My main role in the kitchen is to create the specials menu each day. You see the steaming clay BBQ pit at the front? I’m hidden in the back, where no one can steal my recipes! Everyone collaborates across each other’s fields but the specials menus are like my babies. Except i have to deliver a new one every day! While the Head Chef is a classically trained Turkish gourmet, who can cook absolutely any existing dish he wants to, I prefer to create my own. That’s not to say I don’t owe a lot to him; he’s taught me so much in terms of traditional technique. I love taking his hummus, shish and fried seafood and adding my only little touches.
My inspiration comes from the root of cooking; ingredients. They are the most important element of any restaurant and deserve to be treated with respect. That’s why I select fresh vegetables, meat and fish from the market Every day; it doesn’t matter how brilliant a chef you are, if you leave ingredients to lose even the slightest sharpness, you lose peak flavour.
Whether it’s run of the mill beetroot or a rare chilli, I’m up every morning at 5am, heading down to borough, Smith fields and Billingsgate to seek out ordinary and unusual ingredients alike. I often only sleep for a few hours when I get in from work, as I’m practising unorthodox methods of cooking to fit traditional ingredients. At the moment, I’m enjoying pairing traditional techniques with weird ingredients. I currently looking at creating a coffee flavoured steak. Perhaps it could help me stay awake!
My favourite dish on the menu this week is the blueberry cheesecake; it’s a typical Skewd twist on a classic dish. I can’t tell you exactly what’s in the recipe but there’s a few surprise fruits in there that aren’t berries!
The most important thing for a young chef is to keep learning, and from a wide variety of places. I’m of a very mixed heritage; I speak and cook Turkish, English, Greek and Armenian fluently and have had experience in all these places. When I’m not working, I like to relax by reading the culinary history of countries around the world, to see how I can my own Skewd twist.