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Chef Burak Ozdemir

Superstar chef

INTERVIEW The internet sensation, Chef Burak Ozdemir talks Cristiano Ronaldo, giving back to the community and much, much more

Q.

At what point did you realise you'd achieved celebrity status?

A.

I started at the age of 10, helping my grandfather at his restaurant. It was a passion for me that brought me joy, and I decided at the age of 13 to become a professional chef. I wanted to share my passion and creativity with everyone, so I started posting on social media at a time when there was a lack of cooking content. I started receiving overwhelming responses from people who enjoyed my style and my social media family started growing, and so did my craft. It only made me more focused on providing authentic experiences and high-quality dishes.

Q.

Which celebrity that has had food at CZNBurak has been your favourite so far?

A.

I have hosted a lot of celebrities whom I’ve been honoured by their visit and certainly enjoyed sharing my cuisine with them, such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Will Smith. Both superstars in their own field, in addition to many others whom I’ve been lucky to be close with.

Supplied Which size of CZNBurak Burger are you going for?

Q.

Do you ever feel any pressure when you know you're cooking for these stars?

A.

I love cooking, it’s my passion, and when you enjoy what you’re doing, everyone you serve is a celebrity. I’ve been a chef since I was 10, so I feel very comfortable and confident around the kitchen, and celebrities come to try something unique and of high quality, which is something I work on every day. As much as I have confidence in my skills and food, I do believe that we need to keep learning, and we can always be better.

Q.

Tell us a little about the charity work you do...

A.

I believe that being successful gives you the joy and responsibility to give back to others. We try to give back to local communities by supporting local associations that cover different causes. From food donations, inviting people of determination to experience our food or regular visits to shelters. We’d like to create a business model that actively participates in the wellbeing and care for those in need, and be associated not only with good cuisine, but also as an active and engaged member of society.

Chef Burak Ozdemir: “We’d like to create a business model that actively participates in the wellbeing and care for those in need”

Q.

What is it about the UAE that attracted you here?

A.

There’s a lot to love about the UAE. The hospitality warmth, the diversity of people, and the country’s grand ambitions - it’s an amazing place that portrays the future while maintaining its unique identity. From a business perspective, we’ve set our eyes on UAE and Dubai specifically since we started to plan on expanding outside of Turkey because of its thriving F&B market, the government support for companies and the competitive atmosphere created by all the international and local brands setup in the Emirate.

Q.

What have you discovered or what lessons have you learned about having a restaurant in Dubai?

A.

Dubai is my first destination as a brand outside of Turkey, my home country. The genuine welcome and great hospitality I’ve experienced here have helped me a lot in taking this business leap, and the diversity of this Emirate’s market helped me grow and further develop my concepts in order to live up to the local audiences’ expectations.

Q.

How did the idea for CZNBurak Burger happen?

A.

The burger concept has global appeal, and I’d had the idea to launch CZNBurak Burger for a long time. I wanted to expand the brand’s offering while maintaining the same flavours and standards that contributed to CZNBurak’s success, I wanted to introduce a different concept while keeping it dynamic and appealing to wider audiences. And after expanding to Dubai, it felt like the best place and time to finally implement this idea.

Q.

How does CZNBurak Burger stand out from the rest?

A.

In the F&B industry, the quality of the ingredients , the food’s authenticity and the genuine immaculate service play a huge role in a restaurant’s success. This is why we focus on serving our customers a high-end experience from start to finish. But what we enjoy doing at CZNBurak Burger are personal touches, and setting up a warm environment as families choose to spend their cherished moments with us, we like to think that we are contributing to these memories so we act upon it.

Q.

What makes the perfect burger?

A.

Fresh ingredients are the key to making the perfect burger, and for me personally I made my CZNBurak sauce, so that's a must. We focused on creating an authentic CZNBurak Burger taste to all our meals, from freshly baked potato buns, premium black Angus patties stuffed with cheese, locally sourced halal lamb kofta, tahini and of course the special CZNBurak sauce. We also have fresh vegetables and rich milkshakes.

Q.

What's next for you and the brand?

A.

For the time being, our main goal is to provide high quality food and service to our customers, while working on developing new projects and expanding current ones. A second CZNBurak Burger will be opening in Dubai Hills in 2022.

CZNBurak Burger is open now in The Dubai Mall

END OF INTERVIEW

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