News | 04 Sep 2017

Mehmet Gurs - Istanbul's Celebrity Chef

News | 04 Sep 2017

Mehmet Gurs - Istanbul's Celebrity Chef

Chef Mehmet Gürs, an icon of the Istanbul dining scene that its country should be proud of, was raised in Stockholm and Istanbul by his Turkish father and Finnish-Swedish mother. After an eight-year stint training and working in the United States, he returned to Turkey to start his first restaurant in 1996 and as they say, the rest is history. 

In a candid phone interview with Aspire Lifestyles, Chef Gürs shares his thoughts on his passion for cooking and future plans for his gastronomy empire.

Aspire Lifestyles: Chef Gürs, congratulations on your rising through the positions on the World’s 50 Best listing! Tell us more about the latest updates with your business?

Chef Gürs: Thank you very much! It’s been really amazing so far, to see our hard work being paid off and recognised on a global platform. We are gaining a lot of attention globally and that is great news…but as I always say, it is not just my solo effort, I also have my team to thank for our success. Today, we have a team of 300, working with us in the restaurants in Istanbul and another 150 in other cities. Everyone works hard and deserves the credit all the same.

Aspire Lifestyles: Tell us more about your story…how did you really get started in this business and realise your “calling” to be a Chef?

Chef Gürs: To be honest, I don’t really have a “romantic” story to tell, unlike many others! I didn’t think much of what I wanted to become until I stumbled upon it. Cooking was always a big part of my growing up years, my Scandinavian upbringing instilled a huge sense of “individual responsibility” and everyone was always taught to contribute in some way to society. That was how I started out helping out in a restaurant back then.

I also stayed very close to nature where I lived and foraging for wild ingredients like mushrooms, berries and herbs was both fun, yet intriguing to me as a youth. I think that deep love for nature and its connection to food was what really got me started in making this a full time career.

Aspire Lifestyles: What about your parents? Did they play an important role in shaping your career?

Chef Gürs: My father was an architect and my mother was a designer so they didn’t shape my career in a direct way. However they were always supportive of whatever I did since I was young and I think that gave me a sense of “responsible freedom” to develop my career. When I was considering where to move to after the US, my dad was the one who suggested for me to look at Istanbul as it was a time when commercialisation was really booming and I’m glad he did that recommendation.

Aspire Lifestyles: You run so many restaurants and café under your company, how do you juggle and what do you do to relax in your free time?

Chef Gürs: Family time is important to me and so I spend most of my days off with my wife and my young son. I love the ocean and the mountains, so we take a lot of day trips to go surfing, skiing or sailing. Istanbul is in a great location and you can find a change of landscape all within a short driving distance away.  A great day is one where I get to drive with my son in the back-seat, we go off to recharge and come back end of the day feeling refreshed.


Aspire Lifestyles: Sounds like you love traveling, so what was the longest trip you’ve ever taken? Business trips are not counted!

Chef Gürs: Actually I try to take one month off every year just to disconnect completely. We sometimes go to exotic destinations, like the Philippines, or rent a boat in Costa Rica and sail the entire month. Right now, however, my son has reached schooling age so we cannot afford to take such long vacations, but we will still try to visit new places every now and then.

Aspire Lifestyles: What are your future plans for the restaurant group?

Chef Gürs: I believe in being selective about the kinds of projects I take on now because I want to really enjoy my work and feel passion for it. We are definitely looking to develop our brand internationally. In fact, besides restaurants, I am about to launch a roasted coffee brand in 2018 in a location where I cannot announce for now. I am also a consultant for a few joint ventures with other restaurant brands. I cannot say for sure, where my next restaurant will be, but I think it’s going to be very exciting for the Istanbul Food & Beverage Group in the near future!

News | 04 Sep 2017

Mehmet Gurs - Istanbul's Celebrity Chef

Chef Mehmet Gürs, an icon of the Istanbul dining scene that its country should be proud of, was raised in Stockholm and Istanbul by his Turkish father and Finnish-Swedish mother. After an eight-year stint training and working in the United States, he returned to Turkey to start his first restaurant in 1996 and as they say, the rest is history. 

In a candid phone interview with Aspire Lifestyles, Chef Gürs shares his thoughts on his passion for cooking and future plans for his gastronomy empire.

Aspire Lifestyles: Chef Gürs, congratulations on your rising through the positions on the World’s 50 Best listing! Tell us more about the latest updates with your business?

Chef Gürs: Thank you very much! It’s been really amazing so far, to see our hard work being paid off and recognised on a global platform. We are gaining a lot of attention globally and that is great news…but as I always say, it is not just my solo effort, I also have my team to thank for our success. Today, we have a team of 300, working with us in the restaurants in Istanbul and another 150 in other cities. Everyone works hard and deserves the credit all the same.

