I was so excited to finally attend one of Chef Sezai’s cooking classes in Turkuaz. As I’ve said many times before, Turkuaz is one of our favorite restaurants in Jakarta. The quality of the food is exceptional, the service is great and the personal touch of Chef Sezai and Yanti make for an unforgettable dining experience each time. I first heard of their cooking class from the wife of our former Ambassador. She and our Ambassador were Turquaz regulars and she loved attending the monthly classes. Photos of the class I attended last week after the jump!
I arrived to Chef Sezai checking his ingredients and set-up. While waiting for the other participants, he was also chatting with the ladies who are not only regular diners at Turkuaz, but also regular attendees of his monthly cooking class. They were enjoying the favorite drink of the house, hot apple tea. You can tell from the way they talk that they love the food, and have become friends with Chef Sezai and Yanti. What makes Turkuaz unforgettable for me is not only the fantastic food, but also the personal touch of Chef Sezai and Yanti, that makes it like a second home to it’s diners.
The ingredients for the day’s cooking class and lunch menu, below, were all set out.
- SOUP: Ezogelin Corbasi (original Turkish village red lentil soup and rice with dry mint and butter sauce)
- APPETIZER: Kasarli Mantarli Borek (wood oven baked crepes stuffed with meat and mozzarella)
- MAIN: Durme (Wood oven baked crepes stuffed with lamb and mozzarella)
- DESSERT: Sultan Sarigi (baked fillo pastry stuffed with dry fruits and nuts)
Chef Sezai not only talks about how to prepare the dishes on the menu, but he also thoroughly discusses the cooking tools and ingredients that he uses and why he uses them. He even shares his favorite brands, why he recommends them instead of others and most importantly, where to get them. I found this extremely helpful because it’s hard sourcing imported and hard to find items in Jakarta for an expat like me.
He thoroughly explains each step and we not only get to watch but also to touch and smell…So interactive! #LoveIt
He explains every minute detail… even the slight difference in folding technique that he uses to make the dish easier and more lovely to look at.We also got lessons in the different ways to present each dish, especially for when you are entertaining. He also taught us how to time the preparation of the dishes if you are doing it for a dinner party. You can tell how well thought out everything is for Chef Sezai, and I really admire how thorough and thoughtful he is.
I loved how they printed out the ingredients and the recipe in this thick glossy card stock, and there was a space for notes on the bottom of each recipe. I’ve attended many cooking classes and many just give an ingredients list (some don’t even give so you have to take notes very well). But because the ingredients and recipe were already there, we were better able to pay attention to the useful tips and tricks Chef Sezai was sharing iwth us. Also because of the thick card stock used for the recipes, then it was also easy for us to write notes on it, while standing. Usually the recipes I’ve been given are on bond paper, which makes it very hard to write on it, while standing around the stove. Again I can’t help but admire the attention to details of Chef Sezai and Yanti!
Time to eat! We started with their famous bread with the delicious lentil soup and the Borek (Yanti’s personal favorite). Added a squeeze of lemon on the lentil (Turkish lentil soup is supposed to be a bit lemony). The Borek is so good I still can’t believe it’s not deep fried haha! The roasted black and white sesame on top perfected the scrumptious dish.
I don’t really eat lamb, but the Durme was so yummy that I finished it all! By the time I did I was so full already! But I had to try some dessert! The Sultan Sarigi was sliced in smaller parts. When we were preparing it, I didn’t understand why but I finally did when they served it. Despite the first few courses seeming light, it’s actually quite heavy! I could barely have a bite of dessert.
This dessert is sweet, but still very healthy in small portions because it is prepared fresh without preservatives. The filling is basically a homemade granola bar. Chef Sezai even recommend preparing it as a healthy breakfast or afternoon snack without the fillo pastry.
What a wonderful way to spend my day! Learning so many useful and practical things, eating amazing food and meeting these lovely ladies who have the same love of food.
Thanks to Chef Sezai and Yanti for this amazing experience! The cooking lessons including the fabulous lunch was only IDR 400.000. For the high quality food, it really is an amazing deal. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves food and cooking! According to Yanti they try to have it monthly.
I love Turkuaz food so much that I’ve written about it twice before! Check out the pics in the links below.*Cooking class c/o Turkuaz Restaurant
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Looks like a great class! I am so impressed by how each ingredient is displayed in its own dish…they really did think out every detail.
It really was an impressive class, joy. And I loved that it was a great number of people so it was still very personal. Thanks for dropping me a line!
Interesting cooking class, I think I must join in their next class. Thank you for sharing 🙂
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