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A standout character: Chef Çiğdem

Tonight we’re pleased to introduce you to our charming, globe-trotting, Chef Çiğdem, always on the lookout for a new taste sensation.

You’ve traveled extensively around the world. What was your favourite food destination? Why?
My favourite food destination so far was Cape Town where I loved the calamari and the shrimps. Most probably the reason was because they were freshly caught from the ocean and they were huge. I went to a restaurant called Ocean Basket: the atmosphere was really nice, there were seals loafing around,  and the food — like i just said — was really impressive!

Where would you next like to travel to?
I want to visit Moscow or/and Naples the next when I get a chance. Besides the Russian kitchen, I really want to visit the museums and the casinos. And why Naples? Well, I want to go there to refresh my mind and become more creative and impressive since the place is amazing itself.

Tell us about working with beer and food: what’s it like? Do you have any input in the brewing process?
Working in a brewing company has been a very different experience so far. In every menu item, we use different beers —Karbon, Hop & Glory and IPA, for example — in different dishes, like our Karbon cake, chicken liver pate, beer battered fish and chips. In order to combine the food and the beer we will continue to try new beers and new food combinations. I personally have some new ideas for beers and their tastes that we can flavour the food with them, and hopefully we’ll be starting to this new small project next year.

What’s your favorite beer at the Bosphorus Brew Co?
The very first time I met with the Hall family, I had the chance to taste Hop & Glory. And since then, it is my favourite. A close second is the Istanbul Pale Ale which we already use an ingredient in many of the menu selections. I have to say, it is my best friend in the kitchen.

How did you become a Chef?
That was a long road. First, I started studying in Yeditepe University’s Faculty of Economics. I finished my studies but then I realized that there wouldn’t be any satisfaction in a job requiring that kind of education, and luckily the year I graduated, the university opened a new department: Gastronomy and Culinary Arts. So I said “Why not?”  And that was just the beginning … now here I am working at the pub!