The idea of this event came from my ex-manager Valia that really longed for soutzoukakia, meatballs with cumin and cinnamon in tomato sauce. The cuisine of the Greeks of Istanbul, 'Politiki kouzina' as we call it (also a very interesting movie) is full of spices, culture and emotions. So I knew we had all the inspiration we needed to create a story and a menu around it.
As for the spices, I chose nutmeg, cumin, cinnamon, anise seed, mastiha and mahleb. The dishes of this event were typical recipes of 'politiki kouzina' and I decided to bake my own bread and add some crushed mastiha and anise seeds.
Together with Odysseas we developed the story having in mind all the different people and cultures as well as the cosmopolitan character of Istanbul. We wanted our guests to imagine they were at the Grand Bazaar and to see the huge variety of ingredients available. Meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, dairy, oil and spices all coming from different places same as the people that lived in Istanbul: Turks, Greeks, Jews, Armenians, Georgians, Syrians, Levantines and many more!
The day of the event my dear friend and archeologist Kalliopi decorated the tables and made them look fabulous and Odysseas, who is actually an architect was transformed into Savas, a Greek grocer, to narrate a piece of story before each course and make that connection to the food.
The starters were served and when Valia, who usually doesn't like aubergines 'imam', told me that she loved them, I must say I felt rather proud :)
We hosted 30 people this time, our guests brought their friends and made new ones and we shared all the recipes and secrets of cooking some proper 'politika' dishes. Their feedback was very positive and everyone left rather full and content asking about the next event.
And we couldn't be happier :)
We still haven't planned our next event but we're on it and if you would like to come, please 'like' Karamouza's Facebook page and you'll see our post when we are ready. We will be very happy to see you!