in flying from San Francisco into Istanbul to take in the beautiful sights of Turkey in an easy-going budget tour, and of course, at the same enjoy the food there in summer (sometime during June through Aug).
By the way, is it safe to travel on our own in Turkey? I believe it is. Just want to hear what you have to say.
Thanks a lot!
LC – I don’t know of anyone, but someone might read this comment reply back… And if not, don’t worry – it is safe to travel on your own to Turkey.
HI, I hope you can help me. I am brazilian and I have been living in Istambul for 3 months and I am trying to find a single store that sells condensad milk and heavy cream. Could you please help me?
Hi Cenk, As a lover of food and my own photos I thought you would like to know that someone has portrayed one of your copyrighted images as their own: here’s the link. http://allrecipes.com/Cook/Photo.aspx?photoID=383255. Do with the info what you wish. The good news is that they led me to your site and I’ll be back when I have more time.
Linda – Thanks for the warning. I’ll contact them immediately. Great to hear I’ve gained a reader through this 🙂
Ozge Gencay Ustun
Daha evvel yorum yazmistim buraya ancak daha sonra ablam Sezgi ile konusuyorduk, megerse sen bizim lisedenmissin ve ben tanimamisim yorum yazarken. Sonradan resminden hatirladim, yaslilik iste 😛 Neyse tekrardan tebrik ediyorum ve acaba NPR’in “splendid table” ve/veya “good food” programlarini takip ediyor musun? Ben is yerinde podcastlarini dinliyorum cok zevkli, tabii aciktiriyor her seferinde ama senin blogu hatirlatiyorlar. Dinlemediysen siddetle tavsiye ederim. Buradaki ilgilenen arkadaslarima yonlendirdim blogunu. Basarilarinin devamini diliyorum.
You rock! I love your blog and witty writing. And…..I share your obsession for the Golden Girls. I am pretty sure I’ve seen every single episode….I can’t get enough of Sophia. Thank you so much for creating this lovely space!
Not sure if you can watch it in TR, but Betty White will host the SNL this weekend!
I have found out your blog while i was reading Oray Egin’s article today. It is really exciting to see an old friend’s success. Maybe we should arrange a kind of re-uninon soon.
Hi Cenk, I’ve been one of your readers for a long time, I don’t know over a year or maybe two 🙂 I’ve never read your “about” page but from your last post about the cookbook you’re working on I started to get curious. And I made a discovery, you are not a woman!! I started cracking up because I always pictured you as a slim dark-haired attractive woman 🙂 I was a bit wrong!!! Anyway, thanks for the picture of yourself, and the tidbit about your history. So excited for you on your adventure of writing a cookbook!! I hope to do the same one day, I’d also love to just take a few cooking classes! But I just gave birth to our sixth child and I’m a little busy at the time, some day!! Congratulations again, I’ve loved your recipes and the very talented photos you take, it’s very inspiring, I get ideas for cooking/blogging from your site, thanks!!
As silly and stupid as I’m going to sound but I love your eyes! Ahem!
I just stumbled upon your site and ofcourse goes without saying I’m so impressed! I was in Turkey for a vacation last month and ohhh I miss Istanbul so much. And Taskim square is like my all time favrite spot ever! Loved the food. I ll now start looking around for some Turkish recipes.
There was this one place we ate at ANTIOCHIA in Beyoglu. I still dream about a roasted red and green bell pepper dip with walnuts and pomegrante molasses dressing I had there. Anyway you can provide me the recipe for it?
I was googling to find a recipe and stumble upon your website. I was poking around to read your stories, recipes and your beautiful photos. Then I forgot what I was originally googling.
I am also living in San Francisco now and in love with this city. A few years ago, I have been to Turkey for 3 weeks, mostly stayed in Istanbul and the Bodrum peninsula, and met many, many, amazing people. Everyone I met was genuine, giving, and caring. There are many places have beautiful mountains and water, but for me, it was the people in Turkey made my trip so special.
I hope you all the best. Good luck with your cookbook. I’m going to try some of your recipes this weekend.
Carmen – I am so happy to hear you’ve had a wonderful experience here in Turkey. Many thanks for your kind words. Hope you like the recipes!
As an old San Franciscan who lives in Istanbul now I am still homesick and missing El Metate on Bryant and 22nd. I want to find a good Mexican in Istanbul, any recommendations?
Great site! already shared it with friends and family…
Yael – Thank you! Unfortunately, there aren’t any good Mexican restaurants in Istanbul.
What an amazing blog, i just love your recipes, photography.And on top of that you are from Turkey- my dream destination.
