Friday, December 21, 2012

Chef Sezai Zorlu

Passionate Head Chef & Owner of Turkuaz – Authentic Turkish Kitchen

Chef Sezai Zorlu, Head Chef and owner of Turkuaz – Authentic Turkish Kitchen, has a long and distinguished journey in culinary world, also known as the ambassador of Turkish cuisine in Indonesia since 1999.

Coming from a small town called Iskenderun, South East of Turkey and surrounded by fine food his entire life has made his love to food grown stronger since early age. Growing up with 4 brothers, some of them had to help his mother and grandmother in the kitchen. The magical hands of his mother and grandmother have transformed simple dishes that use only few ingredients into an amazingly tasty dish as the food are cooked passionately with love for the family. “Eating is a joyful event for families in Turkey and we spend hours on a daily basis, eat slowly and chat about the day events, because this is where everyone get together to see each other as a family after a long day of activities” he explained.

The love for food he earned from his mother and grandmother allowed him to learn cooking in every aspect and decided cooking as profession. In addition, his experience during military time where he became the personal assistant of General’s wife, who was an excellent cook, also added even more to his culinary knowledge.

For Chef Sezai Zorlu, food is about life, “We have a say in Turkey, the way that pass to your heart will pass through your stomach, so you cannot live and love without good food” he mentioned. The love he has for food had started from the family stays until now and will never go away because those are the childhood memories, the most beautiful and enjoyable moments in life with the family that could never be erased.

Chef Sezai Zorlu is a charismatic individual who has never taken his success for granted and possess a remarkable work spirit. In 1995 he moved to Singapore to work with his father in his 4 Turkish restaurants.

This gave Chef Sezai Zorlu chance to elevate his cooking skills and knowledge from his father, who worked as a chef for the royal family in Saudi Arabia.

In 1999 he had the opportunity to move to Indonesia and started to introduce his hometown Turkish cooking. His culinary reputation and quality had been recognized since then where he cooked for high profile people such as ambassadors, ministers and Presidents of Indonesia.

Guests may round-off the meal with a selection of sweet Turkish desserts as the must-try is the popular Baklava, baked layers of fillo pastry with butter and pistachio sweetened with original homemade syrup and Rice Pudding, wood oven baked creamy cold rice pudding as well as Turkish tea or coffee to conclude the culinary journey. In addition, a variety of flavored Nargile (Sheesha) is available to enjoy for a complete Turkish experience.

After 12 years of living and working in Indonesia, he decided to pursue his dream to open his own restaurant. To reminisce his childhood memories, he serves simple comfort village food and keeps the ingredients fresh without disturbing the cooking process. “We let the ingredients do their job, we cook with personalized touch, love and respect to the ingredients that at the end creates a character to the food. You cannot disrespect and play with the process because this is how it is supposed to be done, if you play with the process then you are not going to end up with the same result”.

He is also eager to introduce the authentic Turkish cuisines from the Ottoman times where he is also specializing in. Authentic Turkish cuisines are well regarded as the world’s great cuisines during the Ottoman Empire between 1453 – 1909 that Turkish cuisines had its greatest influence and spread to Eastern Europe and Middle East. One of the Ottoman Empire cuisine that Chef Sezai Zorlu introduced is the Lamb Shank dishes baked overnight in wood oven with home dried herbs and spices.

Chef Sezai Zorlu wants guests to feel comfortable in his new restaurant as if they are dining at home. Food is passion and according to Chef Sezai Zorlu there are 2 types of people in the world, those who live to eat and who eat to live. If you live to eat you are always welcome to his restaurant. He will happily step out of the kitchen to greet you and suggest dishes. “At Turkuaz, you can expect home cooking, childhood memories, everything is cooked fresh, everything is original”, he explained.

“At my restaurant, guests wait for my food, my food doesn’t wait for my guest, because everything is freshly cooked so process cannot be disturbed by heating or reheating all must be from the fire to the table without waiting period”.

Great passion and love of food has always been expressed by Chef Sezai Zorlu, he is excited about his new restaurant and ready to share his hometown cooking with everyone at Turkuaz – Authentic Turkish Kitchen, and ensure guests get a memorable and pleasant dining experience.

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