Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Since you've been gone...

It's been a decade since my last post and i feel like 'just another one' of those failed bloggers, but i've written a post each day on my mind, you just didn't see it:)

I've started that culinary school i've been talking about for the last two years, the very expensive one:/ There seemed no other options for the moment, so i said what the hack:) So, it started on february 1st and i've recieved a 4-months education in the simplest form.. My answer to anyone whose willing to take this way: The only thing i bought, and you will have bought with this money is a diploma to open up a little path for you, other than that it's a barely-mediocre education, so on that part don't get your hopes up. You still have to educate yourself, but the stamp you get is powerful in Turkey for the moment:) PS: With this you also get the cutest stamp of being a spoiled brat from MSA :P

So let's get on to other things it's brought into my life.
I've had the chance to meet a rising star chef from NYC, watched him like a 5-year-old as he did his magic with liquid nitrogen. Then a friend denied him the pleasures of talking about food ( Sorry that
most of you didn't get this sentence, but the ones who did probably had a good laugh:) )... I've found two great friends that make time pass by so easily that you always end up saying: Damn, it's midnight already, we haven't even watch our movies yet:/
We had a hot hot lecture of biscuits from Biscolata guys Oscar and Haley. At that exact moment i realized what i've actually paid for, and felt reaaaallly good about it;))Here's also a link to their commercial, for those of you who don't already know:


I now have started my internship at a well-known (worldwide) hotel's pastry kitchen. For diplomatic purposes i'll keep my opinions to myself for now, i'm sure you would all be understanding. It's been 10 days or so, and what i feel when i get home everyday is like somebody beat the bleep out of me all day through. My feet hurt, but not so much as my back... Kinda feels like my spine has been used for a Jenga game, and one of the vertebras is about to slip and lead to a destruction:) But i'm sure i'll get used to it, or to a good massage after it... Yet the pain is also most satisfying as it is from actually doing things. I've never even touched a dirty dish, or wiped the floors... For the 8 hours i work, i'm almost always baking baking baking... cakes, financiers, brownies, pannacottas, creme brules, etc... and ofcourse chocolate:)

Besides all that, i've also had a couple of orders in the last weeks. I'm making my fortune out of nasty nasty cakes and cupcakes. Bachelorette business is good, i may soon rule the bachelorette parties in Istanbul with my cupcakes, so here are some pics of that, too...


apart from how tiring it is, everything is good. Can't wait to finish this internship and actually start working... I apologize for such an unorganised post, but i will spend more time on posting and writing fun and interesting ones again...

Eat chocolate, be good and i will see u later:)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Leaving for London

Here's the cake i made this week, for a colleague of a friend who's leaving for London.
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Culinary State of Turkey

When i realized i am now able to clearly define the situation, i imimediately wanted to share it with everyone who listens. It's about the lack of acceptance of culinary work as an art form. Sadly in Turkey, a chef is just some underdog prepping the food in the kitchen... Although there's been some change in this perception in the last couple of years, it's still the restaurant owner who gets the main focus and in most cases is mistakenly referred to as the chef. Yes, we do start to hear more about chef's restaurants and quality food. We are beginning to learn more about what the perfect form we are to expect in a plate is. But, this improvement is not actually (not for all cases, but most) the result of enhanced knowledge, but of the guidance of trends. It's now trendy to go eat at a classy restaurant and know the chef's name. But, what actually happens is that, the names we know are not the chef's names. And this becomes more shameful, when the one making this mistake is a food magazine. Restaurant owners are included under articles like Istanbul's best chefs, among real chefs who've spent their years in this art... ( This is my actual observation that got the MSA executive chef to immediately like me:) )

Anyways i could complain for hours about the subject, but you all got the point. So, let's improve it..

First must-know:

There's a strict distinction between a baker and a pastry chef. In Turkey we see this distinctions only in Hotels or Hotel restaurants. Everyone else is a baker except hotel chefs. Chef, actually, is not as cheap a term as we use it in here...

If we say a chef is the scientist, then a baker is the industrial partner. Industrial partner has to make his main product better, while chef develops the new methods for him to do so...

To simply explain; a pastry chef has to think of presentation ten times harder, while a baker has done his job when he's got the flavor just perfect. A pastry chef has to come up with new techniques and have a variety of them on hand, while the baker needs to have the highest experience on his technique to make the specific product on the spot each time...

These examples do not propose any less respect for either occupation, but merely defines the distinction inbetween. A perfect product by a baker takes us to our childhood, while a perfect product by a pastry chef takes us to a whole new world. And either is as much valuable yet different for me. I sincerely hope we- as a culture insanely based on food unlike any other culture- will get to this same level of almost-worldwide knowledge in culinary arts...

So, a decision awaits... Will i be a pastry chef, or a baker?!

Getting Ready

listening to Beirut and working on my new post at a starbucks.... priceless:D Don't really know why, but i absolutely love this activity..


as the school is getting closer, i'm working on getting all the necessary documents together. I've had my tests for elisa, hepatit b and c, and had that unaviodable 'whatif?!' panic until the results came:D Clean as a sheet... Then my college diploma fulfilled its duty by getting copied. Life's big joke on my mom, an econ grad's diploma copied for a culinary school application:) Got my photos taken, a hundred copies- this time, for the first time, i actually look normal. Beautiful is not a concern, normal is just enough; because all the passport-like photos i have look like i'm either about to get slapped or got slapped seconds ago...
Couplo more things to go and i'm ready:)


What i expect to get from this education:

I want to learn the chemistry of food, not just 'how-to's of main things. I want to be able to work without recipes- by which i mean not memorizing the recipe, but almost never needing one..

I want to be able to work out something from the weird combos of ingredients on hand. I want to be able to turn a cocktail into a cupcake like in Top Chef:Just Desserts, know all the flavor affinities, and -eventually- match up recipes with moods?!:)

Will i get what i expect from it? Probably not... But as long as it's not set on memorizing like our terrible school system, i know i'll get good basics for working on my expectations from then on...