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"Everything about to know about Turkish cuisine, restaurants, gourmes, and chiefs. From New York, Los Angeles to Koln, Tokyo... Most popular Turkish restaurants around the world! Special interviews, reports, and features. What makes Turkish cuisine unique and why is it one of the most famous cuisines in the world? Find all answers in restaurant section. View items...

Elvis Baez's Journey from Car Sales to Cigar Lounge with a Magnificent View of New York

Elvis Baez is the son of a family who migrated from the Dominican Republic to Union City, New Jersey in early 1970’s. After getting education from Memorial High School, he pursued courses at Bergen Community College, furthering his education. His first professional job was in car sales. After gaining about five years of experience in the industry, he transitioned into album production in 1996. Along with his two brothers, he rented a studio and produced albums under the name LR Records from 1996 to 2004. Elvis developed a fondness for cigars at the age of 18. It was also the year when his first child was born. His father used to smoke cigarettes, so Elvis asked him not to smoke cigarettes around his son. His father respected his decision and quit smoking cigarettes around his grandchild, but Elvis’s brother introduced him to cigars instead. He recalls, "I asked my father not to smoke around my son, but I ended up starting cigars myself."

"The Dynamic Duo: Hayrettin and Tolga's Journey from Viral Projects to Career Transformations"

One of the recent viral videos on social media features a group of Americans cruising the streets of Manhattan in a TOFAS-branded Doğan SLX, with comedian Hayrettin behind the wheel and Americans in the backseat jamming to Cengiz Kurtoğlu, a Turkish musician, record producer, lyricist, songwriter, composer, and pianist. In Times Square, they enjoy döner kebab next to their Doğan SLX. Ali Zivalioğlu, who brought the TOFAS SLX to America, is originally from Giresun and is a truck driver residing in New Jersey. The car is his childhood love as well. Comedian Hayrettin has become one of the most talked-about names on social media thanks to such content. Behind his success stands the mastermind, manager Tolga Doğruer. Shooting videos while touring the streets of Manhattan in an old model car imported from Turkey has become one of their recent fascinating projects.

The King of Meze

Fair Lawn, NJ - When he arrived at New York JFK Airport from Turkey, he had only $80 in his pocket and a lot of debts to pay off. He started his career in the culinary world and eventually rose to become the chef of a five-star hotel in Cyprus. He learned the ropes of the industry at his uncle's food factory in Osmaniye, a southern province of Turkey. He worked in every department of the factory that served meals to three thousand people daily, focusing on the art of making mezes. It was his intricate presentation of sea bass, shaped like a knitting pattern, that earned him the title of Golden Chef of the Year in a competition he participated in Istanbul back in 2011.
After coming to America, he worked in a Turkish restaurant to save up money. He attended a language course for three years to improve his English skills. In search of his own restaurant, he became interested in a place in Fair Lawn that had been operating under the name Istanbul Café for five years. On June 16, 2018, he opened his restaurant named AdA Mediterranean Brasserie in a city with a predominant Jewish and Russian population and relatively few Turkish residents. "The Jewish and Russian customers are already familiar with our cuisine. Instead of looking for a well-known place, my criteria were centered around the potential customer base," says Chef Erhan Gezer.

From Backpacker to Business Owner: Erkan Emre's Journey from Berlin to New York

Erkan Emre is a successful German-born Turkish entrepreneur who has overcome many challenges and built a thriving career in the US. Emre's family immigrated from Erzurum, Türkiye to Germany in 1968 as guest workers, seeking opportunities to rebuild the country after World War II. Emre's father worked as a gardener for the Berlin Senate, contributing to the country's green landscapes.
Emre grew up in Germany, experiencing the homesickness that many immigrants’ families face. However, he also recognized the value that immigration brings to a culture, adding spice and diversity to an otherwise homogeneous society.

Sea Salt: A Unique Blend of Mediterranean Cuisine and Artisanal Cocktails

Located in the heart of New York City, 1st Avenue and 61st Street, Sea Salt Mediterranean Restaurant offers a unique dining experience that sets it apart from traditional establishments. After working with three successful ventures in Atlanta, Las Vegas, and now New York, Ertan Kuşdil, the owner of Sea Salt, brings a taste of the Mediterranean to the bustling city. Kuşdil shares his insights into the concept behind Sea Salt and its journey in the restaurant industry. 

