hotel&touristik essenz 03/2022

45 CONTEMPORARY CUISINE You’ve cooked in the world’s best kitchens and with the best of the best from Beijing to Tokyo, Singapore, Hongkong, Bangkok and Copenhagen before returning to Istanbul and opening your Turk Fatih Tatuk – what made you decide to open your restaurant in your home country? Turk was my homecoming. I wanted to return to my roots and create a new language in Turkish cuisine. I had to be in Istanbul, otherwise I couldn’t make the impact I wanted to, and I had to do it from the heart. It’s a strong name: Turk. It was bold, it’s a lot to live up to. I could see there was a chance to develop a new Turkish cuisine, a cuisine for the future. One that would bring Turkish food to another level. Turkish cuisine deserves to be better established in the global gastronomy arena. I needed to be connected to my home, I needed the products and the culture. How formative were the years in Asia for you as a person and your professional development? Which accents from this world and especially from Asian cuisine can be found in your restaurant? Of course, I’m influenced by my travels. Asian cuisine as a whole as it’s so incredibly diverse, depending on where you are. But wherever I lived, I learned from those around me. I apply all sorts of techniques that I picked up on my travels. Travelling helped me create my voice in cooking, as my style combines my heritage and experiences. Turkish manti dumplings become one of my signature dishes. We stuff itanti with dry-aged beef, lots of onion, black pepper, salt, water, and beef jelly, made from a beef jus. Means, that when you cook the dumplings, the jus melts and creates a delicious stock, exploding in your mouth like Chinese xiaolongbao (Anm.: chinesische Teigtaschen). The way we prepare some seafood is influenced by my time in Japan, and we use koji (Anm.: japanischer Schimmelpilz) for fermentations. It’s worth noting that Turks originally came from central Asia. So it’s no wonder, I felt the East calling. To what extent was Noma – voted the world’s best restaurant several times – and René Redzepi’s modern interpretation of Nordic dishes inspirational for your Turk Fatih Tutak? The year I went to Denmark was revolutionary for gastronomy, and Noma led the charge. I also applied to Mugartiz and El Celler de Can Roca, but the confirmation came from Noma. What they were doing was blowing my mind, adding another level into gastronomy. It was a significant milestone and altered my vision. I have been influenced by the Scandinavian rules of purity and simplicity and their modern use of herbs. I learnt a lot from how they introduce complex levels of umami using fermentation, something we love to do at Turk. Like Noma, we champion underused, forgotten local and native ingredients at Turk. What is special about the Turk, what can the guests look forward to? At Turk, we always cook withmassive respect for the ingredients. Our kitchen is very productbased, using local ingredients to inspire us. We research our ingredients to use themat their optimal point, always respecting nature. All of my global experiences have impactedmy style today. Our flavours are apparent, refined, yet intense. We try to showour deep culture and heritage at Turk. However, wemust also use it to drivemy country’s cuisine forward. What we are doing is a unique experience. „Dishes must touch the heart“ So gut kocht man in der Türkei Von Brigitte Charwat Dass Fatih Tutak Koch wurde – und zwar einer der besten der Türkei – ist der wunderbaren „Mama-Küche“ zu verdanken. Die führte den jungen Fatih nämlich direkt in jene Kochschule, die im Land für die Ausbildung der besten Köche des Landes bekannt ist. Bevor Tutak mit seinem „Turk“ wieder zu seinenWurzeln zurückkehrte, kochte er sich von Qingdao bis Beijing, von Singapur bis Tokio und von Hongkong bis Bangkok erfolgsgekrönt quer durch Asien. „We simply strive to do better every day. If we’re recognised for that, then obviously that’s a fantastic bonus.“