A HANDFUL OF RAISINS: the rules of success for the new stars of the world of gastronomy Nusret Gokce, Magnus Nilsson and Alan Geaam
Photo: facebook.com / holmsweetholm.com / sbs.com.au
In our world of culinary awareness, when the rules of a good steak have been known to every housewife for a long time; she knows how to use YouTube, and the best chefs generously reveal their secrets on live TV channels. Beginners in the profession need to work hard to break through and become famous.
They need to learn diligently from the best in their field and carefully delve into the smallest details. And the most important thing is to find your own memorable flavor. The whole handful is even better.
“SALT BEAUTY” NUSRET GOKCE
Several years ago, a viral video appeared on the Web, in which a young chef in a white T-shirt and glasses skillfully carves meat with a knife. And then sprinkles it with coarse salt – “from the elbow”. In two days, 2.6 million people watched the video, and the charming Kurdish chef Nusret Gokce suddenly woke up famous.
A bold corporate gesture became his hallmark. Nusret received the nickname Salt Bae and a new round of his career. Within a year, he opened twelve restaurants in Dubai, Miami, Abu Dhabi, Doha, London and New York. The chef began cooking exclusively for stars and politicians. Nusret Gokce was even offered to host a dinner at the Academy Awards.
In fact, the path to fame and world popularity of Nusret Gokce was very difficult and winding. This is the story of a boy from a large poor family from a mining town in Turkey, who was lucky enough to get a job as a butcher’s assistant. The student learned the secrets of carcass cutting, at the same time attended school, earned money and gave it to his parents. At the age of 13, he dropped out of school – it was required by daily work of 18–20 hours.
Having saved up a small capital, the punchy young man went to the homeland of steaks – to Argentina. There he had to work for free – all for the sake of experience. Soon he was working illegally and for free in four of New York’s best meat establishments.
But after returning to Istanbul, Nusret Gokce confidently opens his own restaurant Nusr-Et, using the Turkish name of the meat and his own name. From 12 tables in a small restaurant, his business will grow to 12 restaurants worldwide with thousands of employees.
By the way, the ambitious Nusret Gokce appeared in the third season of Billions, where he played himself. Today he has around 39 million Instagram followers and even releases things named after himself.
HOMELESS DISHWASHER ALAN GEAAM
Just being a good cook is not enough to be seen and appreciated. It is desirable that you have some kind of legend. Stories that touch the soul are especially suitable. Perhaps, Alain Geaam would not have been able to open his own restaurant in Paris, if the world had not learned about the details of his life. It turns out that recently he was homeless and spent the night on a bench in a local park .
The Lebanese Alan Geaam came to Europe, fleeing military conflicts in the East. He was born in Liberia, lived a little in Beirut and finally found himself in Paris.
The little Alan was more fascinated by numerous cooking shows on television than cartoons and movies. He opened the refrigerator, took out tortillas and spices, and tried to prepare delicious meals, albeit for fun. While serving in the Lebanese army, he used his skills with great pleasure and embodied real masterpieces from simple products in the military kitchen.
In Paris, Alan got his first job as a dishwasher, but the money to rent a house was sorely lacking. In order not to huddle in a squalid corner on the outskirts of the city and be in time for work, a modest dishwasher decides to live simply on a bench in La Villette Park.
Sometimes Alan Geaam could watch the work of the chef of the restaurant and became friends with him. The accident in the kitchen with the last was the turning point that drastically changed the life of the Lebanese.
When the chef cut his hand, he was immediately taken to the hospital. Alan Geaam finished several dishes and even made new preparations. “I just fed the clients, and they were delighted at the end of the evening. The owner of the restaurant told me, “You know how to cook!”,” Alan Geaam tells his story.
Believing in himself, after a few years he already became the owner of the restaurant that bears his name. Alan Geaam recently received a prestigious Michelin star.
RECIPE COLLECTOR MAGNUS NILSSON
The Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson has never dreamed of becoming a star. He opened his restaurant on the border with Lapland, in a small village in the middle of nowhere, 750 km from Stockholm, where tourists are rarely seen. But the chef was so passionate about his native cuisine that fame found him itself.
Now Magnus Nilsson is the most famous collector of recipes in Scandinavia. He devoted many years to traveling to distant settlements and writing down the detailed technology of preparing dishes of simple home cooking.
Magnus Nilsson’s cuisine is so simple that it seems exotic. In the Swedish wilderness, to the north of the 30th parallel, he cooked from everything that local forests and rivers give. His signature menu contains only Rektun food dishes, no capers, avocados or overseas fruits.
The guests were treated to venison, flaxseed chips, trout caviar on a crust of pork blood, scallops “from the bath” and sweet icicles. Magnus Nilsson’s signature dish is a live scallop in a shell. The chef served his food on brooms and juniper branches, and instead of plates, bark and birch bark products could be seen on the tables.
“We are very close to nature and sometimes suffer from it. This feeling is normal. If you want to cook a dish of Brussels sprouts in December, for example, you need to be prepared for the fact that in October elk can come to the garden and eat the entire crop. We had it. There are only two options left: either to remove the dish from the menu, or to figure out where to find Brussels sprouts. It is the secret, you need to be able to adapt, to be able to change quickly,” Nilsson noted in one of his interviews.
Unfortunately, he closed his legendary restaurant, carried away by an interesting new project. By the way, Fäviken managed to get several Michelin stars. The most iconic recipes compiled by Magnus Nilsson are included in his The Nordic cook book – a large volume of 800 pages – and are already recognized as the property of Scandinavia.