Whenever we travel, I like to do some sort of cooking class or have a hands on session with food in some way. I love the memories the experience brings and it is a fantastic way of learning more about a local culture as food is usually an integral part of any country’s history and social make-up. Unfortunately on our recent trip to Turkey I did not get the opportunity to participate in a local class due to the fact tourism has been so rocked by recent events, there were not sufficient numbers (2) to hold a class. I had registered interest with 4 different places and had a good window of opportunity, but it just didn’t get off the ground. Due to this, I did not even blink when my favourite business, String & Salt in Warragul, West Gippsland announced they had 2 last-minute places available for their ‘My Turkish Table’ cooking session last Saturday. In 2015, S & S’s Michelle, participated in an 8 week vocational and cultural exchange to Turkey, and shares her cultural experiences and demonstrates making the Turkish dishes wish such passion and enthusiasm you can’t help but be swept away and enjoy the whole experience.
Along with the 10 or so dishes we made, there was a great little set of detailed notes that covered things like spices, cooking styles, essential ingredients and sourcing them, information about some local drinks and when they are served and some basic Turkish phrases. Everyone at S&S has the same infectious, positive attitude. This is Chef Anne preparing a smoked eggplant which will become part of the eggplant mash the lamb stew (Sultan’s Delight) was served on.Some of the other dishes we covered were, gozleme (I was so involved I forgot to take photos), Hiro’s Boregi, a beautiful pastry dish made with of layers of pastry, greens, spices and a egg/yoghurt custard.
The baked result! This was one of my favourite foods in Turkey.There was also a variety of salads, carrot dip (look at that focussed attention!),Sultan’s Delight or lamb stew cooked on the stove top and served in a traditional Turkish Clay pot.Skewering the marinated chicken,which was cooked over charcoal in the back alley. The charcoal imparts such an authentic flavour, not to mention the ambiance it creates!Once everything came together we sat around the communal table and shared String & Salt’s sensational Turkish Table Feast.Of course we had to finish with a delicious and extremely easy version of rolled almond and pistachio baklava. Definitely a repeat to be made of this.String & Salt is where we purchased our brand new Falcon oven so it’s fitting that on the same day as this class I baked bread for the first time in the new oven. Few things to learn after using a pretend oven for so long but I don’t think there will be any issues by the look of these!Thanks everyone @stringandsalt sensational!