You know how when you are in the kitchen, and no matter how hard you try and make a certain recipe work, it just doesn’t?The same holds true for anthologies. Then, you find the one ingredient that perhaps changes the dish, but makes everything right. For personal and family reasons, co-editor Rose Margaret Deniz decided to step down from Sofra.
Just like in our expat kitchens when a recipe falls flat or we are missing a key element, we are confronted with two choices. One, to just throw our hands up in the air and give up. Two, to look around the kitchen and find a substitute, that oftentimes turns out to be the magic component that makes the dish sing. A new, unexpected ingredient can elevate a culinary creation, and so the same holds true for the book, Expat Sofra. Rather than fall into despair, I looked around my kitchen and didn’t have to look far to find my longtime friend, Italian expat, culinary maestra and chef, Francesca Rosa.
I first met Francesca when we both joined an Istanbul based baby group with our then-infant sons. She hosted our group of moms at her house, where we came for the quiche and stayed for the bond of intimate friendship our group of nine expat women created. We laughed together, plotted, and cried a lot too, over coffee, crepes, and focaccia. Whenever you are with Francesca, it’s all about friendship and food. When I approached her about taking on the anthology with me, she immediately said yes.
However, I didn’t want Francesca joining me in the Expat Sofra project unless we could make a fresh start. The book is undergoing some organizational changes to enhance the cookbook focus, and feature more recipes to go with each story. A fresh start needs a new title, so we have re-titled the book Expat Sofra; Recipes of Foreign Life in Turkey.
Francesca brings far more than just her friendship with me to the project. I am correct in being in awe of her culinary talent. She is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Grand Diplome, and her work as a food stylist has received notable recognition. To be let into Francesca Rosa’s Istanbul kitchen is truly an honor, as is being able to partake in a feast she’s created.
So, welcome to Expat Sofra, Francesca! A big thanks as well to everyone who has supported Expat Sofra over the past two years. Thanks for being patient while our book simmers. We promise you, the finished product, like every great feast, will be well worth the wait.
With a background in business, language, and culinary arts Francesca Rosa joins Expat Sofra as new-co-editor and expert chef. Raised in Italy, she studied in the UK, and lived and worked in Paris, Barcelona and Chile. Residing in Istanbul for over 11 years, she gave up corporate life to pursue her passion for food. As a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Grand Diplome, she blends haute cuisine and French pastry with hearty local flair. She is adept at spicing up old recipes with tastes reminiscent of her travels around the world, while also grounded in her adopted homeland. A feast for the eye as well as the stomach, her talents as a food stylist for yemekstiler.com have been featured on posters, packaging and blogs. Her expertise gained her a place at the Organization Committee of Boccuse d’Or Preselection Turkey 2016 and participation at the Istanbul Contemporary Food Art Festival. When not cooking as a private chef or giving culinary lessons, this foodie maestra can be found traveling near and far with her husband and two sons, preferably in a camper on a remote beach somewhere in the Mediterranean. Follow her on Instagram @ottomanbistekkina.