I opened my first restaurant in Izmir, Turkey in 2006 but it didn’t last long so I have decided to learn the kitchen properly. In 2007, I started studying commercial cookery in Sydney and completed it in 2009. I have worked at fine dining restaurants like GPO Martin Place, Altitude, Shangri La and Efendy in Balmain.
In 2011, I injured myself while working in the kitchen and had to take some time off, but I needed to find another job to cover my expenses. Eventually, this caused me to make a career change.
I worked in the education industry for more than 10 years but I always had the idea of opening my own restaurant. The school I was working at closed due to COVID, so I decided to use this occasion to make my dream real and opened Turkuaz Turkish Cuisine in May 2021.
I like creating new tastes staying loyal to the roots of it. I want to be distinguished and distinctive when it comes to our dishes for their freshness, taste and presentation. My biggest mission is to change people’s idea that Turkish cuisine is all about kebabs.
Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
No, not really. My dream was to open a restaurant but I wasn’t aware that you should know your kitchen properly until I opened my own restaurant in Turkey.
How would you define your style?
Spontaneous and adventurous.
Finding the perfect flavour.
What do you love about this business?
Losing yourself in the moment, forgetting everything but the dish you are preparing while in the kitchen.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
Pomegranate molasses and olive oil.
Most ‘eyebrow-raising’ menu item?
Octopus and prawn pide.
Beyti and our new dish Ali Nazik
What do you think the past 12 months of COVID has taught restaurants and Chefs about their diners and the industry in general?
No matter what the circumstances, people support and appreciate hard work, good food and authenticity.
Tell us something no one knows about you?
I am also an amateur musician - I play flamenco guitar and sing.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
My dream is to open a few more branches and make the Turkuaz brand known Australia-wide within 5 years.