What is the Fundamental Contradiction in Life?: Zengin Mutfağı (1977)

Vasıf Öngören wrote the play Zengin Mutfağı (Rich Cuisine) in 1977. This work has an important place in terms of epic theater in Turkey.

The play, which was first performed at Istanbul City Theaters, received many awards.

In the work, we watch the events that took place in a rich kitchen during the June 15-16 events, which were of great importance in the Turkish Labor Movement.

“Zengin Mutfağı” tells the story of well-intentioned Master Lütfü, a cook. Lütfü Usta was a wrestler in his youth, but now he works as a cook in the house of wealthy businessman Kerim Bey. One morning, he realizes that he is alone at home, and driver Seyfi’s older brother Ahmet talks about the workers’ strike. Kerim Bey, who was worried about the strike, went to Europe. The girl who works for Lütfü Usta also gets engaged to Selim on the same day.

When the atmosphere calms down, Kerim Bey returns. Master Lütfü has to cook for the German shepherd he brought with him, and he gets angry about this.

Selim, on the other hand, denounces the people involved in the strike for money, but begins to get afraid. Kerim Bey also sends Selim, who tries to hide, to a camp.

When Selim returned, he turned into an aggressive and arrogant person.

Master Lütfü could not stand the German shepherd harming a human and eventually poisoned him.

Selim begins to suspect his fiancée due to this incident. When the young woman realizes this suspicion, she leaves her fiancee. Lütfü Usta is also impressed by the woman’s courage and questions the work she does in the mansion and her position in life. Now he is in a dilemma of whether to go or stay, Seyfi and Ahmet also start to participate in workers’ protests.

Şener Şen, who first played the leading role in this play in 1977, took his place in the play again with a young cast after forty years.

In the play consisting of two acts, you have the opportunity to evaluate the atmosphere of the period through the diversity of characters. In this work, which is actually without commentary, you witness human beings trying to survive in life, with their various aspects, mistakes and truths, by holding a mirror to life. While their sincere and well-intentioned human behavior warms your heart, you observe with some surprise how easily betrayal can occur.

You will feel like the play embraces you with its well-knitted script, impressive acting and simple decor. Enjoy watching.


Year First Performed: 1977
Genre: Comedy
Author: Vasıf Öngören
Directors: Şener Şen, Doğu Yaşar Akal
Assistant Director: Defne Kayalar
Cast: Şener Şen, Gizem Ergün, Onay Kaya, Uğur Arda President, Kutay Sandıkçı
Assistant: Berçem Açığ
Decoration: Barış Dinçel
Costume: Başak Özdoğan
Işık: Cem Yılmazer
Poster Design: Ethem Onur Bilgiç
Photo: Emre Doğru
Decor Realization: Uğurkan Hafızoğlu