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Award-winning cookbook helped raise funds for Turkey earthquake victims |

Food and Leisure

Award-winning cookbook helped raise funds for Turkey earthquake victims

Dolly Dy-Zulueta -
Award-winning cookbook helped raise funds for Turkey earthquake victims
The award-winning cookbook Ozlem's Turkish Kitchen
Photo release

MANILA, Philippines — Cook, teacher and author Ozlem Warren was happiness and success personified when his cookbook, "Ozlem’s Turkish Table: Recipes from My Homeland," won the “Best in the World” title at the 2021 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. 

It previously received an Honorary Mention at the 2020 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards. Two recognitions for one cookbook aren’t bad at all.

But for Warren, the best reward ever is being able to use his award-winning cookbook to help raise funds for victims of the devastating February 6, 2023 earthquake that struck Turkey (and Syria). It was a magnitude 7.8 earthquake which left over 50,000 people dead and 107,000 injured, and cost an estimated U.S.$118.8 billion in total damage in Turkey. Warren’s hometown Antakya-Hatay suffered great destruction, prompting her to start a fundraiser for earthquake victims in Turkey through her book. She immediately channeled 100% of sales of signed copies of her cookbook bought via GB Publishing to the U.K. based charity, Turkey Mozaik Foundation, which worked to transfer funds directly to support Turkey’s earthquake relief efforts. The response was overwhelming, so that in a short period of time and over 300 signed copies sold, they were able to raise £8,496 for the cause.

Warren considers her cookbook "Ozlem’s Turkish Table" as her love letter to Turkey and to people who enjoy Turkish cuisine and are planning to explore the history and culture of Turkey through food.

The book features the rich and diverse culinary traditions of Turkish cuisine, which is widely embraced for its unique blend of flavors and ingredients. In it, the author shares some of her favorite recipes from her hometown of Antioch, Antakya, such as dried baked apricots with walnuts; Turkish flat breads with spinach, feta, and peppers, peynirli pide; and homemade red pepper paste, biber salçasi—all of which are inspired by the rich lands of southern Turkey. Warren has loved food since she was a child—her mother and grandmother would cook lunch each day to be enjoyed in her courtyard surrounded by fig trees, and Antakya’s cuisine is bursting with aromatic herbs, bold spices, hearty grains like bulgur and freekeh and simple flavourings like olive oil and molasses. It’s inspired by ancient traditions and has influences from Ottoman, Arabic, and French cuisines. In this book are some of Warren’s own favorite Turkish recipes, each lovingly made and passed down from her grandmother to her parents and now to her own family’s table.

The book aims to take readers on a journey to learn, taste, and enjoy the delicious foods of Turkey while experiencing the warmth and sharing spirit of Turkish culture. Turkish cuisine is based on seasonal fresh produce, making it healthy, delicious, affordable, and easy to make. The book also offers substitutes for speciality ingredients for those living abroad. Turkish hospitality is highlighted through personal stories and the typical Turkish table setting, with family and friends gathering around an abundance of food. The book also includes a section on a typical Turkish meal and the importance of mealtimes in Turkish culture.

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