Art Dinner with Horasan

Birdcage33, with Merkur Art Gallery, has hosted the first of its Art Dinners. The concept involves an artist from a different field of art working together with a chef to present a multisensory dining experience. A major component of the experience is the interactions around the food. As the night’s moderator Sabiha Kurtulmuş had put it, a great beauty of art is its ability to bring people together in an environment of sharing and conversation. At the opening event of the concept, visual artist Mustafa Horasan had prepared the menu and cooked alongside a chef for 35 guests. The names of the dishes, ingredients used, and the way food was rendered did tell a story.

First up on the menu was a Purslane Salad named “Alengirli”, translating in meaning as flashy. One would not expect purslane to be flamboyant, and that’s exactly the irony Horasan has brought in place with his touch on the salad. The Rakı soaked shrimps with cheese and tomato sauce that came after were named “Alamet-i Farika”. The name meant a differentiating attribute, and without any questions referred to the Rakı essence eminent while eating shrimps. The Cuttlefish Wheat Risotto for the main dish was called “escape through the Mediterranean Sea”. It highlighted how the majestic beauty of the Mediterranean often offers to many a pause from everything else. For dessert, guests had a Fig Desert with Bodrum Mandarin ice cream and red wine sauce called “Aforizma”. Aphorisms can be considered as pieces of knowledge handed down by tradition through generations. Like aphorisms, the use of figs, mandarins and wine get passed through generations around the Bodrum Peninsula, which has witnessed life for more than 7500 years.

One question that had sparked a conversation at the beginning of the evening was “Is cooking an art?” And there was no single answer to that. But some of the beautiful elements of art are feelings, senses, thinking, interpreting, surprises, debates, pleasures, and ironies. Horasan, through the plates he had created, was able to touch on all of those at this magical evening.