Aubergine & Bottarga

After fifteen years as a professional windsurfer, Kemal Demirasal decided it was time for a complete career change. But instead of training with the best chefs or going back to school, he taught himself how to cook. For the next three years he read culinary books and did research on cooking. After extensive study, he travelled around the world and met different chefs who created dishes that inspired him. Eventually he ended up as a chef in Barbun restaurant, Alaçatı, Turkey, and was trained further in kitchens in Lapland, Denmark, the Basque Country, and many other places. 

Demirasal wanted to open a restaurant that focussed on the entire experience of dining. So, he started the Alancha project. Since early 2015, Kemal runs the kitchen at Alancha restaurant in Istanbul. Alancha is mentioned in ‘The World’s 50 Best Discovery Series’, which features the next generation of dining destinations. Housed in the basement of Alancha’s Istanbul location is a state-of-the-art Test Kitchen, where Kemal and his team can experiment with their latest recipes and play with ingredients. Guests on the ground-floor can look down into the R&D lab from a glass walkway above. How cool is that? The Test Kitchen is not only a physical place to explore gastronomical ideas; it has become a state of mind. Alancha combines Greek, French, Italian, and Nordic cuisine with Turkish recipes. Their menu is always changing and is made with local produce.

Creation by Kemal Demirasal, Alancha restaurant, Istanbul, Turkey.

Aubergine & Bottarga

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aubergines (around 150g)



organic butter



basil cream






chestnut mushrooms



basil oil (per portion)



lime zest






fresh basil



sour cream



salt and pepper

Preparation method: basil cream
  • Blanch the basil leaves.
  • Dry the basil leaves on a paper towel.
  • Place the basil leaves in a Thermomix blender and mix with the sour cream.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Refrigerate for 24 hours until set.
Preparation method: aubergine purée
  • Grill the aubergines until tender.
  • Peel the skin off.
  • While still lukewarm, add the butter and a tablespoon of the basil cream.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Add one tablespoon of lime juice.
  • Mash until well blended and it becomes a purée.
 Finishing & presentation
  • Plate a spoonful of the aubergine purée.
  • Finely slice the raw chestnut mushrooms and place on top of the aubergine purée.
  • Drizzle over a tablespoon of basil oil.
  • Serve with lime zest and bottarga shavings.

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