‘Soundy Candy’ and creativity

‘Soundy Candy’ and creativity

AYLİN ÖNEY TAN - aylinoneytan@yahoo.com
‘Soundy Candy’ and creativity I popped the candy in my mouth, and within seconds it started popping; it popped, and popped again. I could actually hear it popping. It was a strawberry-flavored popping candy, but not in powder form; on the contrary, it was like classic hard-boiled candy, or more like a cough lozenge. As I’m not particularly fond of sweets, I felt the need for something to drink, and without thinking, I gulped a big sip from my white wine. The wine instantly activated whatever was happening in my mouth. The face of the candy guy turned panicky as we both heard the sound of the last big explosion in my mouth. As the candy cracked into a zillion pieces, we cracked into laughter, but the real laugh was ahead late through the night.

That incident happened at the closing reception of the event dedicated to creativity and I happened to be the guinea pig of the candy guy who was seeking some volunteers to try his new candy creation.

The “Great Festival of Creativity,” held in Istanbul between May 20 and 22, was an initiative of the British government aimed at forming a platform for original thinking and fresh insights that are commercially relevant and can be put into action in businesses large or small.

The GREAT festival is described as a rare gathering of creative and commercial intelligence. The festival in Istanbul was the first of three “GREAT” festivals – the other two are scheduled for Hong Kong and in Shanghai. The auditorium of The Seed at Sakıp Sabancı Museum were full at all sessions, driving an excited crowd of entrepreneurs from the fields of education, technology, fashion, design, luxury, food and drink. Presented by thought leaders, subject experts and business individuals, the audience was offered a unique program of masterclasses, example-rich presentations, network sessions, and above all, direct access to proven creative thinkers who drive their business forward with imagination, innovation and flair. The festival was meant to inspire, stimulate and fascinate the participants and it surely did; at least it was an agent to stimulate my taste buds.

The topic of food and drink was covered only in one session, the very last one titled “Food for Thought” – unfortunately not in the big auditorium, but in the much smaller Sicimoğlu room. The location proved to be an unlucky choice, as at least four times as many people tried to enter as there were seats. The speakers could only tackle a fraction of the vast topic. Moderator Tom Parker Bowles gently balanced the time between the contributors; the key-speaker was the formidable queen of Middle Eastern cookery, Claudia Roden, our Turkish side included myself, Chef Vedat Başaran and food writer Nevin Halıcı. Tom Kitchin shared his observations on the Turkish taste palate and ingredients, and admitted that the Turkish delight he had tasted here was nothing like the gelatinous mass in Britain.

Coming back to the exploding candy, later in the night, I introduced the candy guy, Tolga Erden, to Tom Parker Bowles. Overly excited at finding someone willing to taste his candies, he began pulling out sachets from his bag, tucking them into Tom’s hands and pockets, and kept telling that he should save some for his kids. Later, I teased him saying, your candies are now semi-royal, but he seemed perplexed. “Why?” “Or how?” he asked. Only then did I realize that he did not recognize who Tom was.

Now it was my time to laugh as he was crying out loud, “No Way!!!,” so totally blushed with embarrassment, as red as his candies!

It was indeed a great GREAT festival bringing together everybody from all grounds, everybody with a true quest for creativity and innovation.

Bite of the week

Fork of the Week: During the GREAT festival, lunch breaks were a chance to taste British-Turkish collaborations on a plate. Slow-cooked Welsh lamb with firik pilaf, roast beef canapés with muhammara were delightful combinations. On the night of the closing reception, Kitchin demonstrated his own fusion food. The great hit of the great reception of the GREAT festival was smoked salmon from Severn & Wye Smokery. The great salmon guy Dai Francis smokes the best fish in Britain, and his exquisite produce is the best of the best one can find. You can taste some from Fortnum & Masons or contact to order from www.severnandwye.co.uk, dai.francis@severnandwye.co.uk. Keep an eye on his smoked trout in the future; they might be sourced from Turkey. After a market tour we had in Kadıköy, he got into contact with some Turkish fisheries, and was keen about ordering tons of Turkish trout. For a sweet explosion in your mouth, seek the popping, soundy candy. http://www.soundycandy.com/soundycandy/pages/en/home.php

Cork of the Week: Now a little gossip from the Twitter world! Tom Parker Bowles raved about the salmon of Dai on Twitter, and within seconds Master Of Wine Sarah Abbott replied recommending some Thracian Turkish whites as accompaniment. Alas there was no Sauvignon Gris from Arcadia, or Chamlija Viognier to wash down the silky salmon. Just as I was following the Abbott-Parker Bowles conversation, I received the good news from another fine winery from Thrace. Bülent Kalpaklıoğlu from Château Kalpak wrote: “We received 3 GOLD medals for all 3 wines we submitted to the Concours Mondial Bruxelles. All of Ch Kalpak’s listed wines now have gold medals. Congratulations to my Ch Kalpak team!” If you come across Château Kalpak 2010, Château Kalpak BBK 2010, or Château Kalpak Cabernet Franc-Merlot 2010, these are the gold winners.