HONOLULU (KHON2) — It’s time for Food 2Go!

For Friday, Nov. 17, KHON2 is getting a taste of Mediterranean and Turkish cuisines.

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Istanbul Hawaiʻi brings the flavors of the Mediterranean to Hawaiʻi with some of the most ono interpretations and fusions of West Asian cuisines.

Executive chefs, and mother and daughter team, Nili Yil-Dirim and Ahu Hettema popped by KHON2 to share some of their creations.

According to the mother/daughter team, Istanbul Hawaiʻi emerged from a profound journey of resilience and inspiration. After a decade of separation from her homeland (Turkey), immigration challenges left Chef Ahu in the depths of despair.

“In this moment of darkness, her mother, Nili, a virtuoso of Grand Turkish Cuisine, brought the vibrant flavors and spices of Turkey to the shores of beautiful Hawaiʻi,” explains the chef team. “Amidst a tapestry of colors and aromas, Ahu discovered solace and vitality in her mother’s culinary artistry. She transformed spices into her own canvas, painting with hues of flavor. As she cooked alongside her mother, Ahu found that their shared creations were not only nourishing but also a source of boundless joy and healing.”

They said that her culinary art underwent a remarkable transformation and manifested as flavors and aromas in teh cuisines she created.

“The more she cooked with her mother, the more she healed,” they added. “It was a journey of rediscovery and renewal, and it sparked a profound decision: to share the abundant flavors, aromas, and culture of grand Turkish cuisine with the enchanting land of Hawaiʻi.”

Chef Ahu said that she views her journey with profound gratitude. She recognizes that every challenge conquered has empowered her to become the individual she has become.

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“Challenges are no longer obstacles; they are sources of strength and boundless inspiration,” concluded the mother and daughter chef team.