Memories of my younger years came flooding back in a Cape Town bookshop where a newly published cookbook caught my eye: Anatoli Authentic Turkish Cuisine. We went to Anatoli in Green Point decades ago to celebrate birthdays — most of us with only a little cash to spare from our first jobs. A large group could settle down for the evening at a long table, order beer or the cheapest wine on the list, and tuck into the mezze selection. Paging through the book, written by Anatoli restaurateur Tayfun Aras, I was relieved to discover that the restaurant is still thriving, and promptly reserved a table. The book is laid out much like the restaurant’s menu itself. Mezzes, mains and desserts are followed by recipes for dishes Aras eats at home, but which are too difficult or time-consuming to prepare in the restaurant. He writes lovingly about his childhood memories and his first exposure to the responsibilities of preparing food for his family. At Anatoli’s a meal begins with the arrival of ...

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