• RECIPES: Taiwanese Pickles

    Recipe | Matt Murtagh-Wu · Curator | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Matt’s Kitchen · Gear | Leica

    Agood pickle should always be simple. Any other way would seem redundant, contrary to its disposition; rather ironically, constituting a pickle. Wondrous cultures, dating back to marvellous Mesopotamia, have recoursed to pickling as an ingenious means of preserving vegetables, meats, eggs and fruit. Today’s zeitgeist witnesses a celebration [dare we say, a renaissance] of pickles for its ancillary purposes—its flavour, texture, and in certain cases, the resulting vibrancy in colour.

    Matt’s Taiwanese rendition is the perfect palette cleanser for any [rich in fat] meal—briny, crunchy goodness that also delivers a lashing hit of heat to the drunken tongue. We’d champion anyone who attempts this delicious, no frills recipe, as doing so would result in a hat tip to the venerable tradition of keeping things alive.

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  • HardBoiled delivers breakfast blasphemy

    Menu | Chefs Deniz Tarakçıoğlu & Brad Miller · Curators | Hakan Burcuoğlu & Linda Gallo · Venue | Red Wagon Café · Gear | Leica

    That’s a wrap on HardBoiled—a [blasphemous] breakfast-for-dinner event that delivered an electrifying smorgasbord of Mediterranean-inspired breakfast dishes to 80+ patrons, over two nights, at East Vancouver’s beloved diner, Red Wagon Café. The whimsical birth-child of Vancouver’s singular breakfast titans Deniz Tarakcioglu and Brad Miller, HardBoiled patrons revelled in all things breakfast, from Chef Deniz’ eggs & dumplings [a spin on the Turkish sensation, Çilbir] to Chef Miller’s fluffy pancakes canvassed in berry compote, oozing with flambéed butter.

    HardBoiled featured two different crews of chefs and front-of-house staff [Claire Livia Lassam, Greg Dilabio, Elmark Andres, Liz, Kareem Amadou, Thiago Alves, Michelle Kelm, Matt Murtagh-Wu & Eric Krawczy] alongside helmers Tarakcioglu and Miller, delivering patrons food-induced coma with multiple climaxes—a matrimony of hedonism and gluttony analogous to an orgy of Roman provenance. Salacious analogies aside, we’ll continue to gild the lily, and satisfy hungry minds. Tune in for the next pop-up food phenomenon in March.

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  • RECIPES: Eggs & Dumplings

    Recipe | Chef Deniz Tarakçıoğlu · Curator | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Commissary Connect · Gear | Leica

    The apotheosis of egg-matrimony—Çilbir—is a ubiquitous staple of Turkish provenance that has taken the world by heart, tongue and soul. Poached eggs laid to rest on a bed of velvety yoghurt [spiked with garlic], topped with generous drizzles of pepper-paste laced beurre noisette—its signature coup de grâce. It’s rich, unctuous, refined, and yet so simple. No wonder it’s even got Nigella tickled pink. It’s undeniable—Turkey’s gift to the breakfast [and brunch] gods is now more than mainstream. And in bigger news, it’s the headliner of our upcoming pop-up, HardBoiled.

    Chef Deniz’ rendition [as always] mercilessly strips this classic from its humble beginnings, resulting in a playful loss of its innocence. Incorporating yet another Turkish favourite—Manti—hand-folded purses [dead ringers for fagottini] that eloquently veil lashing hot merguez—the result is blasphemous harmony that more than gilds the lily.

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  • Soul Kitchen Surrender

    Menu | Chef Deniz Tarakçıoğlu · Curators | Hakan Burcuoğlu & Linda Gallo · Venue | Café Medina · Gear | Leica

    Our second pop-up food phenomenon Soul Kitchen! took place at Vancouver’s renowned restaurant Café Medina.  Inquisitive guests had plenty of chances to stuff a myriad of tapas, freshly baked bread, plant-based goodness as well as a fragrant paella [à la minute, and the size of a little human] down their gobs. A mystifying Mediterranean medley has induced critical cri de cœur—was this really too much of a good thing? Winter’s looking up, is all we’ll say. Satisfaction guaranteed, or your instagram likes back.
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  • RECIPES: Lakerda with Ras-el Hanout