Building a Greek Culinary Legacy in Bloomfield: Alex Nissirios' Story

Alex Nissirios, the owner of Stamna Greek Tavern in Bloomfield, New Jersey, has an intriguing life story that spans over four decades in the restaurant business. Originally from Greece, Alex arrived in the United States in 1970 at the age of 15. His mother, father, and two brothers had already settled in the US prior to his arrival. In Greece, Alex's father worked as a contractor but faced financial difficulties and lost all his money. This prompted his decision to move to America to seek better opportunities. In the meantime, Alex and his siblings were left in the care of a housekeeper while their parents worked tirelessly to establish themselves in the new country.
The family initially settled in Fairlawn, New Jersey, where Alex began working in the kitchen of a small restaurant. He started as a shy young boy who rarely ventured out, but eventually worked his way up to become a busboy. Despite facing language barriers, Alex managed to succeed and eventually became a manager. However, he felt the desire to further his education and returned to Greece to attend college.

Carrying the Flame: Hicri Ataş Continues the Tradition

Brooklyn has witnessed the journey of Hicri Ataş and his father, Rıza Ataş, as they made their mark in numerous establishments. From Masal and Liman to İstanbul Bay, Rıza Ataş was among the pioneers who laid the foundations of these iconic venues. Hicri became a pioneering example for Turkish entrepreneurs by opening a venue in the south of New Jersey with a seating capacity of approximately 300 people. After Sofra opened its doors in 2021, other Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine restaurants also started to emerge. Ataş, with its unique menu and concept, has gained the approval of customers by serving their meals with a grand visual display. The restaurant, which also features a special karaoke room, provides a spacious dance floor for customers to enjoy dancing as well.

The Man Behind Hampton's Hottest Dining Destination

In Erzican, during his days as a shepherd, Zeynel (Zach) Erdem found a newspaper while roaming in the highlands. He saw a photo of Manhattan in the newspaper and was fascinated. He thought to himself, "One day I will go to New York." He was admitted to the engineering faculty in Erzurum but couldn't stay there. He dropped out of school. The following year, he was admitted to the tourism and hotel management department in Edirne. He continued his studies in tourism and hotel management. The idea of going to America never left his mind. He applied for a student visa. He collected money for his ticket from his friends who worked with him at school and the hotel. At the age of 21, he set off for America.

White Olive: The Fusion of Indian Entrepreneurship and Turkish-Greek Cuisine Takes New York by Storm

White Olive is a restaurant that emerged from a unique combination and was selected as the best newcomer restaurant of the year by The New York Times. Originally from Mumbai, India, Michael Karim Sopariwalla and his cousin Amin Himani, along with Chef Hasan Karcı and his kitchen team who worked for many years at Ritz Carlton, and the kitchen team with extensive experience on cruise ships and Turkish Airlines' catering company, as well as Yusuf Baba, an experienced manager from Royal Caribbean. They have been serving in New York with a concept of Greek and Turkish cuisine since December 2022.

Pera's Journey Through Palates and Continent: A Fusion of Turkish Delights in Soho and Madison Avenue

Pera Mediterranean Brasserie opened its doors in 2006, founded by Burak Karacam and Chef Sezai Çelikbaş. Today, the duo continues to lead the Pera team, operating two locations—one in Soho and the other on Madison Avenue. As Pera approaches its 20th year, it stands as a testament to longevity in the realm of Turkish restaurants, with only Turkish Kitchen surpassing the 25-year mark. While some Turkish establishments in New York City have undergone changes in ownership or closure, Pera remains steadfast. What is their secret? How have they managed to thrive for such a remarkable length of time? Pera Mediterranean Brasserie is more than just a business venture for Burak Karacam and Sezai Çelikbaş; it is a cherished part of their lives. They have wholeheartedly embraced Pera as their own, and the restaurant holds sentimental value akin to a beloved child. It begs the question: Is there something special about Pera that draws people in, leaving them compelled to return? 

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