With a portfolio of awards and two thriving restaurants, Chef Somer is an inspiration. This Chef not only uses his cooking skills the kitchen; he recently used his talent to participate in OZHarvest’s CEO Cookoff helping them raise funds to feed vulnerable people across Australia.
1. Your restaurant/business
Efendy Restaurant in Balmain and Anason mezebar in Barangaroo, Sydney.
2. Describe your kitchens
Efendy is a traditional suburban Turkish restaurant specialising in Anatolian cooking and Anason is a modern Istanbul style mezebar specialising in seafood and vegetable mezes.
3. Favourite Chef item and why
I really like the Zipper jacket as I am terrible with stud jackets losing buttons all the time and I particularly like the clips on the neck holding the apron from slipping.
4. First job
Working at my mums restaurant, paid in food and lodging only.
5. Your cookbook
Anatolia with David Dale published in 2015 by Murdoch books.
- 3 times RCNSW Winner of Specialty restaurant 2011,2014 and 2015
- 2014 Best Breakfast, Good Food Guide
- 2013 Inner West Local Business Awards, Winner best restaurant
- 2012 Taste of Sydney, Best in Taste Award
- 2010 Inner West Business Awards-Best Restaurant
- 2016 Anatolia Finalist in IACP Best International Book Award
- Gault & Millau two toques.
7. Your cooking inspiration
My grandmother creating amazing tastes with a limited budget.
8. Your speciality dish
Kadayif prawns with muhammara.
9. Favourite dish to eat
Karniyarik, Eggplant split belly.
10. Weirdest thing you have ever eaten
11. Favourite ice cream flavour
Turkish Coffee, chocolate and cardamom by Booza ice-cream.
12. Favourite Drink
Raki, a Turkish specialty on the Bosphorus with close friends and family.
13. Favourite wine
Sevilen Magnesia Okuzgozu from Turkey, Turkish wines are not well known in Australia but there are some amazing ones out there.
14. Who would you most like to cook for
Alex de Souza; legendary Fenerbahce (my home team) player.
15. Who would you least like to cook for
A certain tall politician in Turkey, rather not give his name as he is notorious in suing anyone who does not agree/respect him.
16. Favourite things to do outside of the kitchen
Spending time with my kids and wife.
17. Your latest project
Simit, The Turkish pretzel as a street snack in Sydney, I already have the carts and the oven ready
18. Favourite city and why
To live; Sydney, best in the world especially if you are after peace and quiet. To party; Istanbul, one of the best cities to party and a lot more advanced than Sydney in embracing a nightlife culture albeit their social issues.
19. Your greatest indulgence
Visiting Gaziantep every time I am in Turkey for the best baklava and kebaps in the world.
20. Your all time best culinary tip
To make an authentic kebap, you need to chop the meat finely with a knife and never mince it.