The art of food. We all see natural wonders and touristic places when we plan for a trip. But every trip always has a special part of interesting foods. Even when you’re a domestic traveller. We all have a restaurant that we like to go to, even almost owning it like an addiction and say ‘my place’, around where we live. A favorite place where we order food, a favorite place where we drink coffee or a place we go to almost every time whenever we want to hang out. It’s easy to find these favourite places in your own environment, but when it comes to finding the right place in unknown territory you must seek information. And for you, we gathered some of the most popular and successful Turkish chefs that you can visit their restaurants and probably love their amazing dishes.
Czn Burak – Hatay Medeniyetler Sofrası
Hatay Medeniyetler Sofrası is owned by Burak Özdemir, AKA Czn Burak is well known for his videos of oversized kebabs and desserts. Born in 1995 Burak Özdemir is a third-generation chef. His grandfather had a kebab restaurant, although his father did not carry this legacy as the main job. Burak’s father had a textile manufactory named Cinzaro back in the days. His son, Burak Özdemir, used this name’s letters as a nickname. Because his name Burak is hard to pronounce in foreign languages, and the CZN nickname was born. As a humble and popular chef nowadays, he was a troublemaker as he says. When he was a child he had a more rebellious and angry personality as he says. And now this troubled child became a benevolent adult. Very recently he sent trucks full of food for earthquake victims in Elazığ. This transformation’s first step was taken by him in 2011. In this year he started his chef career at a very young age, right now he has more than one thousand workers in his Hatay Medeniyetler Sofrası restaurant chain. That’s quite the achievement for a person this young. For his restaurant named after the city Hatay, he said that this city contained many civilizations over the ages. And with that, Hatay contained many food cultures, as he tries this in his own restaurants. Plus being gifted in the kitchen with all cultures’ foods, he’s also the most successful content producer in Turkey according to TikTok.
Of course, his restaurants are not the place you just walk in and expect a vacant table; thus, reservations can be made. Here are the three meals you can order without having a second guess;
1. Baked Lamb Shank
Made from lamb meat and cooked in traditional ovens, baked lamb shank is the softest meat dish you can eat. Because it is cooked slowly and wrapped with folio, every part is cooked the same inside and out. The spices used and vegetables served along in this meal, you can understand why this young chef is popular.
2. Stuffed Ribs
Stuffed ribs come from eastern culture to your table, just to make you say ‘I never ate meat before’. This meal is hard to cook but deserves all the attention and time it needs. Extra softened meat with special sauce outside and rice on the inside; you can understand why the food culture of the east is so popular.
3. Baked Steak with Salt
Prepared with sea salt and black pepper, it is maybe the most ordered meal. Served as sliced and made with salted and spices steak can be made in your own kitchen easily, but at the hands of an expert chef, it transforms into something beautiful and an unbelievable experience.
LOOKING FOR MORE UP TO DATE INFORMATION?
Let the locals take you to where they go. More than just a suggestion page, HeyTripster is a local-focused adventure platform built on up-to-date trusted information from the experts of the city.
Özgür Özkan – Özgür Chef
Özgür Özkan, known as Özgür Chef is a popular and successful chef in Turkey. He made one of the first tv shows about cooking in Turkey, along with his talent in kitchen and business success. Born in 1979, Özgür Chef started his journey at the age of 14. Over ten years of off sea adventures, especially ship cook in cruise lines and private yachts, he is an exceptional chef. According to him, his most useful skills come from ship cook adventures. As an exceptional chef, he didn’t want to own a restaurant, but he’s compelled to. As a person who only wants to cook good food and care for customer happiness, he had a few difficulties as he says, but these traits make him a good chef. Because of being a family father, he had to let go of his love for ship cook career, sadly you can’t eat his dishes on a trip at sea. Getting married and having three daughters was one of the best things in his life after his job, according to him. But being humble, kind and his lack of ambition makes his success astonishing, for he didn’t want any of this amazing food empire. This makes a valid proof for recommendations from customers; anyone who knows him can confirm that he only wants his customers to eat the best meals they can. For these must-see restaurants, here are the three meals you can order and give yourselves maybe the best pleasure about food;
Kusleme comes from Antep, an eastern city, to make sure you realize every part of the meat is different more clearly. Extracted only little amount from a lamb, around 100 – 150 gr, we can say the softest meat about it because of the lack of nerves inside. It is hard to be an expert about it because of its rare found trait, so you can’t find a place that makes this meal good easily. Spices and sauce spread all over equally and the softness of the meat is an addictive experience as the customers say.
