"Meze and tapas bar concepts are the ideal way to showcase modern Turkish cuisine..Ishmail Tosin"
After leaving his homeland of Turkey as a toddler, he moved from Istanbul to Melbourne for many years and then shifted his family west to Perth, where his life changed forever. Having had great success with the Eminem style in Perth. Now, returning to Melbourne after a sabbatical in Istanbul, Ish has opened Gigibaba Turkish Tapas and doing what he loves the most. Ish says the meze bar concept in Melbourne is the ideal way to showcase his signature modern Turkish cuisine It has a warm and intimate tapas or 'meze' environment, featuring his unique personal styling, in the exciting and constantly evolving food and wine precinct of Smith Street in Collingwood. Gigibaba features an array of small, shared dishes and appetizers, including many of Ish's signature dishes. The other side of the coin - bar - is a focus too, with an eclectic wine list featuring more than 20 wines by the glass.
Born? Turkey. My family moved to Australia when I was 4 years old.
Education? Year 9. Then straight into cooking.
Best kitchens worked? Always my own.
Favourite cheap eat? Crusty bread, olives, a ripe tomato and good feta.
What keeps you going? My two daughters.
Advice to future young chefs? Believe.
Favourite kitchen tool? Trevor, my sous chef.
Most controversial menu item? Sheeps head soup.
Most useful cookbook? Too many. I have hundreds of them.
Early influences? Greg Malouf
On classic v modern cuisine in Turkey? There is no modern Turkish food in Turkey.
Career you would have pursued if you had not become a chef? The next Gianni Versace.
How can we keep attracting chefs into the food world? Bring back the "biff."
Favourite sport? Football - the world game
Ingredient obsession? Artichokes.
On Turkish wines? We don't see any quality Turkish wines in Australia. The sooner we can get them over here the better. There is a strong wine culture in Australia that blends perfectly with Turkish food.
Organic food here and Turkey? Doesn't compare. The produce in Turkey is much better.
Describe the lifestyle in Perth when you were there? Whimsical.
Bookings: Ask for Bruce at GIGIBABA
102 Smith St, Collingwood
TEL: (03) 9486 0345.