Unveiling the Culinary Journey of Chef Fatih Tutak and TURK

Born in Istanbul, in 1985, Chef Fatih Tutak has carved a remarkable career outside Turkey, showcasing his culinary prowess in globally renowned restaurants.

His journey, influenced by the joy of his mother’s cooking, took him from culinary college in Mengen to acclaimed kitchens across China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Thailand.

Unveiling the Culinary Journey of Chef Fatih Tutak and TURK

This article delves into the chef’s globetrotting experiences, the evolution of his culinary philosophy, and the birth of TURK, a restaurant that received 2 stars in the inaugural MICHELIN Guide Istanbul 2022.

Exploring Global Horizons

Chef Tutak’s culinary odyssey began in China’s port cities, followed by an enriching stint in Tokyo at Nihonryori Ryugin.

A unique opportunity led him to Noma in Copenhagen under René Redzepi. Immersing himself in various cultures, he refined his skills and returned to Asia, ultimately landing in Thailand, where he achieved international acclaim.

The pivotal moment in Chef Tutak’s career occurred during a private dinner in Thailand, where he created ‘From my Mom,’ a reinterpretation of Turkish dumplings. This emotional connection sparked a profound realization: the importance of exploring and celebrating his Turkish heritage. Thus, the concept of ‘New Turkish Cuisine’ was born.

Rediscovering Turkish Culinary Roots

Returning to Turkey in 2019, Chef Tutak immersed himself in the country’s rich culinary tapestry. Blending traditional ingredients and forgotten recipes, he sought to redefine Turkish cuisine.

Unveiling the Culinary Journey of Chef Fatih Tutak and TURK

His focus on storytelling through food involved sourcing indigenous produce, and working closely with local farmers, fishermen, and spice dealers.

In December 2019, Chef Tutak unveiled TURK, a restaurant that not only marked his return to Istanbul but also represented a deep dive into Turkey’s cultural and culinary history.

With the restaurant earning 2 stars in the MICHELIN Guide Istanbul 2022, TURK epitomizes Chef Tutak’s commitment to modernizing and pushing the boundaries of Turkish cuisine.

Culinary Innovation and Sustainability

Chef Tutak’s commitment to sustainability is evident in his collaboration with local artisans and exploration of new ingredients during the Covid lockdown. By preserving last year’s harvest through fermentation, he transforms humble ingredients into extraordinary elements, showcasing a deep respect for the environment and local produce.

Unveiling the Culinary Journey of Chef Fatih Tutak and TURK

Chef Tutak’s innovative approach to ingredients extends to his philosophy of “Cooking with Time.” This involves understanding the optimal taste of each ingredient and celebrating micro-seasonality. The TURK Tasting Menu, featuring 10 servings, reflects this philosophy, with wine or juice pairings highlighting Turkey’s diverse terroir.

TURK’s Elegant Ambiance

Beyond the culinary delights, TURK offers an elegant and welcoming atmosphere. The interior, characterized by contemporary design and bespoke ceramics, creates a sense of tranquillity. The open kitchen and fire provide a captivating spectacle, allowing guests to witness the culinary magic up close.

Unveiling the Culinary Journey of Chef Fatih Tutak and TURK

From the moment of reservation, TURK promises guests an authentic experience, akin to being invited into one’s home. The warm tones, wooden structures, and Tuscan hide furnishings create a harmonious setting, embodying the heart of Turkish culture.

TURK, under Chef Fatih Tutak’s guidance, is more than a restaurant; it’s a journey through Turkey’s past and a glimpse into its culinary future. The fusion of East and West, the celebration of history, and the exploration of possibilities make TURK a culinary destination that transcends the ordinary.

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