Mert Seran is corporate executive chef at d.ream USA. Has his dream come true in the kitchen? See here.


Today you are Corporate Executive Chef at d.ream USA, with lots of international chef experiences such as in Turkey or London.

That is right. I worked in Cape Town, London, Almaty, Dubai, Caribbean, Turkey, USA.


And how did you culinary career started?

My parents are excellent home cooks who are very adventurous. We have traveled all around the world and tried different cuisines. This whole experince made me more curious about cooking and finally I got into it after I have finished university.


Which cooking school did you visit first?

I have studied in Silwood Kitchens Cordon Bleu in Cape Town.


Tell us the story of your career start as a cook.

It was not easy in the beginning but it was always fun being in the kitchen. Starting from the bottom, putting a lot of hours and making absolutely nothing did not stop me because I have always loved what I do. I am a very curious person and being in the kitchen, playing around with different ingredients, heat, learning new techniques, seasons, pastry, chefs; they all made me more curious and I have never stopped after that.


What surprised you most about ones you started to become cook? 

You don’t become a Chef after you graduate. You have to work so hard to become one.



And what is the hardest part of the chef job?

Long hours, not be able to spend much time with your family, missing all special days.


How would you describe the Turkish kitchen best?

Turkey has been a bridge between Europe and Asia since the beginning and different civilizations ruled in this land. As a result of this, the food culture is extremely versatile from East to West, North to South. Sometimes cuisines and traditions can change in 10km distance. When West is seafood, vegetable and herb oriented, East is more red meat, spicy food and spices.


As Corporate Executive Chef at d.ream USA; what is your culinary set up? 

D.ream is a major global player in hospitality business. Owning 45 different concepts and 200 restaurants around the globe puts D.ream in a very unique spot. Currently D.ream is investing in USA and opening different concepts in different cities such as, Zuma (New York, Las Vegas, Boston, Miami), Nusr-et “Salt Bae” (Miami, New York, Dallas, Los Angeles), Da Mario (Dallas), Nahita (Boston)


How would you describe your culinary line today?

Back to basics! Going back to wood fire cooking, sustainable produce, supporting more local farmers and businesses, less meat, more seafood and vegetables. My eating habits are shaping my menus.


What are some of the new developments/ trends you see at the US restaurant/ chef scene? 

People are becoming more avare of what they eat now. They want to know where the product comes from, how it is raised, is it sustainable, is it local and fresh. Internet and social media changed the way we eat for sure. Healthy, vegetable based food scene is getting bigger and bigger.


What are some of the less known spices and vegetables you us? 

La Boite is a spice company which has unique blends that I really love to use, such as, Ararat, Shabazi, Moruno


Still a lot of cooks dream about to work in the US. Is it difficult to find a cook job these days in the US?

If you have a work permit or residency in US, and if you are a hard working individual who is willing to learn and grow, it is easy to find a job in US.



Any place in the world you would like to work as chef one day in the future? 

Tokyo sounds very intimidating.


Thank you Mert!


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