Laura and Sayat Ozyilmaz
Chefs and Concept Creators
Laura and Sayat are a husband and wife duo. They accomplished their vision of bringing Eastern Mediterranean food to San Francisco in a casual environment with the debut of their pop-up venture Istanbul Modern SF. The Chefs are known to bring distinctive models to the restaurant industry where the focus is on food, community, and value. The couple has served more than 10,000 guests just in the Bay Area with Istanbul Modern SF and they just created and develop their brand and concept Noosh in San Francisco.
Originally from Mexico, Laura has been immersed in the culinary world since an early age working in various catering establishments. She then attended Centro Culinario Ambrosia and continued her education at New York’s Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Following her time at CIA, she worked at prestigious restaurants Café Boulud, Mugaritz in San Sebastian, Spain while simultaneously enrolling at the Basque Culinary Center. Upon her graduation from the CIA, Laura accepted an offer at Eleven Madison Park in New York City. It was during her time at CIA where she also met her future husband, Sayat. In San Francisco, where Laura joined Saison’s three-Michelin-star team.
Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, Sayat earned an Economics degree at Dartmouth College in his early twenties. Sayat also worked in an analytics company and as a consultant but it wasn’t until a solo trip through Turkey, Georgia, and Armenia that Sayat began to think about cooking professionally. Sayat enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in New York City. While at CIA, he worked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and joining the Le Bernardin team upon graduation.
After realizing their shared dream of creating community through cuisine, they embarked on a multi-city honeymoon, setting up a series of two dozen stages with renowned restaurants including Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak, and Pujol in Mexico City.
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Star Chefs, 2019
Forbes, Kim Westerman, July 31st 2019
Eater SF, Caleb Pershan, June 1st, 2018
By Muge Akgun, Istanbul, Turkey. August 12, 2017
By Jonathan Kauffman, San Francisco Chronicle. March 1, 2017