Maksut Askar. From Anatolia to the future
“We believe that those who do not take care of their traditions and preserve them cannot have a future. To guarantee a future, our traditions must be adapted to today’s circumstances and become sustainable. The correct way to put all this into practice is to do it by expressing our respect for the earth in every way and sharing it with our guests. “
The last twenty years the horizons of the gastronomy have changed position. Before France was the lighthouse for who wanted a high level cuisine and prestigious culinary traditions. Then a lot of counties began to rediscover their culinary roots and the cookers of those nations started a work of research of the origins of the gastronomy traditions of their countries: Mexico, Perù, Danmark, Thailand, Singapore, etc.. Now it’s time for another country to be more aware of his history: we are talking’ about Turkey.
This country is known for a good popular food tradition, but chefs well know like Mehmet Gürs or Fatih Tutak drew a new path trying their best to elevate the turkish cuisine.
This path now is followed by Maksut Askar, a young turkish chef grown at the edge of Syria with strong arabic roots. He is the chef of Neolokal, an amazing modern restaurant in the Salt Galata Museum of Istanbul. Just to better know Maksut’s thoughts about gastronomy we have to start from his declaration “if we don’t care about the past we cannot have a future”. In fact the style of this turkish chef it’s lika bridge, he says Neolokal has no time, has not a specific age: Neolokal is without time, that gives to the chef and to his brigade the power to resume some ancient and unknow recipes from the amazing and big territory of Turkey and to carry them to a new age, to the contemporary times.
Now that you begin to know this chef’s mind, you can understand what he puts on his menù, his obsession for the natural rhythms of the nature, the research of forgot recipes from the ancient Mesopotamia region, “ a land with no nation, separated by absurd political edges” as Maksut said. Hummus with tahini sauce with quail eggs; SU SOBBERGI (literally “water meatballs”) with shrimp, shrimp dough, collard, shrimp cream and dust; SEABASS MARIN, marinated sea bass, parsley mayo, fresh herbs salad; Lamb Heart KOKOREC, mustard greens from the garden, green pepper and thyme oil; “ICLI KOFTE” Dumplings, meat and pine nuts, salted yogurt foam, garlic parsley oil.
Maksut is proud of his team and he always said he wants to give the same respect and attention to all the cookers of his brigade. He knows his research work and his attempts to discover new and old turkish flavours could fall in mistakes but he always says “we feed ourselves with our mistakes, everybody has the right to be imperfect”.
Karaköy 34420 İstanbul Türkiye
I am Yuri, a 29 years old guy from italy. I have the strangest cv in the world. I am graduated in Law and I worked as a journalist in a tv channel focused on food and gastronomy.
Some years ago I decided to follow my heart and…my stomach!
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