Yesterday I had a fantastic opportunity to go into the kitchen and bakery at Auf and see magic being made. Talk about talent. Talk about love. The heat in this kitchen wasn’t only radiating from the ovens, it was glowing from a passionate love affair with food. The people I met on Esra and Zeynep’s team were so alive, and so full of ardour for what they were doing — a philosophy graduate who would rather bake, a former English teacher who’d prefer to create — all working really long hours and pulling it off with incredible smiles. Every day the women (and man) in the kitchen create a new menu, based on seasonally available produce and ingredients which might change anywhere up to 15 minutes before the lunch crowd storms in. Yet this is not a tense environment, and I don’t think simply because there was a yabanci in the house. My sense was that Esra and Zeynep have created a remarkably democratic environment where everyone’s opinion, as well as talent, counts.
These guys are true, dedicated foodies. The concentration, the vigour with which prepare a meal is really inspiring. Despite having a big hairy guy pointing a camera in their face, no one missed a beat. Like many I’ve harboured a fantasy for years about owning a restaurant, but now I have a new appreciation for the type of dedication it takes. I think it best left to the experts. What I saw left me hungry for more — in all the right ways. I’ll probably have to stop myself from barging into the kitchen next time I visit Auf. As cheesy as it might sound, this place seemed a lot less like a kitchen and more like a home. And that’s where all the best meals come from.
Meşrutiyet Cad. No: 67 Beyoğlu, Istanbul 34430
Telephone: +90 212 245 60 70 / www.nupera.com.tr