A Turkish Food Pop-Up Will Debut At The Lenexa Public Market

KC Doner's Doner Wraps / Photo Courtesy Of KC Doner

When Sami Jenedi moved to KC from Antakya, Turkey eight years ago, he couldn’t help but notice there were little to no Turkish restaurants in the area. He began volunteering and cooking up the cuisine of his homeland – doner wraps, meat pies and kasir salad – at KC’s Ethnic Enrichment Festival. Jenedi’s food was so well received, he created KC Doner, an authentic Turkish pop-up that will make its debut at the Lenexa Public Market through the months of June and July.

KC Doner’s specialty menu item is the classic Turkish dish, the doner wrap, consisting of seasoned beef cooked on a vertical rotisserie, thinly shaved and rolled into a Carniceria y Tortilleria San Antonio flour tortilla. “Doner” means “to turn” or “rotate” and refers to the skewer used to cook the meat. 

Other menu items include potato pies, red lentil balls and meat pies. 

“Think of [the meat pies] like a Turkish pizza. It has meat, tomato paste and onions,” says Jenedi.

Jenedi is particularly excited to showcase the Turkish dessert cookies, sekerpare. They’re soft and syrupy semolina cookies flavored with lemon with crushed pistachio. “They’re really different from other cookies, so I encourage people to try something new,” he says.

When asked how Turkish food differs from other Middle Eastern fare, Jenedi says it’s slightly spicier. Savory baked goods are prevalent within the cuisine as well like pide (Turkish flat bread stuffed with cheese, tomatoes and peppers), which Jenedi’s mom, who lives in Turkey but will be in town for KC Doner’s first pop-up, will be baking for the first Lenexa Public Market appearance. 

Although Jenedi currently works as an IT developer, he worked at his dad’s restaurant in Turkey for years before graduating with a degree in hotel management. Afterwards, he spent time as a cook in Barcelona’s Hilton Hotel, furthering developing his repertoire for worldly cuisines. 

KC Doner will be popping up at the Lenexa Public Market several weekends in June, July and August. Follow KC Doner’s Instagram, @kcdoner, for more pop-up updates.

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