Aspire Lifestyles: Tell us more about your story…how did you really get started in this business and realise your “calling” to be a Chef?

Chef Gürs: To be honest, I don’t really have a “romantic” story to tell, unlike many others! I didn’t think much of what I wanted to become until I stumbled upon it. Cooking was always a big part of my growing up years, my Scandinavian upbringing instilled a huge sense of “individual responsibility” and everyone was always taught to contribute in some way to society. That was how I started out helping out in a restaurant back then.

I also stayed very close to nature where I lived and foraging for wild ingredients like mushrooms, berries and herbs was both fun, yet intriguing to me as a youth. I think that deep love for nature and its connection to food was what really got me started in making this a full time career.

Aspire Lifestyles: What about your parents? Did they play an important role in shaping your career?

Chef Gürs: My father was an architect and my mother was a designer so they didn’t shape my career in a direct way. However they were always supportive of whatever I did since I was young and I think that gave me a sense of “responsible freedom” to develop my career. When I was considering where to move to after the US, my dad was the one who suggested for me to look at Istanbul as it was a time when commercialisation was really booming and I’m glad he did that recommendation.

Aspire Lifestyles: You run so many restaurants and café under your company, how do you juggle and what do you do to relax in your free time?

Chef Gürs: Family time is important to me and so I spend most of my days off with my wife and my young son. I love the ocean and the mountains, so we take a lot of day trips to go surfing, skiing or sailing. Istanbul is in a great location and you can find a change of landscape all within a short driving distance away.  A great day is one where I get to drive with my son in the back-seat, we go off to recharge and come back end of the day feeling refreshed.


Aspire Lifestyles: Sounds like you love traveling, so what was the longest trip you’ve ever taken? Business trips are not counted!

Chef Gürs: Actually I try to take one month off every year just to disconnect completely. We sometimes go to exotic destinations, like the Philippines, or rent a boat in Costa Rica and sail the entire month. Right now, however, my son has reached schooling age so we cannot afford to take such long vacations, but we will still try to visit new places every now and then.

Aspire Lifestyles: What are your future plans for the restaurant group?

Chef Gürs: I believe in being selective about the kinds of projects I take on now because I want to really enjoy my work and feel passion for it. We are definitely looking to develop our brand internationally. In fact, besides restaurants, I am about to launch a roasted coffee brand in 2018 in a location where I cannot announce for now. I am also a consultant for a few joint ventures with other restaurant brands. I cannot say for sure, where my next restaurant will be, but I think it’s going to be very exciting for the Istanbul Food & Beverage Group in the near future!

Chef Mehmet Gürs, an icon of the Istanbul dining scene that its country should be proud of, was raised in Stockholm and Istanbul by his Turkish father and Finnish-Swedish mother. After an eight-year stint training and working in the United States, he returned to Turkey to start his first restaurant in 1996 and as they say, the rest is history. 

In a candid phone interview with Aspire Lifestyles, Chef Gürs shares his thoughts on his passion for cooking and future plans for his gastronomy empire.

Aspire Lifestyles: Chef Gürs, congratulations on your rising through the positions on the World’s 50 Best listing! Tell us more about the latest updates with your business?

Chef Gürs: Thank you very much! It’s been really amazing so far, to see our hard work being paid off and recognised on a global platform. We are gaining a lot of attention globally and that is great news…but as I always say, it is not just my solo effort, I also have my team to thank for our success. Today, we have a team of 300, working with us in the restaurants in Istanbul and another 150 in other cities. Everyone works hard and deserves the credit all the same.

Aspire Lifestyles: Tell us more about your story…how did you really get started in this business and realise your “calling” to be a Chef?

Chef Gürs: To be honest, I don’t really have a “romantic” story to tell, unlike many others! I didn’t think much of what I wanted to become until I stumbled upon it. Cooking was always a big part of my growing up years, my Scandinavian upbringing instilled a huge sense of “individual responsibility” and everyone was always taught to contribute in some way to society. That was how I started out helping out in a restaurant back then.

I also stayed very close to nature where I lived and foraging for wild ingredients like mushrooms, berries and herbs was both fun, yet intriguing to me as a youth. I think that deep love for nature and its connection to food was what really got me started in making this a full time career.

Aspire Lifestyles: What about your parents? Did they play an important role in shaping your career?

Chef Gürs: My father was an architect and my mother was a designer so they didn’t shape my career in a direct way. However they were always supportive of whatever I did since I was young and I think that gave me a sense of “responsible freedom” to develop my career. When I was considering where to move to after the US, my dad was the one who suggested for me to look at Istanbul as it was a time when commercialisation was really booming and I’m glad he did that recommendation.

Aspire Lifestyles: You run so many restaurants and café under your company, how do you juggle and what do you do to relax in your free time?

