Even though Istanbul’s top restaurants have not yet been bestowed with any Michelin stars, there are more than a few chefs whose culinary creations deserve to be awarded. Reinterpreting the Turkish and Anatolian kitchens, these four chefs have elevated Istanbul’s food culture with striking menus and venues that always require reservations in advance.
Born in İskenderun, Maksut Aşkar received an education in the kitchen while studying tourism and hotel management and spent a lot of time working at Istanbul restaurants and cafés. Upon graduating, Aşkar became manager at Nupera and began experimenting with food. Convinced that food evokes all the senses, he soon began doing food consultancy, and between the years 2007 and 2009, he opened his first restaurant, Multi, followed by LilBits between 2009-2012. However, it wasn’t until the chef opened his current restaurant, Neolokal, that he really began to express Turkish cuisine as a minimal art form. The tasting menus adhere to the farm-to-table concept and are composed of reinterpreted dishes whose inspiration comes from all corners of Anatolia.