Muhammed Senel, Cluster Executive Chef at Şazeli Qatar, discusses popular Turkish cuisine, culture and hospitality in Doha.

Chef Senel, you’ve been producing culinary creations for a number of years now. How did you begin your career?
My career began with my family business in 1996, because my father was a butcher. In 2003 I completed my education and I gained experience by working in high-class restaurants in Turkey. The steakhouse culture which exists in the world today became a trend in Turkey in 2010. In 2014, I joined Şazeli which opened its doors in Qatar in 2017 and I was a part of the team at the time responsible for the opening. Currently my team and I represent Turkish cuisine, culture and hospitality in the best possible way with five different Turkish brands under the Aura Group in Doha.

Şazeli Qatar has achieved tremendous success here, what makes it unique from other Turkish restaurants in Qatar?
We serve the real experience; high-quality products, a great atmosphere and we run a disciplined business. We use a specific kind of meat from a farm in the USA that we have been working with since arriving in Qatar. This is how we maintain a consistent taste with a high-quality standard. The second key element to our success is that we use authentic Turkish products such as butter, pistachio, olive oil and white cheese, which captures true authentic Turkish flavours. And we aim to provide true Turkish hospitality along with a great atmosphere to our guests. We carefully work on the quality of service and food and the discipline of the work environment continuously.

The menu at Şazeli Qatar is extensive, what is your favourite dish and what is your signature creation?
That is a really tough question! However, I can say my signature dishes right now are the New York Steak and the Tomahawk Steak. Because these are dishes that will allow you to feel like what you have is unique. The meat we serve is exceptional, just like the other dishes in our restaurant.

When you’re not busy leading your team, how do you like to enjoy your time off in Doha?
My family is thankfully here in Doha, so I mostly spend my time with them when I have the chance. However, our operation is extremely busy. I am happy and motivated when I see our guests having a good time while enjoying our delicious meals. Therefore, I tend to spend more time in our restaurants. Our guests are important to us and I always appreciate their requests and feedback. ✤