Really glad to have come across your blog. Till yesterday, Orhan Pamuk was the only person that came in my mind when i thought of Turkey, but now you will definitely be there.
Keep doing what you are doing, always, please!
We LOVE you. We LOVE the food photos on your site. And we LOVE the wonderful narratives that accompany the recipes.
LOVE. Love. LOVE!
Lots of love comin’ at you.
Robert (& friends)
I dicovered your blog today and it’s really gorgeous – can wait for your next
unbelievable pictures and recipes.
I really like your great kind of writing.
Greetings from Hamburg
i would like to know what type of camera you use to take pictures….
very nice and comfortable…to see..nice site to learn also…
I love the artwork that is on the top banner on your blog! Is this by any specific artist?
Did you change your bio picture in the last few months? I’m pretty sure there was a different picture before. When I saw this picture of you eating a brownie (? w/ pistachios..how very Turkish btw hehe) it reminded me of a painting of sultan Mehmet II…the one where he is holding a flower close to his face. Do you know which one I’m talking about? C’mon, you know that was the image you going for 😉
Connie – Yes, I did. I took the current one for an interview that was published last month in a Turkish magazine. I just searched the painting you’re talking about (here) and was amazed to see how similar the composition is – you have a very good eye!
I got to know your site through design*sponge. and I’m glad I did!
I’m a writer from New York living here in beautiful Istanbul. I love the food scene here and especially your blog, which is rather mind-blowing. I’m wondering if you have any good suggestions for Indian spices/ food products. Are there many ethnic markets? Also, a hot tip told me that you can find condensed milk at the carrefour in Cihangir, if you’re still looking.
John – Hello! Thanks for your kind words. For spices, I would suggest the Spice Market. Take a look at Martha Stewart’s video here (there’s a list on the right, third from the top was taken at the Spice Market). I don’t know of any ethnic markets, sorry (maybe this?). Thanks for the tip! The condensed milk is now available at every supermarket. The brand name is Markomilk.
I was wandering in my garden the other day an noticed the grape vine leaves and thought they are young and would make some lovely dolmas, My son is married to a Turkish girl and her mum on a visit to me made some…Yum.
I googled some recipes, and came across your site, and thought wow I had purchased one of those little dolma rollers when I was visiting Turkey, and have not used it yet.
From there my attention was taken from one yummy recipe to the next, all looking quite doable for me.
I’ve never commented on someones blog before, but your site is wonderful….congratulations please keep it going.
Cheers from Australia
Thank you Jan! Hope the dolmas turn out great.
I was lpoking for a Thai place in Istanbul and I stumbled upon your blog – amazing job! As a fellow Turk, I am glad to learn about food enthusiasts like yourself. Will definitely spread the word.
From that day on, I will be the the top follower of this blog. Thank you so much for the inspiration you have given me 🙂
So I made the Korova Cookies and OH MY GOD!!!! They are fantastic! Funny thing is I had first tried to make them from a recipe in a wonderful cookbook…Simple Soirees by Peggy Knickerbocker…but they just didn’t work. I knew something was wrong when I was making them, but every other recipe I’ve made in that book has been perfect, so I just kept going. Well…those cookies were NOT cookies, but they turned out to be the best ice cream topping ever invented. I loved the flavor so much that I started to research the recipe as Peggy said it was from a cookie by Pierre Herme and when I googled for info about it…your site came up and there was the Korova Cookies and the exact same recipe but for what must have been a typo in the book…1/4 cup of flour rather than the 1 1/4 cups needed to make these unbelievable chocolaty gems!
I am excited to now be connected to your site too. I’m a food lover and cook who loves to experiment, cook for family and friends…and WITH family and friends!
I live in Nor-Cal now and it seems we have all of the same favorite spots. How neat 🙂
I am just browsing your blog. I read the part about missing SF. I also lived in the Bay Area, and moved to Canada 2 years ago, and I absolutely agree – I miss my friends there a lot. It’s a place with really nice people. And even the friends that I meet here in Vancouver end up moving to the Silicon Valley :-(. My boyfriend says that I need to start a new meetup group “Bay Area expats” :-).
In any case, I am absolutely in love with your blog, the more time I spend here, the more I like it. Maybe I’ll just put a tent on one of these pages and camp here 🙂
I just discovered your blog a couple of days ago, and it’s awesome! I am an expat as well (a Russian living in Washington, DC, with my French husband whose family is originally from Turkey, imagine the cultural mix in the family!), so I really love the whole bilingual/bicultural ambiance of your blog. I have been to SF many times, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! It is definitely the best city in the world, and I can SOOO relate to your nostalgia.
