All posts filed under: Events

cabernet sauvignon

Life in the Vineyard – Part 2 – Harvest

Today marks one month of harvest work at Chateau Kalpak. I came back here with a small suitcase of clothes and a big bag filled with my pantry essentials. After 2 weeks here, the temperature dropped suddenly and most of the clothes I’d brought became unsuitable, not only for the weather but also for the work I do here. Red wine stains everywhere! Luckily, our sweet staff has given me some of her old clothes so I’m managing to survive so fa r. More than surviving really… I’m revitalising my inner soul and body here. I wake up every single morning, thanking to the nature and thanking to everyone who made it happen. Hubby is missing my food so much! And my in-laws are looking after our dog. My in-laws visited me and saw how happy and exuberant I looked and confirmed how happy people are when they do what they love. No matter how old you are and what obstacles you have, you’ve got to live your dream after all. While most wineries have finished the …


Korean New Year Feast and Chamlija Wine Tasting

I’m back home after finishing the three-day Korean New Year Feast event and spending extra days catching up on personal affairs in Istanbul. The event was great, especially the part of meeting new amazing people, which is why I love what I do. Here I’ll share the atmosphere and delicious foods we ate and the special wines we drank for those who couldn’t join us. As promised, I presented 4 good wines from Chamlija (Papaskarasi is missing in the photo). Many thanks to Ozkan Uner from A2A Photography for excellent photos. He’s a very talented and respected photographer and, though his expertise is in aviation photography, he takes great food photos as well. By sheer coincidence, two chefs were in matching red to celebrate the year of Rooster. Really, I didn’t think of it when I decided to put on my red skirt. Anyway, since it’s a special day, for one of the starters, I offered a royal dish, which goes by the name of ‘Gujeolpan – Nine Delicacies‘. We started with the colourfully arranged little delicacies with seasonal vegetables and home-smoked trout and …

radish miso tahini

KIMCHI Workshop and Radish Spinach Miso Tahini Rice Bowl

It was fun making kimchi with many people and I was proud to share my know-hows and clarify some of the myths surrounding the most essential Korean food. I was also very surprised by the enthusiasm of the participants, who seemed more obsessed with kimchi than me!

I would like to thank those who joined the event and also, Istanbul Cooking School for opening their space for us.

korean food

Flavours of Korea and Far East @Revolte Cafe Pub

Another Korean food event took place last Saturday. This time it was a little different to the previous as I, self-taught and instinctive cook, was joined by a professionally trained chef, Seçkin @5KitchenModa. While working together in the kitchen, I was reminded of ‘The Cook and the Chef‘, the Australian TV show, though I’m not as old as Maggie! I’m hoping to mature like her though. A lot of people showed interest in the event again and the tables got quickly booked out. This time it was for finger foods rather than a full course meal, which is usually more labour intensive. Imagine rolling out 100 dumpling wrappers and rolling 100 spring rolls! What makes it even more difficult is the lack of access to basic ingredients. I could have easily bought the tofu and bean sprouts but I made both from scratch because I don’t like the taste of tofu sold here. And Seckin even smoked the fish for the sushi because we didn’t want to use imported farmed salmon. When I was introduced to him, I sensed that we …

Korean dumplings

Korean Lunar New Year Feast @ Bahane Lounge

Sorry readers for the long absence. So many thing have happened in the last two weeks and I don’t know which one to write about first. So let me write about the latest event first, The Korean New Year Feast, which I feel like is the best achievement in my years in Istanbul. I haven’t fully recovered from the chaotic weekend of shopping and cooking as I’ve had a full working week right after. As I was writing this, my sister sent me this photo of the whole family celebrating the lunar new year with giant oysters and pork BBQ, with a note that my dad made these wooden stools. They’ve been feasting for three days now and yesterday was marinated beef rib BBQ, Galbi. I can see how the table offered to the ancestors is getting simplified each year. When I was growing up, it was three times the size of this and took the whole family to cook but nowadays people only prepare dishes they actually enjoy instead of following the book of …

Indian Dinner@Eat with Me Istanbul – Spice it up!

Indian food, why do we love Indian food so much? As soon as I announced ‘Indian Night’, at least 6 people immediately responded and what was meant to be a cozy stay-in evening for two became an evening of kitchen labor, but good labor. But I was concerned a little because I had to work on that day, so I prepared some of the dishes the night before and marinated the tandoori chicken; seriously I was cooking and making samosa from scratch at 11pm. Luckily, curries can benefit from sitting overnight. Samosa… I love it but I hate frying so I used the baking method, which worked brilliantly. I made sure to brush the samosas with ghee occasionally. These flew off the plate faster than the time required to keep the guests occupied while I was finishing off cooking the mains. But they left some of the gorgeous Scampi Avocado Lime Coriander Grapefruit Cocktail for me. It wasn’t so Indian, I know, but still exotic, and that’s why I whipped it up as an extra …