The Architect of The Zesty Dishes

The Architect of The Zesty Dishes

Ertan Koca, who has left 6.5 years behind in the dining industry, is one of the young and experienced chefs of the gastronomy world of Istanbul.

Koca, who started his career in the Kantin restaurant of Şemsa Denizsel, worked at İzmir Club Marvy and The Urban Goat in Nişantaşı. He is currently serving as the executive chef of Cuma in Çukurcuma, owned by Banu Tiryakioğlu. You can come across tourists working on their notebooks or sipping their coffee at any time of the day at the place that appeals to tourists as well as locals with its location and atmosphere.

Special dishes of the world cuisine

Serving in Çukurcuma since 2013, the executive chef of Salon, Ertan Koca, advances by focusing on different specialties in the dining industry. Koca, who blends prominent specialties in every area of the world cuisine, including hot and cold specialties, with a unique flavor style, said, “The sections in the world cuisine are not categorized within themselves. There is no discrimination like Italian, Chinese, French cuisine. In this sense, the world cuisine contains traces of flavors from different cultures. I am quite assertive about appetizers, cold salads, and meat specialties.” Koca, whose vision is meticulous in terms of discipline, cleanliness, and product quality, believes that the presentation should make a difference in addition to preparing beautiful and delicious specialties. Underlining that Cuma appeals to a wide audience, Koca continues his words: “We offer different options to our target audience. Here they can start the day with a very nice breakfast. Especially the demand for our different omelet dishes is very high. Then they can experience our delicious desserts while sipping their coffee. We have great main dishes for lunch and dinner. For those who prefer lighter flavors, we have salads consisting of different taste combinations. We will also have new items in our spring and summer menu.”

Brings the bar to the highest with salads

The first thing that draws your attention when you take a look at the breakfast menu is the poached eggs with cheese and spices. Homemade jams, rosehip marmalade, milk cream, Bolu’s spicy meze, Bandırma’s cottage cheese with fresh herbs are also popular… Vegan and vegetarians are not forgotten either. Goat cheese and scrambled eggs over sour bread slices are really one of the most appetizing options… Those who want to have a healthier and fresh breakfast can choose alternatives such as granola or a panini with avocado, mozzarella, and tomato slices. The salad section of the menu clearly reveals all the skills of Ertan Koca. Having brought the bar to the highest with sea bass salad with avocado and capers, beet salad with Ezine cheese, green apple and spinach, endive salad with smoked curd cheese, pear, and organic fennel, Koca is a real wizard in the kitchen to adapt different tastes that match each other. The taste of steak with demi glace sauce and the taste of Georgian ravioli with porcini and salty yogurt from Antakya region is still in our palate. Koca, who leads a team of five in the kitchen, emphasizes that the most important rule of preparing delicious dishes is team harmony, selection of right-fresh-quality ingredients and equipment that will not go beyond the recipes and always give the same taste to the palate.

Özel buluşmaların da adresi

Ertan Koca, who always checks the required supplies and pays attention to the presentation of every special dish to the guests, says that they get loyal customers in return for their dedication. “Cooking is a really difficult and stressful job. But when you work in harmony with the right teams and manage time in the best way, all problems disappear,” says Koca and gives advice to the young chefs who want to rise in this profession: work hard and be constructive. Expressing that the young chef candidates who aim to perform this profession should be able to fulfill their duties with great devotion, Koca said, “They should not forget that they will learn by trial and error and gain experience. When they are assigned to a job, they must be able to say, “I can do it” instead of saying “I cannot.” They should not be afraid of making mistakes and should not hesitate to ask questions.” The biggest dream of Ertan Koca is to open a cozy restaurant where seafood and meze options are intertwined in an Aegean coastal town. Ertan Koca, who is the executive chef of Salon Cuma, which serves on the third floor in the same building as well as Cuma, says that Salon Friday has a structure that appeals to special group meetings. The leading names of the business and art world can coordinate meetings or special events for up to 80 people with their own teams in Salon Cuma on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. 

DUCK CONFIT RECIPE BY CHEF ERTAN KOCA

Ingredients for the marinade sauce: 1 stem of rosemary, 1 stem of thyme, 1/2 onion, 3 gram black pepper, 5 gram salt, 100 ml duck fat and 180 gram duck meat.

Ingredients for the Basmati rice pilaf: 1/2 lime, 1 stem of green onion, 1/2 chili pepper, 500 gram basmati rice, 650 gram water, 10 gram oil, 15 gram water, 5 gram currant raisins, 3 gram orange zest, 10 gram roasted (in oil) almonds and 10 gram pomegranate seeds.

Ingredients for the chutney sauce: 100 gram onion, 5 gram butter, 5 gram sugar, 10 gram balsamic sauce.

Directions: Marinate the duck meat with spices and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 45 minutes. Place the baked duck into a pan and fry it. While preparing the Basmati pilaf add salt and butter after adding water into the pot. Once the water boils, add the rice and the other ingredients. Lower the heat and simmer. Add the currant raisins, orange zest, and almonds to taste. Saute the onion with butter to make the chutney sauce. Add sugar and stir until it picks up a color. Add the balsamic sauce and cook until the sauce is absorbed. Add basmati rice pilaf on to a service plate and place the duck meat on to the pilaf. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and serve with the chutney sauce. Enjoy!

PHOTOGRAPHER/MESUDE BÜLBÜL