Saturday, July 13, 2024

“Inspiring People and Places III, EL TURCO”



An oasis in Miami: a Turkish Restaurant on the Michelin Bib Gourmand list EL TURCO

We will introduce you to such a place that you will read its story with interest and pride. They have been ranked in the “Bib Gourmand” list of Michelins, one of the world’s most prestigious gourmet awards for two years. A warm atmosphere blended with reeds and Turkish culture in the most tropical environment of Miami. Not to mention the possibility of having your Sunday breakfast with Hollywood celebrities. The last time we saw her, Gloria Estefan was having a rich Turkish breakfast while drinking her tea in her evil eye-beaded glass. Now let’s hear the story of this inspiring place from Nurdan Gur Yuzbasıoglu, the co-founder and partner of El Turco;

ARTTMODERNMİAMİ GAZETE: Ms. Nurdan, can we get to know you, please?

NURDAN GUR YUZBASIOGLU: Starting my career as a public relations manager in the F&B sector, I continued by opening my businesses. The businesses I opened in Istanbul and Bodrum received awards as the most popular and successful businesses of the period. I had the chance to host world-famous names in the Red Room of the Istanbul Ritz Carlton Hotel and the Tantra in Bodrum, which were also designed by me.

Afterward, I moved to the fashion and retail industry and worked as a manager at Harvey Nichols and Galeries Lafayette, a world-famous department store for many years. Again, I had the opportunity to carry out the activities of world-famous designers to enter the Turkish market and to work with these designers one-on-one.

Afterward, we achieved international success with El Turco, the Turkish restaurant brand we launched in Miami, and now we are in the process of expanding our brand.


NURDAN GUR YUZBASIOGLU: ‘El Turco’ was born with our desire and dreams to represent Turkish cuisine and Turkish culture abroad. When we felt we had found the right place, we took action and brought our brand to life.

ARTTMODERNMIAMI NEWSPAPER: Who designed El Turco Restaurant?

NURDAN GUR YUZBASIOGLU: El Turco’s design belongs to me. When I say it belongs to me, our restaurant has a design in which we bring together local equipment to promote Turkish culture and traditional Turkish cuisine. The evil eye bead I use in our logo is the main element of the design. We supply all equipment such as plates, pans, pots, tea cups, and coffee cups from Turkey.

ARTTMODERNMIAMI NEWSPAPER: There is another branch of El Turco in East Hampton, how is its concept? Managing Miami and Hampton successfully isn’t easy. What is the secret?

NURDAN GUR YUZBASIOGLU: Although East Hampton and Miami are restaurants with the same brand, there are many points where they differ. While Miami is a restaurant with a more bohemian Turkish breakfast, Hampton is a restaurant designed for dinner. Hampton has a client of its own. An area where world-famous names have their summer residence, our restaurant is on the side street of Jeff Bezos’ house. Although it has been open for a short time, we had the chance to host world-famous actors and business people. This place is only open in the summer. Miami, on the other hand, is a restaurant that is open in summer and winter, serving both locals and tourists. Its menu includes lighter, more casserole dishes than Hampton. Since Hampton is a summer restaurant, the two are somewhat easier to manage. We also have a partner in East Hampton and we are well-organized and progressing smoothly with him at the moment.

ARTTMODERNMIAMI GAZETE: I come to an important question. How did it happen to be included in the Michelin list as “Bib Gourmand”? And what does it feel like?

NURDAN GUR YUZBASIOGLU: Being eligible for a Michelin award or being examined for inclusion in the guide is completely out of your knowledge. As a result of numerous inspections, when the awards are announced, you learn that you have received an award. We have been receiving the Michelin Award, the biggest award in the food and beverage industry in the world, and the “Bib Gourmand”, one of the most important categories of this award, for two years in a row. “Bib Gourmand” is an award that makes a very serious commercial contribution to a business other than the pride it gives. Because this award is given to places that offer very good food at an affordable price, and because of this feature, it is a category that is followed a lot. Receiving the award is a very happy and motivational feeling. It’s a reward that makes you feel like your hard work pays off.

ARTTMODERNMIAMI NEWSPAPER: Can you define success for us? And on the way to success, can we get 5 tips from you?

NURDAN GUR YUZBASIOGLU: I can list the 5 indispensable criteria on the road to success as follows;


2- Communication



5-Belief that you can achieve anything

ARTTMODERNMIAMI NEWSPAPER: What is your future goal? Where do you see yourself in five years?

NURDAN GUR YUZBASIOGLU: I am also the Florida representative and brand face of the Gastronomy Tourism Association. For this purpose, I also have a mission to promote Turkish gastronomy in the best way possible. I hope to have come a long way in reaching this goal in 5 years. I aim to open many branches of our brand in different countries.

ARTTMODERNMİAMİ NEWSPAPER: Ms. Nurdan, we included you and El Turco in our “inspiring people” interview series because you created a mix by taking Turkish culture and cuisine and taking the mosaics of that place on a completely different continent. It turned out to be a wonderful piece of work. The interest of the employees and the taste of the kitchen has added flavor to your work. We’re sure it will inspire many, where do your words and your inspiration come from?

NURDAN GUR YUZBASIOGLU: I get my inspiration from my dreams. While I’m dreaming, I never put obstacles on myself, I don’t think about what it will be like, I just feel like it has happened. The world-famous author Stefano D’Anna told me that everything starts with a dream when he signed the book “The School of the Gods”. This is my motto.

ARTTMODERNMİAMİ GAZETE: Will El Turco have new branches?

NURDAN GUR YUZBASIOGLU: We have plans for El Turco to have other branches. We are currently working on our new restaurant, which is about to open. We also have growth targets in other countries. London could be our next step.

ARTTMODERNMIAMI NEWSPAPER: Finally; Can you summarize your life philosophy in 3 words or 3 sentences?

NURDAN GUR YUZBASIOGLU: Dream, learn from your mistakes and do a favor. Self-love and self-confidence are also very important. In addition, paying attention to details and paying attention to what you do is the key to success, I think. It can also be to fix the bed you wake up this morning, if you can assemble your bed as neatly and symmetrically as a hotel bed, you are one step ahead of your competitors.

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