ANGOURIE chef Sevtap Yuce says the ultimate compliment is when people return a plate to her kitchen with nothing but finger prints on it.
"It makes my day... it's a beautiful thing," Ms Yuce said.
And while Ms Yuce may be well known locally, the owner of Angourie's Beachwood Cafe has also established her reputation in wider circles; especially among foodies.
Her restaurant and cafe has become a must-visit venue for food lovers on the north coast and consistently receives special mention in the Sydney Morning Herald's Good Food Guide.
Now launching her second cookbook, Turkish Meze, Ms Yuce is set to become a household name thanks to her gift of sharing her passion for food combined with her Turkish heritage.
With more than 70 recipes, from classics to modern interpretations, Ms Yuce says Turkish Meze is an opportunity for Australians to discover good food shared with good friends.
"I grew up with this food... it's healthy, simple, and everything is made to share with loved ones; family and friends," she said. "I think it perfectly suits the Australian lifestyle."
The recipe book covers dips, small dishes, dolmas, salads, vegetables, fish and seafood, meats, and, of course, sweets.
Turkish Meze is a wonderful introduction to the dishes and culinary traditions central to a vibrant culture.
"The book was an amazing journey... and I hope each page makes you smile before chopping the onion and having tears," Ms Yuce said.
Born in Ankara, Turkey, Ms Yuce started cooking professionally when she was 17.
She trained with international cookbook and television personality Bill Granger at his cafe, Bill's, in Sydney before moving to northern New South Wales in 1994 to open Beachwood.
A third book is already under way.
The Daily Examiner has two copies of Turkish Meze to give away. To be in the running, simply answer: where was Sevtap Yuce born?. Send your entry to The Daily Examiner by Wednesday, October 23. Winners to be announced in The DEX.