Chef Gürs: Family time is important to me and so I spend most of my days off with my wife and my young son. I love the ocean and the mountains, so we take a lot of day trips to go surfing, skiing or sailing. Istanbul is in a great location and you can find a change of landscape all within a short driving distance away.  A great day is one where I get to drive with my son in the back-seat, we go off to recharge and come back end of the day feeling refreshed.


Aspire Lifestyles: Sounds like you love traveling, so what was the longest trip you’ve ever taken? Business trips are not counted!

Chef Gürs: Actually I try to take one month off every year just to disconnect completely. We sometimes go to exotic destinations, like the Philippines, or rent a boat in Costa Rica and sail the entire month. Right now, however, my son has reached schooling age so we cannot afford to take such long vacations, but we will still try to visit new places every now and then.

Aspire Lifestyles: What are your future plans for the restaurant group?

Chef Gürs: I believe in being selective about the kinds of projects I take on now because I want to really enjoy my work and feel passion for it. We are definitely looking to develop our brand internationally. In fact, besides restaurants, I am about to launch a roasted coffee brand in 2018 in a location where I cannot announce for now. I am also a consultant for a few joint ventures with other restaurant brands. I cannot say for sure, where my next restaurant will be, but I think it’s going to be very exciting for the Istanbul Food & Beverage Group in the near future!

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Chef Mehmet Gürs, an icon of the Istanbul dining scene that its country should be proud of, was raised in Stockholm and Istanbul by his Turkish father and Finnish-Swedish mother. After an eight-year stint training and working in the United States, he returned to Turkey to start his first restaurant in 1996 and as they say, the rest is history. 

In a candid phone interview with Aspire Lifestyles, Chef Gürs shares his thoughts on his passion for cooking and future plans for his gastronomy empire.

Aspire Lifestyles: Chef Gürs, congratulations on your rising through the positions on the World’s 50 Best listing! Tell us more about the latest updates with your business?

Chef Gürs: Thank you very much! It’s been really amazing so far, to see our hard work being paid off and recognised on a global platform. We are gaining a lot of attention globally and that is great news…but as I always say, it is not just my solo effort, I also have my team to thank for our success. Today, we have a team of 300, working with us in the restaurants in Istanbul and another 150 in other cities. Everyone works hard and deserves the credit all the same.

Aspire Lifestyles: Tell us more about your story…how did you really get started in this business and realise your “calling” to be a Chef?

Chef Gürs: To be honest, I don’t really have a “romantic” story to tell, unlike many others! I didn’t think much of what I wanted to become until I stumbled upon it. Cooking was always a big part of my growing up years, my Scandinavian upbringing instilled a huge sense of “individual responsibility” and everyone was always taught to contribute in some way to society. That was how I started out helping out in a restaurant back then.

I also stayed very close to nature where I lived and foraging for wild ingredients like mushrooms, berries and herbs was both fun, yet intriguing to me as a youth. I think that deep love for nature and its connection to food was what really got me started in making this a full time career.

Aspire Lifestyles: What about your parents? Did they play an important role in shaping your career?

Chef Gürs: My father was an architect and my mother was a designer so they didn’t shape my career in a direct way. However they were always supportive of whatever I did since I was young and I think that gave me a sense of “responsible freedom” to develop my career. When I was considering where to move to after the US, my dad was the one who suggested for me to look at Istanbul as it was a time when commercialisation was really booming and I’m glad he did that recommendation.

Aspire Lifestyles: You run so many restaurants and café under your company, how do you juggle and what do you do to relax in your free time?

Chef Gürs: Family time is important to me and so I spend most of my days off with my wife and my young son. I love the ocean and the mountains, so we take a lot of day trips to go surfing, skiing or sailing. Istanbul is in a great location and you can find a change of landscape all within a short driving distance away.  A great day is one where I get to drive with my son in the back-seat, we go off to recharge and come back end of the day feeling refreshed.


Aspire Lifestyles: Sounds like you love traveling, so what was the longest trip you’ve ever taken? Business trips are not counted!

Chef Gürs: Actually I try to take one month off every year just to disconnect completely. We sometimes go to exotic destinations, like the Philippines, or rent a boat in Costa Rica and sail the entire month. Right now, however, my son has reached schooling age so we cannot afford to take such long vacations, but we will still try to visit new places every now and then.

Aspire Lifestyles: What are your future plans for the restaurant group?

Chef Gürs: I believe in being selective about the kinds of projects I take on now because I want to really enjoy my work and feel passion for it. We are definitely looking to develop our brand internationally. In fact, besides restaurants, I am about to launch a roasted coffee brand in 2018 in a location where I cannot announce for now. I am also a consultant for a few joint ventures with other restaurant brands. I cannot say for sure, where my next restaurant will be, but I think it’s going to be very exciting for the Istanbul Food & Beverage Group in the near future!

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