Dips, Salads, stuffed vine leaves and zucchini fritters
More about Meze Fresh Mediterranean Cuisine
Meze is Turkish for a selection of small dishes served to accompany drinks. Often these are served at the beginning of multi-course meals. At Meze, I am bringing together flavours and loved recipes that have been passed down to me from my Grandma with a blend of Mediterranean cuisine.
This is my story.
I am Turkish and grew up in Istanbul. At the age of seven, my dad passed away and my family went to live with my grandparents. I enjoyed helping Grandad attend to his garden and going to the markets with him where he would teach me how to choose the best products from the vendors. But what I loved the most was spending time in the kitchen with my Grandma, using the vegetables from the garden and what we had brought from the markets. In those days there were no recipes to follow! I learnt by watching, listening, stirring and my favourite, tasting. Her love of cooking inspired me to study hospitality and hotel management. I had the opportunity to work with great chefs in five star hotels like the Intercontinental hotel in Istanbul.
In 1983, I met my wife, an Australian Italian who was travelling in Turkey. She introduced me to Italian cooking. Turkish and Italian cuisines complement and complete each other. A winning combination! Together we travelled Europe and then started a small catering company, serving both Turkish and interesting dishes I had experienced in my travels. Our main customers were family gatherings and diplomats.
In 1985, we moved to Australia, settling in Perth. We eventually relocated to Canberra to work in the public service. Here I was naturally drawn to the Farmers market, first in Hall and then in Mitchell. The freshness of the produce, the atmosphere of the markets and the rapport with the stallholders reminded me of the days I had spent with my Grandad and I found myself wanting to cook more and more some of the recipes my Grandma had taught me, sharing them with friends. Like many small food businesses, what started as a passion, has become a reality.
At Meze, all our products are hand made in small batches using the freshest produce available, bought direct from the farmer at the farmer’s market where possible, carefully made with love and attention to detail, influenced by my Grandma’s recipes. This means that they are made from scratch with no added preservatives, no artificial flavours or colours and all made with 100% extra virgin olive oil.