Fethiye extended a very warm welcome to Özlem Warren last week when she visited us to promote her new book, Özlem’s Turkish Table: Recipes from My Homeland.

Özlem's Turkish Table comes to Fethiye

“This book is my tribute to the diverse, scrumptious Turkish cuisine and it is a celebration of my southern Turkish roots with regional recipes especially from my hometown of Antakya. My cooking has and continues to be, inspired by this magical land and its people. Let me take you on a Turkish culinary journey – to learn, taste and enjoy for yourself the delicious foods of my homeland and along the way I hope you will feel the warmth and generous spirit of our Turkish culture.” – Özlem Warren (excerpt from the book)

Özlem’s Turkish Table comes to Fethiye

Özlem had originally planned to visit Fethiye at the end of the summer so you can imagine how delighted we were when she let us know that she would be in Turkey in May and would love come to Fethiye and hold a couple of book signing events.

Weeks of arranging the venues, planning the menus and advertising the events (both of which were sold out) and the day finally arrived. Özlem arrived from İzmir with suitcases loaded with books the evening before, final arrangements were made and all that was left to do was to enjoy the day.

The events

Book signing events are magical in that you get excited about the book, you get to meet and talk with the author and gain an insight into the ‘journey’ of the book …and you can buy a personalised signed copy.

I think everyone who attended the events would agree that it really was a magical day.

Take a look for yourselves…

Turkish breakfast with Özlem at the Yakamoz Hotel

The first event of the day was a Turkish breakfast event at the Yakamoz Hotel in Ovacık.

Özlem brought the book to life with stories about growing up in Antakya and learning the recipes at her mother, Gülçin’s, knee, painting a vivid picture of a place where traditions and hospitality are an integral part of everyday life and extra places are set at mealtimes in case an unexpected visitor should pop in.

Mehmet and his team provided a veritable feast including recipes from the Turkish Breakfast chapter of the book; Olive salad with pomegranate molasses and za’atar (Zeytin Üfeleme); Crumbled feta salad with cumin and red pepper flakes (Çökelek Salata); Turkish style scrambled eggs with peppers, tomatoes and onions (Menemen).

We’d like to share the event with you in photographs and videos…

Welcome

Özlem's Turkish Table comes to Fethiye
Guests arriving
Özlem's Turkish Table comes to Fethiye
Özlem relaxing with the guests
Özlem's Turkish Table comes to Fethiye
Özlem talking to the guests about the book

A veritable feast

Özlem's Turkish Table comes to Fethiye
Özlem with Yakamoz Hotel chef, Kenan who, along with his team, prepared the breakfast feast

Özlem's Turkish Table comes to Fethiye

Özlem's Turkish Table comes to Fethiye

Özlem's Turkish Table comes to Fethiye

Özlem's Turkish Table comes to Fethiye
Everyone enjoyed the most wonderful breakfast

Whilst everyone was enjoying the wonderful breakfast, Özlem talked more about the book – her love letter to her homeland.

Signing the books

Özlem's Turkish Table comes to Fethiye Özlem's Turkish Table comes to Fethiye Özlem's Turkish Table comes to Fethiye Özlem's Turkish Table comes to Fethiye

Özlem's Turkish Table comes to Fethiye
Özlem, Mehmet and the guests who bought the lovely book

Thank you to Nichola Chapman for sharing her photographs with us.

Breakfast over, goodbyes said and it was off to Mozaik Bahçe for a very special supper event.

Özlem Warren with Mozaik Bahçe – special supper menu from Özlem’s Turkish Table

This was a very exciting event for Özlem as Mozaik Bahçe specialises in Hatay cuisine and both the owner, Hüseyin and chef, Murat are from Antakya in Hatay, which is also where Özlem’s roots lie and where she spent her holidays whilst growing up. She was looking forward to rolling up her sleeves and working in the kitchen with both Hüseyin, Murat and the kitchen team.

