Derya, better known at FoodieBackpacker lives his life by his passions; “I am one of those who lives for eating and cooking.” He travels the world (well, Europe so far) cooking feasts in other people’s kitchens spreading the ethos of food, slow food that’s so customary in his native, Turkey.
Skyping from the Netherlands, where he’s hosting a couple of dinners he squeezed in some time to talk with us before heading over to the Hague for another dinner before heading back to Amsterdam for one more dinner -his schedule is clearly crazy.
“It’s been a little more than one and a half years I’ve been doing FoodieBackpacker now. I don’t feel tired while i’m travelling. I love cooking and meeting people. Cooking feels like my rehab, I never get bored or tired while i’m doing this.
My first dinner was at the end for February 2014 in Moscow, Russia, I started by trying to go to the places I’ve never been before in Europe. Now I’ve almost visited most countries in Europe apart from the North. I find dinners through my Facebook page, I always have one dinner already planned as a reference point then i post to my page that I’ll be going to this city, this country, at this date” and ask people to fill the question mark days. It’s actually not that hard to find hosts.
“I can never call myself a chef”
I will never call myself a chef because I respect the world of chefs, it requires a long education in either the kitchen, working your way up from washing dishes or taking a serious education. I just did a 4-5 month course to get a license to work in a kitchen, I can never call myself a chef. I call myself a travelling cook, or the other day my friend came up with a word for it which I like- a kitchen-surfer.
FoodieBackpacker is the way of living
What FoodieBackpacker sells is food but the big thing it’s selling is the experience and the way of living. That’s why people are booking me, it is because they are inspired by this way of living. It’s sitting together, eating together and sharing stories over food.
The thing I like is sharing, I like everyone passing around the plates to each other, it’s nice. It’s like passing around good energy to each other. I don’t do fancy plates to serve to each person. Firstly, it’s not my style, secondly it’s hard for me to do that, I’m on my own and I don’t have anyone helping me to plate up, cooking is one thing plating is another. Sharing dishes of food is way better.”
FoodieBackpack will be cooking up dinners in Germany, Austria the Netherlands and UK with Yeni Raki until December.