Meet The Chefs! An Interview with Damla Özay

  • What is your favorite food that makes you feel good?

My favorite dish to cook is “kuzu gerdanli arapsaci”. When I cook it, it is my daughter’s favorite and I feel very good because it is a very popular dish at home. I’m from Crete and that is why it feels so good to be cooking herbs. But the thing I enjoy eating the most is stuffed leaves.

  • What does it mean to you to be a woman working in the field of gastronomy?

I do not see any difference between men and women. But when you become a mother, not being able to put your child to sleep makes you sad, but I also think it upsets every father. So, working in the service industry in general is a bit of a challenge as everyone’s vacation period is your busiest time. But, as women, since this has not been accepted in our society to this day, I guess it just seems more difficult as we are not used to it.

  • What is your favorite destination to visit? Why?

I missed going abroad, especially because of the pandemic. Rome always impresses me. Because there is a beauty brought by its historical texture, urbanism and planning, and the spirit of antiquity.