We caught up with Somer Sivrioglu, owner and chef of Balmain restaurant Efendy.
Check out our Q&A with the Turkish chef as he shares one of his delicious signature recipes.
What projects or ventures are you currently working on?
Getting the itenary together for a gourmet tour to Turkey. Few other projects happening but too early to mention. To put it simply, I believe every child need a sibling.
Is there one dish you still struggle to get right?
Turkish delight, however many times I try, even using authentic copper pots, still can not get the consistency of real stuff.
What is your signature dish?
Ali Nazik , a regional Gaziantep kebab with smoked eggplant and strained yogurt.
Who or what inspires you in the kitchen?
As a professional chef, Musa Dagdeviren, custodian of regional Anatolian food, he changed the trend for restaurants in Istanbul from focusing on European and Asian cuisine, to focus on regional Anatolian ingredients.
As a homecook, my grandma, surviving two World wars, many recessions, raising three kids by herself, she is the most sustainable, cost-conscious cook I ever met. Yet, her food was heavenly. I never see any food waste in her garbage bin. Until she passed away two years ago at 103 she cooked three times a day for herself and everyone around.
What is your biggest food indulgence?
A freshly line-caught Lufer ( Turkish variety of Blue Fish) on Bosphorus simply grilled and served with lemon, Ezine white cheese, melon from Kirkagac and local rucola salad with a glass of raki, eating and drinking at a local seafood meyhane on Bosphorus with friends.
Isn’t it funny how things we used to do regularly when younger, becomes the biggest indulgences when you grow older.
What ingredient are you obsessed with right now?
Samphire, was so easy to find them In Turkey, yet very hard and expensive in Australia.
I like to quickly sauté them in olive oil with garlic and squeeze of lemon juice.
What is your best tip for home cooks?
Add a pinch of salt to your desserts when cooking, it’s a great balancer for overly sweet dessert.