Shane arrives back in Istanbul along the Bosphorus in a private launch, past jet boats docked at renovated wooden waterside palaces, and crossing the wake of countless passenger boats. He can tell there’s a whole lot going on here below the surface than meets the eye, and he’s determined to find a way to access Istanbul’s secret culinary world.
In Ordu, Shane is introduced to a cuisine whose culinary heritage lies to the north in Georgia, the former Soviet state. As he joins the hazelnut harvest, and visits an emerald green tea plantation, Shane is introduced to an entirely different – and very surprising – school of Turkish cooking.
The flavours and dishes he experiences here are unlike any others he’s discovered on his journey throughout Turkey. This is a cultural and culinary melting pot where political borders are meaningless. From a pistachio plantation in Gaziantep to an Assyrian kitchen in Midyat, Shane’s palate is introduced to an ancient heritage that’s still evolving today.
Shane joins a long and venerable list of adventurers whose epic voyages have landed them in the legendary Black Sea port town of Trabzon. Along the way, Shane undertakes a culinary odyssey, stopping in villages while crossing the Pontic Mountains, to meet mountain folk who share the secrets of perfecting their simplistic food, including sutlac (rice pudding), and kuymak (a cheese dish), which is accompanied by cornbread.
The extraordinary – and very suggestive – "fairy chimneys" of Cappadocia are the result of a fairly mundane geological process, and for thousands of years, the locals have been chipping into the "tuff" to create massive underground cities. And from those cities have emerged some remarkable dishes, cooked using ancient underground techniques.