5. Halvah (Cheek)
Made from the cheek of a calf, one of the most delicious meats, this meal can only be made by real chefs. The necessary time to prepare this meal is a very, very long time. But its taste can show you the reason why it’s so recommended. From spices used to vegetables served, anyone can see that this meal requires a ton of attention and knowledge to make. Of course, you can eat this meal somewhere else too. But from an expert chef that loves his work and works with really care, you can feel the privilege of eating a delicious masterpiece.
Related Post: Traditional Turkish Tastes You Must Try in Istanbul
Made from steak fillet, this meal can surprise you about have much you can eat. It is said that this meal is so delicious; you are going to eat more than you normally do. This meal is cooked with marinated meat and sealed so it can preserve its own fluid even while it is ready to be served. The marinating process can be up to 24 hours, it has a taste of bitter and sweet spices. Because of using their own animals’ meat, this meal’s perfect meat-fat ratio can be tasted even by with the dullest mouths.
PLANNING A TRIP TO ISTANBUL?
Whether you’re after the best restaurants, bars or clubs nearby or on a mission to discover the local (hidden) treasures, HeyTripster offers an easy way to explore the city with up-to-date and true information. Get inspired, try one of HeyTripster covid-friendly trip plans designed by locals!
Nusret Gökçe – Nusr-Et
Nusret Gökçe, known as the salt bae, is a worldwide popular chef. Because of economic problems, he had to leave school at an early age and started to work at a butcher shop. Because of the high demand, he worked in, he says he learned to do too many things in so little time. His expertise on meat cutting talents comes from there, according to him. He firstly worked on a place with a butcher-restaurant concept, and he loved this job. With all his money he earned, he always tried to see other concepts of restaurants all over the world. He went to places like Argentina and the USA to see, work and gain knowledge about the cooking cultures. Because of his tenacity, love for his job and high focus, this little boy who dropped school because of economic problems became the expert chef who has over four hundred employees. His brand of restaurant chain ‘Nusr-Et’ firstly opened with the partnership of his old friend Mithat Erdem. Because he had no budget to start this journey. Now you can come across his restaurants all over the world and major cities. From the bottom of the mountain to the top of it, he walked every step and overcame every obstacle in his path. Even with this difficult journey could not fill him pride and superiority. If he is in the restaurant you are having dinner, he will likely to come and serve the dish while having a conversation with you.
7. Lokum Burger
This burger made with marinated steak fillet is almost every customers’ favourite lunch. Especially sliced steak with caramelized onions adds an incredible taste, along with the homemade french fries. And it is only for 60 Turkish liras, although many think it deserves a higher price.
8. Nusr-Et Kobe
This meal made with specially sliced steaks prepared at large proportions, and can only be ordered at least for two persons. It may be the best dream of a meat lover couple can have. And its price is 280 Turkish liras.
This delicious meal made with a combination of perfect tastes. Cooked and served with thinly sliced New York steak, cherry tomatoes, rocket, parmesan and special sauce. If you are a wine lover, this meal is your choice. Its price is 180 Turkish liras.
PLANNING A TRIP TO ISTANBUL?
Uncover the top hidden gems of the city, suggested by locals themselves. Get in-depth local knowledge and skip the tourist traps with covid-friendly and up-to-date trip plans designed by locals with HeyTripster!
I’m newlywed, me and my partner love living in Istanbul. We love to discover new places and share these discoveries with our friends.