La Cave; Food Heroes,
whoever we have left

I wonder why we are loosing or lost already our connection with genuine things… Why are we settling for the colorless…

What is the derivative here, just time? Or did we loose the sense of the value? When did the world took this irreversible step? Since you have been reading me for over eight years, you know that I am obsessed with the esnaf, especially who fulfil the word with their personality and their craftmanship, their products, their shops and even their staff.

There is an usta for everything, so you do not have to do it.

There is a small shop somewhere in each city, specialised in one product, so you do not have to buy the mediocre one from the supermarkets.

We, as customers, just need to recognise and praise them, so they would continue doing what they do best!

For example, let’s talk about wine. When I talk about wine, I talk about La Cave wine shop in Cihangir, where I have been buying my wine and spirits forever. Esat Ayhan, aka Esat Abi, the owner of La Cave, is a veteran in wine industry, a reputable personality, a wine guru, a brother when you need, not to mention he has the best wines coming from all around Turkey in his amazing shop.

I have known him for almost 25 years, we met just the time I started working in food industry, a rookie I was, learnt great deal from him. Esat Abi is not just a wine seller, he is a great supporter of the industry, even the producers learn a great deal from him, if they pay attention. His opinion matters if you ask me, and if you are doing a right job, your wine will be in his store.

Here, also I find a good laugh, a chair and tea waiting for me while I do all of these. Esat Abi, is there to rescue you if you have no idea of Turkish wines or imports, as well as which Japanese whisky or which bottle of gin to take with you for that occasion, what to drink now and what to age…

Here, you will never be judged by your budget or your half-knowledge. Here, also you will find some of the most prestigious wines of the world, lying in his special temperature controlled room, waiting for its new owner, that wine collection you have always dreamt of making, La Cave is the best place to start.

If you are there at the right time, you would be surprised by his esteemed customers and the conversation going on, the words just hanging in that wine walls.

So tell me now; why should I go and buy a bottle of wine, from a super market, from a shelf, any shelf, impersonal, banal, standing there, lonely… If I have La Cave in İstanbul, why should I go to a market?

Esat Ayhan has the expertise, the knowledge, so we have him and his lovely staff to help us, his cellar to amaze us.

It is never about a bottle of wine, it is everything behind the product, that make the product and the experience unique.

So there you are, you know another esnaf, another shop of mine. I will continue to enlighten your way through, help you find the best place and people to spend your valuable money and your more valuable time on.

La Cave address: Kılıçali Paşa Mahallesi, Sıraselviler Cad. No.10, Cihangir, Beyoğlu, İstanbul