He also believes in using food to ignite his guests’ senses, emphasising: “I need to be able to touch your soul by giving you a history, a tradition, a colour, a shape and an appearance – it’s a whole package. This is why, whatever I do, is important within the frame of design.”
Askar is now working with Los Angeles-based journalist Argot Murelius to write a book on his culinary journey and philosophy, in which he shares the stories behind Turkey’s grand bazaars, markets and artisans. Anecdotes will include why he uses copperware to cook his dishes.
He recalled: “I remember from my past, all the mothers in Anatolia used to and are still using copper to cook these traditional stews or dishes. It is the closest way to reach the taste of my childhood.”
There is no end to Askar’s culinary learning journey, and he wants to continue serving soul food on tables for as long as he can. He said: “Time should not be a barrier for you to explore things. When you are in the kitchen as an artist, you feed your need to create, which helps you see every dish that you create within your restaurant as an artistic piece.”
Adapted from the series Remarkable Living (Season 4). Watch full episodes on CNA, every Sunday at 8.30pm.