Musa Dağdeviren

Owner, Executive Chef, Çiya Restaurants; Istanbul, Turkey

Musa Dağdeviren was born in Nizip, Gaziantep in 1960 and started working in his uncle's bakery when he was 5 years old, until 1977, when he moved to Istanbul and he started to work with his uncle as a cook responsible for the wood burning oven. He learned to make kebabs and appetizers in the Istanbul and Gaziantep styles, and developed his experiences on kebab and pide. After more apprenticeship and his military service, he returned to Istanbul and worked as the master cook of kebab and appetizers in a few restaurants, and also worked in a bakery. In 1987 he opened Ciya/Kebap-Lahmacun, and in 1990, Zeynep Caliskan, who would later become his wife, joined the Ciya family. Musa’s experiences and his further researches enriched the kebab menu containing a list of 100 items. He also created the first vegetarian lahmacun and kebab. In 1998 he opened Ciya Sofra, where he created a unique menu with the local food, desserts, and drinks of a vast area. In 2001 he started another kebab restaurant, Ciya Kebap II. In 2005 Musa and Zeynep established Çiya Publishing Company and started to publish a semi-academic quarterly magazine called Food and Culture. They have now published five books and three translated books. In 2018 Netflix’s Emmy Award-winning program Chef’s Table featured Musa in Season 5.  His first cookbook in English, The Turkish Cookbook, contains 550 recipes and was published by Phaidon in April 2019. Musa and Zeynep established the Çiya Foundation 10 years ago; it produces research and projects in relation to food and drinks culture. (Istanbul, Turkey) @çiyasofrasi (Instagram)