The rhythm of the seasons during her childhood on the coast of the Aegean Sea set Turkish chef Fisun Ercan up for success at Bika Farm & Cuisine, her farm and restaurant just a 60 minute drive south of Montreal. Vegetables and herbs grow in neat rows around her 19th century stone farmhouse – it’s a setting straight out of a Merchant Ivory film – where Ercan teaches guests about seasonality and food waste in the barn kitchen and solarium.
“When we’re disconnected from nature, we lose our appreciation for each product because it’s always available,” she says. “Enjoying each season’s bounty is like a sweet reunion with a long–lost friend.”
Ercan uses much of the produce from her farm in her Turkish–inspired cuisine, like her zero–waste pancakes: savoury flapjacks with bits of fennel leaves, the greens of leeks and assorted herb stems thrown into the batter and served with black garlic yogurt. She says most people discard herb stems when they are, in fact, deliciously edible. She also uses green scraps to infuse oils for salads and cooking, and incorporates wilted herbs into surprising savoury treats, like her to–die–for beignets.
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