Specialty Food Magazine

Winter 2020

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1194330

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Page 82 of 115

80 SPECIALTY FOOD SPECIALTYFOOD.COM STORE TOUR I f one word could sum up the Eastern Mediterranean focused Noosh on Fillmore Street in San Francisco it would be depth. The newest venture from accomplished husband and wife chefs Sayat and Laura Ozyilmaz, takes diners on a journey of unexpected flavors, intriguing beverages, and some of the most satisfying housemade flatbread in the city. Sayat and Laura met at the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park in New York. Already a Dartmouth graduate and engineer, Sayat decided to become a chef while traveling through Turkey, Georgia, and Armenia. He met his future wife Laura Sayes who is originally from Guerrero, Mexico, at the CIA. Both would work at celebrated restaurants in New York—Sayat at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Laura at Eleven Madison Park and Café Boulud among others. After getting married, the couple spent their honeymoon staging with over 20 restaurants throughout the country including Wolfgang Puck's Spago, Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak, and Pujol in Mexico City. Eventually, they landed in San Francisco in 2016 and began working in celebrated restaurants—Laura at Saison and Sayat at Mourad. Ottoman Empire Along with their full-time jobs, the two began planning a concept that combined their strong interest in creating community with their shared love of foods from the former Ottoman Empire region that includes the Balkans, Greece, Georgia, and Persia. Their vision came to fruition in 2016 in the form of Istanbul Modern SF—a pop-up that treats guests to unfamiliar Middle Eastern dishes layered with intriguing flavors and spices. Their inventive lamb preparations, simit (sesame encrusted breads), smoked yogurt, and house-made halloumi quickly earned the duo a loyal following who appreciated their elevated cooking styles and deep knowledge of the cuisine. It was at one of their many pop-up meals (they would serve over 10,000 guests) where John Litz, co-founder of the Lazy Bear restaurant (known for its communal dining style and refined American food), approached the couple about a partnership and a more permanent operation. In 2018 the chef couple and Litz signed a lease on their Fillmore Noosh 2001 Fillmore Street San Francisco PHOTOS: AUDREY MA  (CONTINUED ON P. 98)

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