CRAFT by Under My Host® Issue No. 14 Sci-Fi & Fantasy - Page 88

how there are people or shops for each item which makes people specialize in a certain item, like a borek shop, ice cream shop, pudding shop. AS: Spices. Things taste rich but they aren’t heavy. What is one technique that a home cook should master if they want to cook Eastern Mediterranean food at home? AS: Go light on butter and cream. Substitute extra vir- gin olive oil and good yogurt. Use spices in a Mediter- ranean way with a medium (not heavy) hand What restaurants are you excited about right now and why? MF: Favorites recently were Elske and Quiote in Chica- go. AS: I am excited to go to London and visit Oklava and Palomar. I’d like to see London for a day or two. I’d imagine research is a pretty important part of your culinary process. What does that look like? MF: We have an extensive library of Middle Eastern Maura Kilpatrick Photographs copyright © 2016 Kristin Teig loved learning more about savory baking which trans- lates well to what we produce at Sofra. What are your three favorite Eastern Mediterra- nean ingredients to cook with and why? MF: As a pastry chef: tahini, I love using it in desserts it has recently become more popular, but I have been a long time fan. Two, yogurt or labne, in cake batter, it is loose and tangy for a great texture. Also seems to add a perfect contrast to fruit. Three, halva, it is a form of tahini, but added to caramel sauce, it is one of our spe- cialties, also used in donuts. Grated on top of our car- rot cake which is made with the sesame caramel sauce. AS: Olive oil, you can’t make anything taste right with- out good extra virgin olive oil. Sumac, brings bright acidity to something like a squeeze of lemon. Soom Ta- hini, nothing compares to this tahini and the smooth, slightly bitter but super fresh flavor In your book, Soframiz, it says that your menus gen- erally favor the Turkish style of cooking. Why is this? What is it about Turkish cuisine that draws you in? MF: Balance of spices, the food has an even hand. I love Ana Sortun Photographs copyright © 2016 Kristin Teig