The menu for the evening was a special one made up of a selection of dishes from Özlem’s Turkish Table: Recipes from My Homeland.

A very special day with Özlem and Özlem's Turkish Table
A special supper menu. Photograph courtesy of Hannah Kaba

Once again we’d like to share the event with you in photographs and video…

Preparation time

They say the best parties are in the kitchen! Everyone certainly had a great afternoon in Mozaik’s kitchen on Thursday…

A very special day with Özlem and Özlem's Turkish Table
Özlem and Hüseyin checking the recipes
A very special day with Özlem and Özlem's Turkish Table
Hüseyin demonstrating his skill in the kitchen

Outside the preparations were coming along nicely too

A very special day with Özlem and Özlem's Turkish Table

Guests arriving

Özlem's Turkish Table: Recipes from My Homeland - a very special day for Fethiye

Özlem's Turkish Table: Recipes from My Homeland - a very special day for Fethiye

Welcome

Özlem's Turkish Table: Recipes from My Homeland - a very special day for Fethiye
Özlem welcoming the guests

A special supper

Özlem's Turkish Table: Recipes from My Homeland - a very special day for Fethiye
Starters are ready and waiting to be served
Özlem's Turkish Table: Recipes from My Homeland - a very special day for Fethiye
Radish salad with tahini sauce (Tahin Soslu Turp Salata)
Özlem's Turkish Table: Recipes from My Homeland - a very special day for Fethiye
Stuffed courgettes with minced meat and chickpeas served with cacık dip

Signing the book

Özlem signed the books whilst dessert was being prepared

Özlem's Turkish Table: Recipes from My Homeland - a very special day for Fethiye Özlem's Turkish Table: Recipes from My Homeland - a very special day for Fethiye Özlem's Turkish Table: Recipes from My Homeland - a very special day for Fethiye Özlem's Turkish Table: Recipes from My Homeland - a very special day for Fethiye

Back to eating and it was time for dessert – the glorious Künefe, a signature dish from Antakya

Özlem's Turkish Table: Recipes from My Homeland - a very special day for Fethiye
Preparing künefe
Özlem's Turkish Table: Recipes from My Homeland - a very special day for Fethiye
Künefe ready to be served
Özlem's Turkish Table: Recipes from My Homeland - a very special day for Fethiye
Antakya Künefe

The evening finished with a big thank you from Özlem to Hüseyin, Deren and the team.

Özlem's Turkish Table: Recipes from My Homeland - a very special day for Fethiye
A well-deserved round of applause

The end of a perfect day…

Özlem's Turkish Table: Recipes from My Homeland - a very special day for Fethiye
Özlem with Hüseyin and Deren.

A message from Özlem

“It was an absolute joy to be in Fethiye. You all blew me away with your kindness and interest in Turkish cuisine. I am very passionate about the beautiful Turquoise Coast and Fethiye deserves every praise and recognition and to be visited and enjoyed. You’ll be missing out if not! Huge thanks to Fethiye Times and all the lovely folks in Fethiye” – Özlem

The good news is that if you missed out this time, Özlem plans to come back again.

Watch this space!

Buy the book

If you would like a copy of the book it is available from GB Publishing. Click here to buy yours.

You can see more photographs of the events on Fethiye Times Facebook page.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Fethiye Times and Lyn, thank you so much for this absolutely gorgeous write up and photos, so very kind of you!! It was such a special visit to Fethiye and I am still on cloud 9; it was so lovely to meet everyone, your kindness and interest really blew me away. My special thanks to Yakamoz Hotel and Mozaik Bahce for hosting our events and all the folks who joined us! A piece of me stayed in Fethiye and I sure will be back, cok cok tesekkur ederim!:) xxx Ozlem

    • Dearest Özlem, I am so happy you liked the article. It was a pleasure to write it ? Your visit to Fethiye was so special and you have definitely left part of yourself here. It will be a talking point for a long time ? People are already asking if you’ll be coming again ? xxx

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