We attended a Drop-In Dinner at local kitchen, Le Depanneur, last Friday. On the menu was Ćevap and Imam Bayildi. For more information about both dishes and the featured chef, please see below.
A Serbian specialty popular in restaurants and street food stalls all across the Balkans, Ćevap, a kind of grilled skinless sausage, is part of the rich culinary legacy of the Ottoman Turks in Eastern Europe.
A dish with countless local variations, Miloš‘ version uses lean Ontario ground beef studded with smoked ham, cheese and pancetta, cooked on a grill, and served on soft Serbian-style thick pita bread, with fresh cabbage salad on the side.
Imam Bayildi, Turkish for “the priest fainted”, is an Eastern Mediterranean dish by Armenians, Greeks and Turks alike. It is believed the aroma and appearance of this dish was so overwhelming when served to a priest it caused him to faint! Some say the priest fainted from eating too much. Others believe he was frightened by the abundance of oil in the dish.
Miloš’ version uses sauteed aubergines, zucchini, and peppers oven-baked in a casserole with copious amounts of pepper paste and fresh parsley for freshness. The secret of the popularity of this dish is the zucchini’s natural sugars combined with the earthiness of eggplant, dissolved in olive oil, with the warmth and kick of the pepper paste.
Miloš Tomin was born in Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia. An early birthday present, The Children’s Cookbook, got him started on his gastronomic journey. Trained as a cook during his mandatory military service, Milos served as Head Chef and oversaw the daily feeding of over 400 troops. He then proceeded to eat his way across Europe, visiting some of the best restaurants in UK, Spain, Germany, and Italy. Milos has lived in Toronto since 2012 and is still eating his way through the city; so many restaurants, so little time.