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Back to Stories

Slow food, soul food

Slow Food Project

Our passionate team at Six Senses Kaplankaya, Turkey work hand in hand with local farms and producers in the Bodrum area. Everyone is invited to taste organic, fresh and locally grown menus and wines, to savor the flavors while reducing the food miles and protecting local communities and the environment.

During the summer season on the 15th of every month, you can join Executive Chef John Bakker and Head Chef Ahmet Özuçucu on a fun, interactive, delicious and responsible culinary adventure.

“The region surrounding Bodrum is very different, with our Aegean climate that produces our out-of-this-world olives, samphire and figs, and also the artisan spirit,” says Ahmet. There is a huge artisan trade in the local community, for example a smallholding run by a husband and wife that just makes goat’s cheese. Or herbs picked by a few local ladies that you cannot buy and that have no English translation because they are only grown here. Nobody knows about it and that’s the value.”

Chefs John and Ahmet like nothing better than questing after these unique regional gems to catch the special family recipes that get handed down from generation to generation. It’s also a way to help the local community who might otherwise struggle to compete with the prices set by mass producers.

“We go to these smallholders and get to know them because we want to put them on the map while offering our guests something out of the ordinary that they cannot find anywhere else. The homemade yogurt and goat’s milk ice cream from Milas, or picking up a funny looking tomato and, when you bite into it, tasting the sun, can bring tears of joy to your eyes. This is what slow food is about.”

Slow Food Project is an interactive concept. For Ahmet: “The food served is whatever is fresh in the garden at the time, or lamb between March and May, with micro-herbs we grow ourselves, accompanied by local wines that we have traveled to the vineyard to taste and that maybe only produced 200 bottles. We need more of this in the world, because industrial farming is a big reason why the climate is changing. We cherish this and so sitting down and explaining this to the guest while they try it is priceless.”

Pickles and Sprouts

The Food Lab is Executive Chef John Bakker’s first love. It is a flavor library of jars stacked floor to ceiling with kimchi, ferments, and pickles. From honeycomb in vinegar to a whole head of preserved garlic, when the chefs are having fun the food tastes better! It often takes a funny pickle to complete the dish.

Everyone’s talking about the benefits of pickling nowadays, and you can have a go during our Pickles, Yogurts and Sprouts workshops at Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal. The organic produce comes from our own gardens and, by discovering the properties of these ingredients and their health benefits, you can also explore how easy it is to create sustainable healthy food habits.

Across all our Six Senses properties, everything starts with the philosophy of better food. It is a holistic approach. The aim is to connect people to sustainability as well as nutrition and health. We start with the locality and sourcing, knowing where food is from, analyzing each label and producing as much as we can in our own gardens. We even have our own farms, such as in the heartlands of Ibiza and Dibba near Six Senses Zighy Bay.

We’re also fierce when it comes to purchasing, from sustainable fishing and farming to packaging too. This is an area that demands doing what is right rather than what is easy. We demand that our suppliers switch to reusable or compostable food packaging and remove all Styrofoam boxes. Our properties are also innovative when it comes to composting to limit food waste. The result is, whatever they choose from the menu, all guests are eating from this foundation of better food by default when they Eat With Six Senses.


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