His culinary experience began when he was about 7 years old, picking up wild mushrooms and cooking them with his Mother in his native country, Turkey. Chef Mehmet worked his way up through the ranks in famous kebab houses in Turkey He also completed 3 years of hands-on training with Turkish culinary master chef Donerci Adem Baba in Izmit where he was born. He want to travel around the world and discover many other recipes the way do that he take opportunity to work in international cargo carrier ships as a kitchen assistant and steward. He was 22 years old when he arrived in Chicago, and worked as a dishwasher, pizza maker, line cook, souse chef, and waiter, as well as captain in many of Chicago’s top restaurants.
Working in many of Chicago’s outdoor events got very interesting for Chef Mehmet, but he was not happy with the food that was being served. He then decided to create a new healthy menu that would be both healthy and delicious! The menu was very simple, with reasonably priced items like hummus on pita, spinach and cheese pies, and falafel sandwiches with tahini sauce. After doing many outdoor events, everyone who tasted his food asked him to open his own restaurant. He opened his first restaurant called Cousin’s Turkish Fine Dining in 1990. He always featured vegetarian selections on his menu because he cared about the health of his patrons. Over the years, he created four (4) Cousin’s restaurants with the same name and the same menu. His restaurant was selected “best non-vegetarian restaurant for vegetarians” in Chicago (New City Magazine) as well as rated 3 stars in the Chicago Tribune, Sun Times, and Chicago Magazine.
Chef Mehmet participated 1 month long local detoxification program, and program required raw food diet he was thrilled and became a vegan raw foodist. Not long after, he stopped cooking, closed down his restaurant, and converted it to a all organic vegan raw food restaurant. In 2005, Chef Mehmet graduated from one of the top raw foods schools in the country, Living Light Culinary Arts Institute In California. He is now an internationally recognized raw food chef and creadet RGI in Turkey.