Holiday Entertaining With A Global Spin
Here, easy centrepieces and serving ideas inspired by our travels.
On a recent trek to Turkey, one of the things that I was taken with was the way top chefs, at-home hosts and even roadside diners set their tables. They used the natural elements that were available to them to great effect.
In Turkey, the garden is an all-important way of life. Many of the world’s blooming bulbs originate here, from the tulip to the iris to beyond. Roses, too, are in abundance, as are grapevines, olive trees, herbs, spices, pomegranate trees and so much more.
When setting a holiday table, look at your own natural surroundings for inspiration. Many of us have simple herbs like Rosemary or Sage growing in pots on our kitchen counters, garden centres often have remnants of ever green boughs cut from the bottoms of Christmas trees and colourful fruits such as tangerines, oranges and apples are in plenty supply at the local grocers.
At Kantin, in Istanbul, chef Şemsa Denizsel is considered the city’s Alice Waters, a champion of locally-sourced and traditional ingredients infused into her healthy Turkish cooking. At table, she rolled brown paper bags and filled them pomegranates and persimmons. kantin.biz
At Arola in the newly minted Raffles hotel in Istanbul, the Michelin starred Spanish chef Sergi Arola grows a garden of white asparagus, rosemary and pink blooms in a bed of finely chopped olives. raffles.com/istanbul/dining/arola/
Nar Restaurant, a roadside truck-stop off the highway en route to Gallipoli, elevates the table with innovative yet simple serving ideas: the table is set with cutlery tied up with packing string and a posy of fresh, fragrant herbs.
And, finally, the centre piece is a bunch of red hot chilli peppers on a bed of green baby tomatoes.