Chef Sinem Özler

Chef Sinem Özler comes from an Istanbul family with roots in the Thessaloniki-Erzurum synthesis. She has a career unrelated to cooking. After graduating from Antalya High School and the Advertising and Desktop Publishing Department of Istanbul University, she began her career in the customer relations department of an advertising agency. After 10 years of managing advertising agencies, she entered the food and beverage industry as a manager. Although her career at Seraf initially started as a manager when she crossed paths with her current partner Doğan Yıldırım in 2015, her adventure in Seraf kitchen as a chef began within the first 3 years due to the departure of 3 different chefs and Doğan Bey’s encouragement.

There are turning points in a person’s life; sometimes the stars align so beautifully at that turning point that things you thought were impossible become possible and even wonderful. Let’s hear about those difficult days from Chef Sinem’s own words:

They were very difficult days. Managing a restaurant with such high standards was already difficult enough, but 3 chefs in the kitchen left one after the other. During that time, while we were thinking about what to do, Doğan Yıldırım said, «There is no other solution, you will have to enter the kitchen; I am with you on everything you need. Otherwise we will have to leave this business.» I could not sleep for days. Cooking at home is one thing, but producing flawless meals for a 400-person restaurant from that kitchen, managing a professional kitchen with 80 people and service staff, and doing all of this without any chef experience is another thing. Looking back from where we are today, I see that there was only one factor that enabled me to make such a bold decision, which was Doğan Yıldırım's unconditional belief in me even when I didn't believe in myself, and his spiritual support that never wavered even on the most difficult days.

– Sinem Özler

After such a brave, even crazy decision, Chef Sinem’s chef days begin, where she arrives in the kitchen before the staff at 7:00 am every morning and travels throughout Turkey in search of unique recipes and the best ingredients, which is challenging but enjoyable at the same time, and she never loses her smile despite any difficulties.

Recipes From Sinem Özler