Turkish Kitchen reopens, ‘hospitality is crucial factor’

Turkish Kitchen on Madison’s West Aspect reopened Oct. 6 after it was closed for about three weeks for a kitchen growth.

Huseyin Gurhan Cokugurluel, 44, opened the restaurant at 749 S. Gammon Highway, in late 2019, then obtained sidelined in mid-March 2020 by COVID-19 earlier than reopening in January 2021.

With the kitchen transform, he can present a bigger menu. However greater than serving scrumptious meals, Cokugurluel stated, Turkish Kitchen is about making folks glad.

“In Turkey, hospitality is crucial factor,” he stated. “We now have to be extraordinarily well mannered. In the event that they go away right here with an enormous smile on their face, that’s most vital. That’s an enormous, large reward to me.”

Cokugurluel, who goes by Gurhan, introduced his an identical twin brother, Mustafa Korhan Cokugurluel, to Madison to work within the restaurant and personal it with him.

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Mustafa, who goes by Korhan, stated his spouse, Olga, who’s from Ukraine, works within the restaurant with them.

“She helps lots,” Korhan stated. “She realized many issues from my mom as a result of they lived collectively for 10 years. She actually is aware of about Turkish meals.”

Gurhan Cokugurluel stated he and his brother obtained COVID-19 early within the pandemic and needed to shut the store. “We had been simply paying the hire and having a very unhealthy time,” he stated.

He stated he created his restaurant “from zero” in what had been a Taekwondo enterprise.

Cokugurluel got here to Madison in 1998 after he met a younger lady from Madison who got here to his hometown of Adana, a serious metropolis in southern Turkey, on a pupil change program.

They dated for 2 years, partially lengthy distance, then moved to Madison collectively when he was 20.

“Madison is a really lovely metropolis,” Cokugurluel stated.

He studied English and advertising and marketing at a group school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as a result of he didn’t must take an examination to get in. He lived there for a yr and a half.

Cokugurluel hadn’t beforehand labored in eating places however stated cooking is one thing he’s keen about and has completed since childhood. Earlier than opening the restaurant, he labored for 10 years at Sensible Motors as a salesman and gross sales supervisor.

Huseyin Cokugurluel shish

Huseyin Gurhan Cokugurluel stated cooking is one thing he is keen about and has completed since childhood. 

At Turkish Kitchen, Cokugurluel sells 5 forms of kebabs, together with the Adana kebab, named after his hometown. It’s minced beef and lamb on a wider skewer than on shish kabobs. He additionally affords shawarma, with meat served in skinny slices.

With the grilled objects, he was doing principally takeout, however he has added tables and is now as much as 10 with 24 seats and is seeking to double that.

Cokugurluel has additionally added a steam desk and affords 5 rice dishes and fish that he can serve shortly. “Turkish Ottoman delicacies may be very distinctive, very outdated. There are lots of of various dishes. So we’ll herald a number of of them right here.”

The restaurant additionally serves hummus, baba ganoush, ajvar (a grilled eggplant and grilled crimson pepper unfold) and cacik, a Turkish yogurt sauce.

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Cokugurluel stated he likes to see the response on prospects’ faces once they style his freshly made ajvar and different dishes. “It’s probably the most essential factor as a result of folks — 5 years outdated to 100 years outdated, it doesn’t matter — folks know the great, scrumptious meals.”

And if somebody desires further rice or salad, he stated he doesn’t cost them. “In Turkey, it’s like, ‘Hey, can I get a bit of bit extra salad?’ No drawback. We simply need you to be full. That’s all. You don’t must spend fortune.”

Turkish Kitchen is halal, and Islamic legislation prohibits alcohol, so none is served on the restaurant.

Cokugurluel stated he sees prospects of all nationalities. “All people’s tradition is completely different. And we respect them, everyone equally. And other people see that respect.”

Learn extra restaurant information at go.madison.com/eating places.