Turkey - Maximilian Thomae
Officier Maître Rôtisseur
Known as one of the founders of modern Turkish cuisine
" Maximilian's commitment to the development of Turkish cuisine and chefs has been a constant theme throughout his career "

German chef, Maximilian J.W. Thomae, Officier Maître Rôtisseur, is known as one of the founders of modern Turkish cuisine.

“I have lived in Turkey for 25 years, nearly every day of which I have been inspired by Turkish chefs. It is my duty and pleasure to share in what is one of the most unique and important food cultures in the world.”

In 1993, Maximilian Thomae relocated to Istanbul. Already a chef with experience of working in Michelin-starred restaurants, he actively threw himself into the development of Turkish cuisine, including coaching national teams of chefs and students and leading them to success in their first international competitions.

In the 1990s, Maximilian and his team at his Doruk Restaurant used modern kitchen techniques and technology, together with creative flair, to redesign classic Turkish dishes into a contemporary format and style of presentation across the à la carte and dégustation menus. At the end of the decade they presented these creations as modern Turkish cuisine on the international stage with the first Turkish culinary team.

For his inspiration Maximilian draws on the diversity of ideas and opinions generated by his team, the season, good produce and Turkish cuisine. He describes the development of a new menu as a journey for the entire team and says high quality products and culture from the golden land of Anatolia continue to inspire him.

The Revue internationale asked Maximilian to describe his signature dish. “Istanbul-style apple hookah pipe smoked goose liver terrine,” was his reply. It is a dish he created for the re-opening of the Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul.

Goose liver is marinated in tahini and ‘Pekmez’ grape molasses - typically to be found on the breakfast table in Turkey. After 24 hours it is smoked with apple hookah pipe smoke, barbecued and pressed into a terrine. It is served with a sweet and sour Kayseri apricot ‘Pestil’ (fruit pulp) and thin crisps from Turkey’s famous ‘Simit’ (sesame bagel).

Maximilian’s commitment to the development of Turkish cuisine and chefs has been a constant theme throughout his career. Over the last 20 years he has supported several culinary competitions in Turkey as a director or judge; he has trained and coached many chefs who are today themselves well-known; he cofounded the Bocuse d’Or Academy in Turkey; and in 2015 he opened Gastronometro.

Gastronometro is a platform for product development, events, activities and advanced education for Turkish professionals, facilitating the exchange of culinary knowledge and international trends between all professionals. A member of the Gastronometro team was Turkey’s national champion in the 2016 Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs competition.

Amanda Roberts
Editor, Revue internationale de la Chaîne