Despite “Les Toques Blanches du Monde" crowning him Best Chef in the world, Aydin Demir reveals it's his mama's home cooking that's really on top. Now, I don't know about you, but we're already dreaming of her raki table. Aydin is known for making the most of his country's quality produce, using meat from Anatolia and vegetables, fish from the Mediterranean and Black Seas. We chatted with him about the dishes he cooks when he's off duty.
Who's the better cook you or your mother?
Definitely, my mother, she's an amazing cook. When she cooks for the whole family, she'll make a huge feast of so many different meze dishes and every single one of them will be delicious.
When you cook for your family and friends, what's your favourite go-to dish?
I love artichoke in olive oil and fresh fava beans. I just love their flavour and simplicity. After cleaning and preparing the artichoke I cook it in a simple sauce of olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, water and sugar, with a little bit of onion and carrot. When it's ready, I drain it and use the juice to boil the fava beans. The fava beans are left to simmer overnight to serve cold the next day. The flavours are just so much better the next day.
Do you use aniseed in your cooking?
I often use fennel seeds for sea bass. I mix the fennel together a little bit of lemon juice and a good pinch of salt. The fish marinades in it for at least 2 hours, then I'll grill it, the flavour is just great. It's a typical meze dish.
Who would join you at your dream raki table?
I would have to say, my old friends. I would fill the table with my best friends and family. The raki table is a place to talk, share food, a place to eat and drink slowly. It's a long night to be enjoyed.
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