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.
“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.
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…
A veritable feast
Whilst everyone was enjoying the wonderful breakfast, Özlem talked more about the book – her love letter to her homeland.
Signing the books
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.
Once again we’d like to share the event with you in photographs and video…
They say the best parties are in the kitchen! Everyone certainly had a great afternoon in Mozaik’s kitchen on Thursday…
Outside the preparations were coming along nicely too
A special supper
Signing the book
Özlem signed the books whilst dessert was being prepared
Back to eating and it was time for dessert – the glorious Künefe, a signature dish from Antakya
The evening finished with a big thank you from Özlem to Hüseyin, Deren and the team.
The end of a perfect day…
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.