Tree of Life: Turkish Home Cooking – Wild River Review Announces “Every Recipe Has a Story” Contest

March 2017

From Heart to Hearth, there is a Path.  —Turkish Proverb

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Princeton, NJ—March 1, 2017: Wild River Review announces the release of Tree of Life: Turkish Home Cooking, coauthored by Wild River Review cofounder and senior editor Joy E. Stocke and West Coast editor Angie Brenner, published by Burgess Lea Press, an imprint of the Quarto Publishing Group.

Three winners will have their recipe and story published in the Fall 2017 issue of Wild River Review. Winners will also receive a copy of the Tree of Life cookbook.

Wild River Review invites our readers to send us stories from your own tree of life. Do you have a recipe that brings you back to your family’s roots? Your grandmother or grandfather stirring a pot in the kitchen? Or a recipe you love or created yourself that finally made you feel right at home?

Tell us how and why, in the tradition of fine food writing. Where did the ingredients you love come from? Who taught you how to cook? Or maybe you don’t like to cook, but you love to eat food cooked by those you love. Submit one recipe along with a story of no more than 500 words. If your entry is chosen, it will be published in the Fall 2017 issue of Wild River Review and on the Tree of Life Website. The three finalists will also receive one signed copy of Tree of Life: Turkish Home Cooking. Deadline for submissions is: June 1, 2017.

Tree of Life: Turkish Home Cooking not only features more than 100 accessible and delicious recipes, it also tells a larger story about culture, immigrants, traders, and the domestication of such ingredients as chickpeas, wheat, and pomegranates. In fact, legend has it that the apple tree from which Adam and Eve took their fateful bites was, in fact, a pomegranate tree whose fruit, with its hundreds of seeds, is a symbol of fertility in many cultures.

In this spirit and with culinary rigor, Tree of Life’s recipes celebrate these and many more ingredients in dishes such as Butter Lettuce Salad with Yogurt-Tahini Dressing and Fresh Pomegranate Seeds, Sunday Simits (crisp-chewy sesame-covered Turkish-style bagels), Cypriot Lamb Stew, and Dilled Yogurt Soup with Chickpeas and Rice.

Stocke and Brenner re-create recipes that first gained fame in the Ottoman Court in Istanbul, making them accessible to home cooks. Recipes such as Circassian Chicken (Poached Chicken with Walnut Sauce) makes use of the whole bird to feed a crowd, and the flavorful stock in which it’s poached appears in a creamy sauce made from fresh bread, walnuts, and garlic.

Inspired by their memoir, Anatolian Days & Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey, Land of Dervishes, Goddesses & Saints, published in 2012 by Wild River Books, Tree of Lifewith rich, evocative photos by Jason Varney, presents more than 100 recipes, many of which were taught to Stocke and Brenner by Turkish home cooks from the shores of the Aegean to Central Anatolia, the Black Sea and the Persian border.

When career journalist Stocke, who also has a minor in Food Science, and Angie Brenner, a former independent bookstore owner, met on the balcony of a guesthouse in the small resort town of Kalkan, on the Mediterranean Coast of Turkey, they discovered a shared love of history, literature, cooking, and local food traditions. They soon set off on a cultural adventure through Turkey that spanned more than ten years. Returning to their respective American kitchens (Stocke in New Jersey and Brenner in California), they recreated the flavors of Anatolia as a culinary souvenir and incorporated that sensibility into the food they cook every day for themselves and their families and friends.

Stocke and Brenner also celebrate Burgess Lea Press’s unique publishing model, which focuses on food-related books and cookbooks of the highest quality while supporting worthwhile food-related causes. All after-tax net publishing profits will benefit Wholesome Wave, a not-for-profit organization, which works to make fresh produce affordable for low income families.

Please send your Recipe and Story via email (put “Recipe Contest” in the subject line) to:

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To learn about Stocke and Brenner’s tour schedule, visit their website:

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