This week, the heart of Studio City became heavy with the passing of Jim Sahin, who owned and operated Café Aldente since 1988.
I got the privilege of meeting Jim over 10 years ago when he started dating one of my dearest friends, Wendy Warren Lorenz. I was immediately drawn to his mischievous grin, the bright twinkle in his eyes, and a smile that could light up a room.
Oftentimes, when you move to a city and your family is far away, your close friends become your family. That sure was the case of Wendy and Jim. We spent holidays together, worked together (and had more than a few squabble), and were always there for each other. When I was going through a very hard time as my marriage ended, Jim made it very clear that I was never to worry about feeding myself or my daughter. I know I was only one of many he fed in times of need.
Aside from the legacy of the best meatballs in the city, the best hummus I have ever tasted ,and the most amazing tuna and chicken salad ever— he leaves an amazing son—Serkan Sahin carries Jim’s heart, his soul and his spirit. Everything Serkan does made Jim proud.
Jim loved a few of my recipes (and tried to fix a few as well!). My grandmother’s olive tapenade, salted caramel apple pie and roasted sweet potatoes made him happy. So did any summertime event when I would take all the fresh fruit I had and concoct various margaritas. Lounging poolside he would always get excited when I asked- “should I go make a margarita?”
In these sad times we get to reflect all of the stories— good and bad. Some have said that he mastered the art of sacrifice. I agree that if the translation of sacrifice is to “make sacred” by the reaction of the community, I can see that he did make all of his friendships sacred.
We will be celebrating Jim’s life on Sunday at 1:30 at Rain (right above Café Aldente) where we can toast our dear friend. Cheers Jimmy, this one is for you.
Prickly Pear Margarita
8 parts Sauza Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
4 parts JDK & Sons™ O3 Premium Orange Liqueur
1 can frozen limeade
6 parts Prickly Pear Cactus Puree or Juice
4 cups crushed ice
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Pulse until all the ice is completely blended. Taste and add sugar or limejuice if you want more sweet or sour. Pour into salt-rimmed margarita glasses and garnish with a lime wedge.
Café Aldente, 12215 Ventura Blvd Suite 112, Studio City, (818) 985-8055
Gwen Kenneally is the owner of Back to the Kitchen, Full Service Catering and Party Planning. She is the co-founder and master baker at Magpie Gourmet Mini Pies. Check out her websites www.Backtothekitchen.net and http://magpieminipie.vpweb.com. Her Sweet and Savory Cookbook is available through AMAZON .