Executive Chef of The Grand Tarabya Selçuk Gönen, serving in the dining sector over 20 years, is among the chefs of Mengen, Bolu.
Following his vocational school education, Gönen, who worked as a chef at Brasserie D’oeuf in Nişantaşı, Tuğra Restaurant and Laledan in Çırağan Palace, and AzzuR Restaurant in Mövenpick Hotel, has gained experience both in the Turkish and the world cuisines. Gönen who made a statement as the executive chef of The Grand Tarabya said that they appeal to a special mass that enjoys to repletion what İstanbul has to offer… We had an interview with him about the flavor concept, with which he advances.
A combination of taste, calmness and solitude
Offering the best view of the Tarabya Cove, R.E.A.D. Café & Bakery serves between 8 am and 11 pm everyday. Executive Chef of The Grand Tarabya Selçuk Gönen who expresses that R.E.A.D Café & Bakery is among the restaurants within the Grand Tarabya said, “I am the executive chef who is responsible from all the kitchens in the hotel. R.E.A.D Café & Bakery has been serving for both hotel and out of the hotel guests since 2013. Our menu consists of local and international dishes. We give priority to set our menu items with a focus on local and seasonal products. We give place to the international dishes, of course. As the name gives it away, R.E.A.D Café & Bakery (Recharge, Eat, Drink) with a simple and comfortable decoration offers its guests a quiet place to eat and relax, facing the wonderful view of the Bosphorus. Everyone who enjoys experiencing to repletion what İstanbul has to offer and a big fan of delicious meals is our guest. We appeal to a large mass of clients from those who live nearby to those who work at surrounding plazas. Families that want to start their weekend with a nice breakfast and our young clients who plan their meetings with friends to take place here are also among them.”
The menu was redesigned
Highlighting the redesigning of the whole menu, Selçuk Gönen made the following comment on his work style in the kitchen and their prominent dishes: “We added a different touch to our new menu. At this point, we can summarize our most popular specials as grilled rib steak with Café de Paris sauce, a sauce unique to R.E.A.D., shrimp with butter in earthenware, grilled meatballs, hamburger, eggs royale with Hollandaise sauce. We are a team of 8 in the kitchen. I value having an organized and planned working style while cooking… Any kind of uncertainty or disorder experienced in the kitchen irritates me very much. Food hygiene is a must. I trust my team on that. Everyone in the team is highly educated and conscious on that part. Providing seasonal produce is also important. Cooking makes me very happy. I chose this profession to perform a profession that makes me happy. I focus on specials of the Turkish cuisine and works that would bring new approaches to the other cuisines.”
He controls the daily operations one by one
Selçuk Gönen who starts the work at 8 am everyday realizes their daily operations meeting with the sous-chefs at 8.30 am. Gönen goes over the details of every operation for the day such as banquet group events or reservations for the restaurants and plans for the next day. He said, “Following the meeting, after I realize the daily checks in the kitchens, I participate in another meeting with the director general of our hotel at 9.30 am. We go over the daily administrative matters related to my department in this meeting. After this meeting ends, I follow-up with the daily orders and monthly schedule. Rest of my time is spent by general tasting and checking the products prepared in all of our kitchens. If there is no other operation in our hotel for the evening, my work day ends at 6.30 pm.” Gönen does not forget to give some advice to the young people who want to choose this profession: “Our young friends who want to choose this profession should be following the new trends in the dining sector. We are living in a geography with a very rich dining culture.”
Ingredients: 300 gram jumbo shrimp, 2 cloves of garlic, 120 gram salted butter, 2 fresh green peppers, 5 cherry tomatoes, fresh thyme, salt, ground red and black pepper, red pepper flakes.
Directions: After cleaning the shrimp, thin-slice the garlic. Slice the cherry tomatoes and chop the green peppers. Melt the butter in a pan. Salt and spice up the shrimp and saute with butter. Add the following into the pan in the same order: green peppers, tomatoes, and garlic. When the shrimp curls up, remove from the heat and serve with fresh thyme. Enjoy!