Your blog is amazing. Very professional, atmospheric photos, great recipes. So far I have tried only the mint lemonade (today), but I will definitely be trying some more. Thanks a lot, and good luck with your cookbook!
I love your blog. I’m an LA native, but I lived in Turkey for two years. Now I’m back in the states, but part of me will always long for Turkey. (Much like you for San Francisco). If we didn’t have enough in common, I also love the Golden Girls. Keep up the good work and post some more Turkish inspired dishes so I can bring a little more of Turkey into my home!
Phyllis Brooks Schafer
Boludan mi geliyorsunuz?
Years ago I lived in Turkey and still have the memory of a meal in Bolu itself, eaten in a tiny cafe in the pouring rain. It ended with boys coming into the restaurant with a big pan of wild strawberries! What joy! And my first Chez Panisse dinner was right after it opened – $12.50! (Yes, the period is in the right place!)
(To non-Turks: The best cooks are always said to come from the town of Bolu, in Anatolia.)
I’m still deeply tied to two of the best eating areas in the world! Lucky me!
i came across your blog while cruising through the Istanbul food section of New York Times. I am a cook/chef from NYC. Currently on a year long sabbatical from the kitchen. i am scheduled to travel to Istanbul by the end of September/early october, even though the trip is only for a few days, i am looking to capture the sense of Turkish food and the role it plays in the deep rooted Turkish culture.
Any help/advise you can offer will be appreciated.
Hi Malvika – The list is too long; I’ll send you an email.
I came back from Istanbul 2 days ago! Great work, your recipes sound amazing and can’t wait to try them out once my body clock recognises day/night again! Keep going with the traditional Turkish recipes, they are things we’ll always go back to – with a serving of apple tea on the side!
Alexia de Angelis
Love love love your blog.
Am coming to Istanbul in October, would be great to meet up get some tips and know the unmissable nooks and crannies of the city. Any suggestions for balik and raki with a great view?!
I’ve been a regular on your food blog and I love it. I live in Bangalore, India and will spend a few days in Istanbul/Egirdir on holiday.
Could you give me the names of your favourite baking/kitchen equipment stores in Istanbul? I am also looking to buy diastatic malt. Where can I find this in Istanbul? Plus other goodies to use in baking like edible flowers, sanding sugar etc.
I would be really grateful.
Sheila – I don’t have a favorite baking or kitchen equipment store in Istanbul, but I think you’ll find most of the things at Esse, which is for equipment only. For baking supplies, I’d recommend supermarkets (Migros, Macrocenter and Carrefour), Nüans and the Spice Bazaar. I’ve never come across diastatic malt in Istanbul. Hope you have a great time.
Hello! I love your recipes, and was wondering if you have a recipe for lahmachun. Its my favourite turkish dish, and I would love to be able to make it at home. Though I will definately give the Dolce and Gabbana Brownies a go!
Sarah – I don’t have a recipe for lahmacun, sorry.
I’m in love with your blog and visit it everyday! Your pictures and writing style are a great combination – I got back from Istanbul 2 weeks ago and have already got a list of where to go next time 🙂 And I’ve already tried the D&G brownies (that lace is delicate but worth the trouble!), the ice-cream is now a family favourite (it truly is the best ever icecream I’ve had and it was my first attempt) and the mousse turns out beautiful!
Only thing is, when I made the Korova cookies the shape looks flat when I cut with the knife and they spread so much in the oven, any tips on that? thanks 🙂
Zuhal – They’re supposed to spread during baking.
Thanks much for the information about the stores. I will definitely try the restaurant you recommend – Ciya. But tell me, what do you think of this restaurant I found on the web Asitane http://www.asitanerestaurant.com/English/contact.php
which is near the Chora Church Museum. I’m traveling on a budget but I just love the menu I see on the Asitane website. As an Istanbullu, would you recommend it? Cheers.
Sheila – I would recommend it. Take a look at Yeşim Yemni’s article here.
Quoting you “Our final stop was a kitchen supplies store Ayşe mentioned and it turned out to be great. I managed to find very cheap and good quality cake molds, gelatin sheets (believe it or not they are not available in any of the supermarkets; I had to order from Amazon recently), eclair and macaroon cases, and many other small items. I can’t wait to put them into use.”
Where can I find this store. An address? Directions? Pls pls.
Istanbul is beautiful. I’m loving it.
Sheila – I was talking about Nüans in Eminönü. Here’s their website. However, I’ve recently found a better place: Doğanay Gıda. It is harder to find, but you’ll be amazed. Here’s the info: Doğanay Gıda – Bahariye (or Bahriye) Caddesi No:46 (next to İş Bankası) Kasımpaşa – Phone: 0212 – 361 40 82 – Map (closest location I can find at Google Maps)
I know you must have heard this a million times, but you have an absolutely wonderful blog. Kudos!
ooo you’re a man! that’s great. Greetz from Bulgaria!
