Pre-order online until THU Nov 4, 10pm
Pick up on FRI Nov 5, 6-7:30pm
What does it mean to have a culinary tradition? Here in Canada, a very young country far removed from its agrarian roots, there is little in the way of ’traditional’ foods that appears on most tables. But in Turkey, where food, culture, land, religion, music and tradition have been dancing together for thousands of years, one can find many examples of dishes that embody this deep and layered relationship.
Keşkek is a traditional Turkish ceremonial dish of wheat and meat prepared in huge cauldrons for weddings and religious holidays. The wheat is washed with prayers the preceding day, and then carried to a large stone mortar to be hulled, accompanied by music from the davul drum and zurna double-reed pipe. The cooking is usually carried out outdoors: hulled wheat, chunks of meat on the bone, onions, spices, water and oil are added to the cauldrons and cooked all night. Towards noon, the strongest of the village youth are called to beat the keşkek with wooden mallets, while the crowd cheers and zurna players perform, announcing the thickening of the stew with a specific melody. This dish, and the rich history and culture embodied in it has been recognized as part of Unesco’s list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
(You can watch Unesco’s short video of the traditional ceremonial preparation here)
While it is not possible to recreate this experience in its full splendour, Chef Tuba Tunç uses it as an inspiration for this elegant fall menu, evoking the flavours and memories entwined in her Turkish heritage.
Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup
Every Turkish kitchen has their own version of a lentil soup; this is Chef Tuba’s, with a little fall sweetness from butternut squash, a touch of warmth from biber salcasi (a quintessentially Turkish red pepper & tomato paste), along with turmeric, thyme, olive oil, a touch of cumin. This velvety purée is garnished with paprika butter, pumpkin seeds and croutons
A modern, urban interpretation of the traditional keşkek, this slow-cooked, creamy dish sits somewhere between a risotto and a savoury porridge. Whole hulled wheat berries are cooked until very tender and finished with brown butter, paprika, and parmesan cheese, an untraditional but delicious twist. It is topped with a small portion of tender, slow-cooked beef, braised with onions, garlic, tomato and herbs.
Also available #vegetarian with sautéed mushrooms with thyme and garlic.
An elegant dessert of fall pears, cooked in sour cherry juice and marsala wine, infused with cinnamon, cloves and star anise, and served with thick, creamy pressed yogurt sweetened with vanilla and honey.
Beef, Vegetarian, or 1/2+1/2
Keşkek Dinner for 2 $48 • for 4 $90
ORDERING FOR THIS EVENT IS NOW CLOSED. PICKUP IS FRI 6-7:30 PM
Tuba Tunç was a marketing professional in Istanbul for 10 years, but her true passion has always been cooking. Through countless dinner parties for friends and family, she came to realize that she needed to follow this passion and turn it into a career. Since graduating from the Culinary Management Program at George Brown College, she has worked in various positions at restaurants including managing Anatolia, one of the oldest Turkish Restaurants in Toronto. Tuba has recently founded LokumEats, where she showcases Turkish & Ottoman cuisine, as well as her take on international cuisines.