Tastes Traditional and Unusual
Istanbul Annotated Lunch
An architect by training, Aylin studied the conservation of historic structures in Turkey, Italy, and the UK. She practiced architectural conservation for thirteen years in her own office, and later became the manager of the Turkey Cultural Heritage Project conducted by The Ministry of Culture and World Bank. Eventually, her passion for travel and food led her to write on the latter, and since 2003 she has written a weekly food column at Cumhuriyet, a prestigious national daily. She contributes to various food magazines and was a jury member of the Slow Food Award 2000-2003. Aylin contributes to Terra Madre and Presidia projects as the leader of the Ankara Convivium. Additionally, she consults for Channel 4 and appeared in the Istanbul episode of ‘Food Lover's Guide to the Planet,' a documentary by Gourmet and broadcast by National Geographic TV. She won the Sophie Coe award on food history in 2008 for her article "Poppy: Potent yet Frail," presented previously at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery where she has become a regular presenter. Lately she contributed to the Food Cultures of the Word Encyclopedia entry on Turkey and is the curator of the Culinary Culture Section of Princess Islands’ City Museum. She is happy to unite her expertise in archaeology and art history from her previous career with her unbounded interest in food culture.
Having lived the “best 20 years of her life” as a magazine editor for two lifestyle and decoration magazines, Vizyon and Vizyon Dekorasyon, Hulya knows the Istanbul lifestyle by heart. During those years, she developed an irreversible interest in food and invested her time extensively on it - food became an inseparable part of her life. She read and wrote on food culture, as much as she cooked and shared the fun with family and friends. Her major network TV show, “Lezzet Yolu”, was the first program to combine cooking with different facts on food. She also contributed to various magazines, such as The Guide Istanbul, and has continued to write on food for an art magazine, Milliyet Sanat Dergisi, for the last 12 years. Hulya was the field coordinator of the Istanbul episode of "Food Lover's Guide to the Planet", a documentary for Gourmet magazine, broadcast by National Geographic TV. She is the Istanbul correspondent of Chicago-based Passport Newsletter, has published a book called “Dilim Gülümsüyo!” on food culture, and is working on a second book. She also teaches magazine editing at Bilgi University.
Renan was born and raised in Istanbul and the nearby island of Buyukada, where cooking and eating were the most important part of family life. She has had a diverse career in culinary arts, having worked with chef Kenji Kume in a Japanese restaurant in Istanbul while she was studying film and television at Bilgi University. After university, Renan worked in the restaurants of several five-star hotels in Istanbul, where she developed her organizational skills in the kitchen. Thereafter, she joined a new Anatolian restaurant to help with its launch, an experience that broadened her knowledge of the many food traditions of Turkey. She also joined the production company of a popular documentary on Turkish cuisine called "Sultans of the Kitchen" as a production coordinator. Today, Renan lives on the Asian side of Istanbul, where she regularly visits Kadikoy Market for fresh vegetables and for her young daughter.
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