Look at this cool old Turkish cookbook
As we open Zaytinya in New York, I found this old cookbook
Maybe you know this about me, or maybe I am telling you something new…but I love cookbooks, especially old ones. They are such a fascinating piece of history. When you open one up you are not only learning the recipes that people in the past made but their stories, their culture, the things that they found important. It’s even cooler when the owners of the books left notes in them, their own recipe modifications…it’s like a time capsule from the past.
There’s actually a funny story from when I was young and working in a kitchen in Spain. My friends and I, we took a bus trip to Switzerland to go to the restaurant of the very amazing chef Frédy Girardet outside of Lausanne. We saved up for an incredible meal there, and afterward we got invited into the kitchen by the cooks who showed us their work, their cooking, letting us taste things. I was so inspired by the visit that I decided to buy Frédy’s cookbook at a shop in town, but that was the last of my money! So I ended up hitchhiking back alone since all of my friends took the bus back.
That was the first cookbook I ever owned, way back when I was 16. Now I must have hundreds or even thousands, some of them in my office, others at home. This week I was looking at my bookshelf as my team opened Zaytinya in New York and was reminded of this amazing book I found from the 19th century called Turkish Cookery Book. Just look at this title page…!