The Bailliage’s annual gala induction event took place at the Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz- Carlton Hotel. Proceedings commenced in the Qantab Room where new members received their Chaîne regalia for the first time and other members were promoted. Robert Weener, our own Bailli Délégué, was the Inducting Officer for the occasion.
A champagne reception and Gala dinner were held in the hotel’s Beach Restaurant. Maître Hotelier Katrin Hertz and her close team of Fethi Yucel, Director of Food and Beverage, and Chef Okan Demir were our hosts for the evening.
The event’s theme was “a journey through seven regions of Turkey”. The Bailliage was honoured by the presence at the dinner of His Excellency Atilay Ersan, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to the Sultanate of Oman, and his wife, Mrs Seza Ersan.
Traditional Turkish canapés, inspired by the street food of Istanbul with a modern twist, were served at the reception. On entering the Beach Restaurant, it was clear that considerable effort had been made to ensure that the cuisine would be served in traditional surroundings with all tables having tulips (the national flower of Turkey) as a centrepiece. Each chair had a colourful shawl on which was embroidered the name of the guest. Turkish music was played by members of the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra.
The culinary journey began in the Aegean region with salt-crusted sea bass accompanied by corn loaf before proceeding to a lobster and tarragon pide*, a typical dish from Central Anatolia, accompanied by a 2014 Chablis from J Moreau & Fils.
Yoghurt sorbet with mint preceded a delicious Marmara dish of beef ribs accompanied by a champagne and artichoke puree. Chef Okan explained that this dish taken three full days to prepare from its original marinade through the smoking stage, air-drying, to a seven hour cooking process in wine in the oven. A 2012 Cossetti Barolo had been imported especially from Italy to provide the vinous accompaniment. Chef Okan and his team had catered for vegetarians present by creating a special Turkish vegetarian dish (mucver) consisting of a pancake with zucchini and other vegetables.
The journey concluded with travels through the Mediterranean for a dessert which included baked pumpkin with tahini mousse and another speciality, beze (soft meringues with drops of lemon).
Thanks to the excellent and speedy service from the service brigade, together with high culinary standards of the fourteen chefs in attendance, the evening concluded on a very high note. All present agreed the event had been an outstanding success in every aspect.
Gavin Daniel, Chargé de Presse
Photos courtesy of Rajesh Rajan
* In Turkish cuisine, the word pide may refer to three different styles of bread: a flatbread similar to that eaten in Greece and Arab countries, a pizza-like dish where the filling is placed on the (often boat-shaped) dough before baking, and Ramazan pide. The first type of pide is used to wrap various styles of kebab, while the second is topped with cheese, ground meat, or other fresh or cured meats, and/or vegetables. Variations in the shape, baking technique, and toppings create distinctive styles for each region.