James Beard Awards Season is Here

We could list all of the finalists for the James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef—or we could show you the cake. The proof's in the pudding! So to speak. If you want to know who's making the best cakes, cookies, and satsuma sorbets in the country, these are your chefs. Find out who the winner is on May 1 when the James Beard Awards take place in Chicago, then plan your road trip accordingly.



America’s Essential Restaurants 2016

In the age of Ottolenghi cookbooks and fusion fattoush, Ana Sortun’s translations of Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisines are more germane than ever. The kitchen’s unequaled savvy with intricate spicing makes it a national standard-bearer. Come here to savor differences in regional spice blends and how they interact with foods: herbal za’atar brightening lemon chicken; nut-rich dukkah (this one starring almonds) intensifying a carrot puree; and peppery, sweet-edged baharat animating quail kebabs with dried barberries and pistachio. Even when American trends like deviled eggs, burrata, and sweet potato fries pop up on the menu, the sun-baked flavors that surround them speak profoundly to the lands of Sortun’s inspiration. 



Chef Ana Sortun’s Seared Chicken Breasts with Tahini Yogurt Sauce

Sixteen years ago, Ana Sortun went to Turkey on a lark, "knowing absolutely nothing," she recalled. Once there, she accepted a Turkish cook's invitation to a potluck lunch in a park, for which 30 women each made a special dish. "I had never seen or tasted anything like it," Ms. Sortun said.



Bringing Turkish Flavors to Boston

The New York Times interview with Chef Ana Sortun.



The Joy of Turkish Cooking

“I think the very first time I went to Turkey, I was invited to go study with a couple of women. One lived in the southeast of Turkey, and she organized a potluck that was put on by her friends where they all prepared a dish that was really special to them,” Sortun says. “I tasted 30 of these dishes that day and I didn’t know what any of them were. I had never tasted anything like them before, so I didn’t necessarily feel like I had come home. But what I did know was that I wanted to understand what was behind them, [that] this was a really interesting way of cooking and that I really needed to know more.”



Conde Nast
Best Places to Eat in the World

Conde Nast released their list of the Best Places to Eat in the World which included five New England restaurants.

CNTraveler correspondent Peter Jon Lindberg shouts out not only Sortun’s refined interpretations of North African, Middle Eastern, and Turkish ingredients and techniques, but also Oleana’s glorious backyard patio and garden.