    Recipe | Chef Deniz Tarakçıoğlu · Curator | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | The Dirty Apron · Gear | Leica

    Lakerda is a beguiling staple of the meyhane—a Turkish tavern, for the lack of better phrasing. Essentially salt-cured bonito, remarkably, it’s one of the seldom dishes that’s consumed raw across Turkish tables. Coarsely sliced and traditionally served with copious amounts of olive oil and lemon juice [and a forlorn raw onion], its stark [and frankly, quite grotesque] presentation would make today’s food stylists contemplate their very own existence. What it lacks in looks however, it surely makes up in personality—delivering a titillating punch of umami to a drunk patron’s thorax. Here, with a modern, whimsical [and almost blasphemous] rendition of the traditional, Chef Deniz tips his hat to the mystifying meyhane culture that runs deep in his blood. Read More

  • RECIPES: Frittata di Baccalà, with Leeks & Potatoes

    Recipe | Chef Deniz Tarakçıoğlu · Curator | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | The Dirty Apron · Gear | Leica

    Baccalà, bacalao, bachalau. Mild, flaky and ubiquitous across the Mediterranean, the venerable salted cod deserves attention not for being a friendly, entry-level fish for food dilettantes, but for its historical importance in constituting a veritable source of sustenance. Perhaps it’s this association that’s responsible for this forsaken protein’s inability to garner a spot on the right side of a hashtag. Deemed a pariah in a world it clearly dominates, Chef Deniz pays his respects to this humble, no-frills protein by introducing her to nicer friends. So be nice, and eat your history.

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  • RECIPES: Red Lentil Spread [PKA Lentil Balls]

    Recipe | Chef Deniz Tarakçıoğlu · Curator | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | The Dirty Apron · Gear | Leica

    Typecast as a vehemently boring, guilt-free snack for pitiful public gatherings, mercimek köftesi [atrociously translated into the English language as lentil balls] is Turkey’s quintessential, vegetarian crowd-pleaser. Unfortunately, just like its translation, its myriad of renditions across Asia Minor have also lacked imagination [as well as moisture content]. In an audacious attempt defying legume zeitgeist, Chef Deniz tips the scales by elevating the classic—a rich, spicy and velvety concoction that’s sure to garner an even larger following than its predecessor. Cue the spreadable splendour [and the instant indignation].

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  • Channeling Port Cities, Soul Kitchen!

    Channeling the esoteric bounties of quintessential Mediterranean port cities—from Valencia to Istanbul, to Tangier—SoulKitchen! is a one-night pop-up food phenomenon that aims to manifest the joyful spirit of the Mediterranean in all things food. Drawing inspiration from the gastronomical interplay between select regions in the Mediterranean, SoulKitchen! features a tantalizing menu focused on seasonality and the sourcing of local, premium-grade produce designed to appease pescatarians and plant aficionados alike.

    Brought to you by the Curatorialist. and helmed by Chef Deniz Tarakcioglu [Café Medina] alongside the very professionals running Vancouver’s top kitchens and bars, [Chambar, The Dirty Apron, Bao Bei] this intimate evening promises to constitute an ode to the spirit of the Mediterranean. So come inquisitive, and come hungry.

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  • The Curatorialist is born with ContraKitchen!


    Our inaugural pop-up food phenomenon—ContraKitchen!—took place on Monday, August 28th at Vancouver’s Pacific Restaurant Supply. We fed hungry stomachs—and minds—with an esoteric menu inspired by the bounties of Asia Minor [Turkey]. Organized by the very professionals running Vancouver’s top kitchens and bars, [Café Medina, Chambar, The Dirty Apron, Bao Bei] the special evening delivered an atmosphere of a boisterous [yet infamous] kitchen staff party in a playful setting.

    At theCuratorialist., we cultivate memorable experiences aimed at galvanizing artistic communities and foodies alike. For more pictures from ContraKitchen!, you may visit our Facebook page. And for an enticing review of our inaugural pop-up dinner, click here.