In Webster Groves, Missouri, Balkan Treat Box has St. Louis-area diners lining up around the block for a taste of its traditional Turkish and Bosnian dishes, from soft, chewy somun to snappy cevapi sausages to the totally Instagrammable boat-shaped pide (stuffed Turkish flatbread).
Chef Loryn Nalic – who owns the restaurant with her husband, Edo – utilizes a massive wood-burning oven to give these Balkan-inspired dishes their signature wood-fired flavor. Here, the chef behind one of St. Louis’ hottest new restaurants shares three of the cookbooks that shaped her career.
Food Lover’s Companion
by Sharon Tyler Herbst (1990)
“I have no formal culinary training, so this is my go-to for terminology and ingredients. It’s one I can’t live without and is great for people who love trivia!”
The Turkish Cookbook
by Musa Dağdeviren (2019)
“There’s so much history and knowledge in here – I can’t live without it! What’s crazy is that [author Musa Dağdeviren] submitted so many more recipes, but they couldn’t publish all of them in one book. I can’t get my head around that. It goes to show you how much technique and influence Turkish cuisine has over so much of the world.”
Black Sea: Dispatches and Recipes – Through Darkness and Light
by Caroline Eden (2018)
“Part travelogue, part recipe book, this one is so interesting to me; it pushes my creativity further just to see how far Balkan food’s influence reaches. Plus, [author Caroline Eden]’s stories are just so captivating.”