My wife Roberta is Italian and I am from Turkey. We have been together for 17 years. I have lived in Stoke Newington for 23 years since leaving Turkey.
Roberta and I met in London, in fact the story of our meeting is quite funny and provides a good indication to the foundations of Homa. I was at a classical music concert at the Barbican and I noticed Robbie sitting few seats to the side of me crying during the performance. I went up to her during the break and asked whether I can do anything to help. Her answer was short and clear “no thanks”. Few weeks later I was back in barbican with an Italian friend of mine and she wanted me to meet a friend of hers who was also at the venue. Guess who that person was?
That is how we met and our common experiences of being from a Mediterranean country, tastes in music and food created an environment where our relationship grew. At the time Robbie was doing a PhD in Renaissance recipes and I was running a small Turkish restaurant in Tottenham. We constantly talked about writing a cookery book together.
That was 17 years ago and it is only now that we are getting around to fulfilling some of our dreams that brought us together.
Prior to this I was involved in running a successful fashion business that required travelling 6 to 7 months of the year. I was enjoying the work but missing my home and my family. In a way, finding this perfect location on church street, just around to corner from my home was a dream come true.
Bilgehan Ates, Director, Homa