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Food revolution in the Turkish Embassy


French chefs disappointed by Turkish hotels
Claudia Roden Writer
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When the Turkish hotels, quite early on, realised that they needed to serve better things, because they always served the cuisine of Istanbul... And once I was there, and I realised that the French regional chefs of France were coming to that hotel for their first get together. Every year they would go on holiday together, but also want to discover the cuisine of another country, together. And they came to this hotel, I forget where it was. But it was like a Hilton, one of the grandest hotels. And they came, there was a banner saying, 'Welcome to the Chefs of France'. But all the dishes that were prepared for their arrival were French. And they had in the middle a cake, a chocolate cake, and in the middle was a little sign saying, 'Paris'. And they were so angry because they were regional chefs. And they were suffering from nouvelle cuisine, that everybody had begun cooking the same dishes of nouvelle cuisine. And they were angry with Paris as well. And they were saying, 'We're trying to continue with our traditional cuisines, and we come to Turkey and we get this as well'. And so, I found that was funny.

Claudia Roden (b. 1936) is an Egyptian-born British cookbook writer and cultural anthropologist of Sephardi/Mizrahi descent. She is best known as the author of Middle Eastern cookbooks including A Book of Middle Eastern Food, The New Book of Middle Eastern Food and The Book of Jewish Food.

Listeners: Nelly Wolman

Claudia Roden talking to her granddaughter Nelly Wolman about her life in food.

Tags: Turkey

Duration: 1 minute, 51 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2022

Date story went live: 04 December 2023