He also believes in using food to ignite his guests’ senses, emphasizing, “I need to be able to touch your soul by giving you a story, a tradition, a colour, a shape and a look.” give – it is a whole package. So everything I do is important in terms of design.”
Askar is now collaborating with Los Angeles-based journalist Argot Murelius to write a book about his culinary journey and philosophy, telling the stories behind Turkey’s grand bazaars, markets and artisans. Anecdotes include why he uses copper ware to cook his dishes.
He recalls: “I remember from my past that all mothers in Anatolia used and still use copper to cook these traditional stews or dishes. This is the closest thing to my childhood tastes.”
Askar’s culinary learning journey never ends and he wants to keep soul food on the tables for as long as possible. He said: “Time should not be an obstacle for you to explore things. Being an artist in the kitchen feeds your urge to create, which helps you see every dish you create in your restaurant as an artistic piece.”
Adapted from the series Remarkable Living (season 4). Watch full episodes every Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on CNA.