INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO FORGOTTEN TASTES
Traditional flavors are being cooked over wood fire by a next generation chef. Entrepreneurial Chef Onur Canbulat, Graduate, Department of Culinary Arts and Management, Izmir University of Economics (IUE), is serving his guests at “Lokanta Levan” where he cooks delicious food over wood fire combining traditionalism and creativity.
Canbulat, greeting guests with a different menu every day, stated that he wanted to develop a small and high-quality cuisine. “I believe that well-educated chefs like us will uplift this sector. That’s why we bake our own sour dough bread; make our own yogurt and pickles. We try not to purchase any products from markets. We prepare a different menu every day. This way, our guests discover different flavors,” said Canbulat.
“Well cultivated vision”
Canbulat reported that throughout their 4 year education at Izmir University of Economics they learned about all the niceties of cuisine world, adopted a well-cultivated vision, and with medium of instruction being English, he was able to converse with foreign nationals living in Urla about food and cuisine, and follow worldwide developments closely. Canbulat stated that he only used casserole and cooked dishes over wood fire. He said, “I want to carry on this tradition that is dying out. I believe that oven and casserole add a different flavor to dishes. I change the menu every day in order to follow up seasonal products. Fresh produce is reborn in my kitchen every day with a new approach. This trend is becoming widespread worldwide. A standard menu same every day is pretty boring for me”.
‘On the right track to flavor’
Canbulat said that he re-interpreted the forgotten recipes thus making his guests capture the beautiful tastes from the past. He reported that the word “Levan (levain)” meant yeast from a bread in addition to meaning new generation. Canbulat reported that guests were welcome in his kitchen where they can be a part of all the processes. He said that they took a step towards world cuisine with internationally recognized chefs at Izmir University of Economics. “We try to make changes without harming the essence of traditional flavors. The biggest contribution of the education I received at the University is the vision it gave me. I was able to realize my “Lokanta Levan” project with this vision and entrepreneurship. And living in Urla helps getting seasonal fresh produce and meat. I am serving the products I purchased from local producers with traditional methods. My guests saying that they are able to taste the old and familiar flavors that are dying out, which is a proof that I am on the right track,” said Canbulat.