Still do the Stumble-Upon thing and share your recipes.
Just want to make sure you’re O.K. after the earthquake.
I just stumbled upon your blog. Great job. Love your photos. Starting this weekend, I’m going to try your recipes. Similar life-story Cenk; from LA to Athens. Great running into you, even in this virtual environment. Keep up the great taste 🙂
okuduğum en güzel “hakkımda” yazılarından biri.
I loved that you kept looking on craigslist and that your old flat had been up for rent 3 times. I love your writing, and I think you did an amazing job of coming up with that brownie for D&G. You use ingredients like poets use words to come up with amazing metaphors. I’m delighted to hear about your success and excited to find your blog.
Cheers from across the bay.
Wow… I totally understand the ‘homesickness’. I have the same problem. Wherever I am, I keep missing other places. I guess we just need to keep moving!
Andrea Chavez Delgado
Seriously… marry me!
Just discovered your blog–so beautiful! Your desserts are gorgeous! I love finding new dessert presentations and I just found so many on your blog–thank you!
Doing research for an article I’m writing on Istanbul and food, I stumbled on your blog. How lucky! I love it! Many years ago I lived with a Turkish family in Istanbul as an exchange student. Last November I returned and reunited with some of my old friends and “family.” It was so wonderful. Do you know Aylin Oney Tan? She’s a food journalist and gave me and my friend Amy a fabulous tour of the Spice Bazaar and Kadikoy, and then we had the meal of a lifetime with her at Ciya. Anyway, I just wanted to say hi and thank you for your blog that brings back so many great memories. Also, would you be willing to help me with my articles if I need some information that I can’t find here?
Janice – Hello! Thanks for the note. Çiya is one of my most favorite places in Istanbul as well. Hope you visit again soon. I’d be willing to help as long as I’m not working against a deadline, which seems to be the case almost everyday for the past 2 years 🙂
Hello! I stumbled upon your blog today and am really enjoying the great recipes and beautiful photos. However, your recipe for Sirloin Steak in Cafe de Paris Sauce has me on a wild search for the seasoning blend with no luck. Where can I find it? I have a fantastic source for all things spice at the Spice Merchant in Temecula, CA, but don’t see that they carry it.
Can you tell me where I can order some…and, if not, can I have yours? (just kidding)I was in Paris recently and would love to recreate this recipe!
Madeleine – I bought that spice mix at Globus in Geneva, Switzerland. Don’t know if they’ll ship it to the US, but here’s the online store.
I don’t think they would ship here, but I checked out the site and can’t find that product mentioned anywhere. I kept having to translate to English, so I may have missed it, but I don’t think so.
Alas, I am afraid I must do without….
Regardless, thank you and have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!!!
Ciao Cenk, i work for kenwood and i would get in touch with you. Please post me a mail. ciao F
Hey Cenk, I just came across your blog and it’s great. Amazing food. Please get that book printed in English I need to get one over here in London 🙂
melanie – Thanks! I hope to start working on an English version as soon as the Turkish version is published. Wish me luck 🙂
I’m wondering if you might please contact me directly at the email address provided to speak about publishing the U.S. edition of your forthcoming cookbook?
We are interested to know more and discuss it with you.
Nicki – Hello! I am sending you an e-mail right now.
I came to your blog via David Lebovitz’s blog. I am an NYC born American girl, with a Turkish father, who loves Istanbul and the cuisine but never learned to speak the language. San Francisco is also one of my favorite cities in the world. I am really looing forward to reading through your blog (I already want to try the rice pudding with lavender), and eagerly await your new posts.
All the best,
Hello Cenk, this is my first time here, i was just oggling at your no bake biscuit chocolate cake and got hooked. Love your pictures and your recipes! They are so innovative and written with so much of ease, makes me want to just jump and go do it right now, right here! also, You are from Istanbul!! How neat is that, i just got back from a two week vacation in Turkey, and needless to say, my beloved dog back home was the only, only reason i tore myself from staying there longer. I loved it! hope to stay in touch and follow your blog.
Kajal – Thank you! I just took a look at your beautiful Istanbul photos and saw that you’ve had Kup Griye at Baylan. Wasn’t it fantastic?
Hi Cenk, do you know of a good authentic recipe for Keskul? I had some really delicious creamy keskul from Sultans Kitchen in Boston and want to be able make them at home. So far my searches have only given watery not so creamy ones.
Would love it if you could help me out.
Zuhal – Actually, I am currently working on a recipe for the book. Unfortunately, I can not share it before the book is published. Think of almond-flavored creme patisserie, but looser – meaning less egg yolks. It should be creamy but not too thick. Start with raw almonds. Sprout them a day in advance. Take out skins. Place in a blender with milk and blend on high speed. Pass through a very fine sieve layered with cheesecloth and follow a trusted creme patisserie recipe with maybe 1 less egg yolk than specified. If the recipe states another thickener (like rice flour or cornstarch) use the same number of egg yolks and no thickener. Hope this is a good starting point for you.
Hello! I have just stumbled onto this blog and am ecstatic at my discovery! I can’t wait to try out some of the recipes!!! Do you have a bakery in Istanbul or are you solely a blogger??
Emily – Thanks! No, I don’t have a bakery and will probably never have one. I’m a full-time blogger.
Thank you Cenk.I had to come back and tell you – its turned out so nice. Sprouting them makes the keskul taste so much better. It could turn out a little thicker, but practice makes perfect. Can’t wait till your book comes out. Make it known I have the first Australian order!
I’m working on the keskul and clam chowder soup. Missing the wharf and the bakery, not missing those massive seagulls though!
Zuhal – Glad you enjoyed it! And thanks for the support.
It’s a shame on me that I have just discovered your blog while I’m trying to find a peach tart recipe!
I really loved your work and I’m proud of you.
Thank you very much.
Wish you the best.
Hi Cenk. I really enjoy your blog: it’s a cool place to come back to, so I have nominated you for a One Lovely Blog Award.
I totally understand if you don’t want to follow all the stuff involved, but thought you would like to know anyway. No further action is necessary or expected. 😉
Uzun zamandır yazılarını takip eden ve insanlara karsı ne kadar nazik olduğunu bilen biri olarak senden bir yardım rica edeceğim.
Ben Moskova’da yasıyorum ve burada yaşayan bir İtalyan arkadasın İstanbul’u ziyarete gelecek. Kendisi yemek konusuyla cok ilgilidir.dunyanın dört bir yaninda iyi yemek pesinde olan biri olarak Benim hazırlıklarım dısında henüz bir Turk yemeği yememiş….. Acaba zahmet olmazsa bana Avrupa yakasında onlara gururla sunabilecegim bir turk restoranı birde balık restoranı onerebilir mısın? Korkarım yemek konusunda herkese guvenemedigim icin bunu senden rica ediyorum . Benim icin gercekten önemli . Umarım cok rahatsızlık vermiyorumdur, anlayışına sığınıyorum.
Derya – Elbette. Türk restoranı derken sanırım ev tipi Türk yemeklerinden bahsediyorsunuz. Karaköy Lokantası‘nı tavsiye ederim. Daha modern bir Türk mutfağı için ise Kantin (sadece öğlen yemeklerinde açık). Balık lokantası olarak da en sevdiklerim İskele ve Angel Blue.
Thank you for that great blog, you’ve done an amazing job, I am willing to try most of these recipes here and send you some feedback!!!!
I had to leave a note to say your site is fantastic, I really enjoy your voice and look forward to reading more and trying out your recipes. I have a friend who is Turkish and lives in San Francisco part time and the other part she guides adventures in Turkey. She shares her culinary skills as well and it’s always fun to try new things except both are too far from Washington state! Thanks for sharing.
Catering işi için sizle temasa geçmek istiyorum, email
Adresinizi ve ofis telinizi rica edebilirmiyim.
Ayşe Yorgancıoğlu – İlginize teşekkürler ama catering hizmeti vermiyorum.
Hi Cenk, What an amazing blog. I came across it when I was searching for the BEST fudge brownie recipe!
Just like you, I am missing the US every single day…. I am constantly wandering around the streets of SF via Google maps :-). Tomorrow I will be in Istanbul for a couple of days. If you have any recommendations for good restaurants I will be grateful.
Best wishes, Hatice
Hatice – So sorry for responding so late. You still need recommendations?
You have been quiet here, have you moved on to greater and bigger things?
MERILENE – I’ve been very busy with my cookbook. Will be back soon.
you are gorgeous, your cooking is gorgeous,
please marry me?
😀 the blog seem to be quiet, hope all is good and your cook book came through well.
All the best to you.
My friend Carole Bidnick has been telling me about you and I cannot wait for the English version of your book.
In the meantime, do you have a recipe for tarkana? the kind that hardens and you cut into diamond shapes? My mom used to make it and I cannot find a recipe anywhere!!!
ani chamichian – Do you mean tarhana?
I just found your blog and wanted to congratulate you for your nice recipes and photos!
P.S. There’s no shame in being a chocoholic! 🙂