Hi, Mr. Asan… You are one of the most renowned chefs in the world… Let’s start with what people are most curious about: Why do they call you the Professor of Meat? I believe that I was sent to the world for this job. If you are convinced of this, then you do all your works more differently than anybody else do. I have said on every occasion that my childhood and youth, namely my life, passed at the butcher shop in Bostanci Butchers Market where I was engaged with meats. It makes me really happy to be called with a title related to my profession. People have attributed to me all nice terms: The ordinarius, professor, dean, rector of meat, or even the Maradona of meat. This has been an impetus for me. You work harder to give the position people place you in its due. I am first a butcher, then a business manager, then a gourmand. Wonderful 🙂 How long have you been doing this job, and how did this story start? I have been doing the job I love for 48 years. Mine is an adventure that started from necessity when I was 10 years old, in Istanbul, in Bostanci Butchers Market. Since my family had financial difficulties, I left the school and started to work as a footboy at a butcher shop in Bostanci Butchers Market. I did my work so well, even at that age, that my masters felt admiration. Encouraged by them, I endeavored to do what was better. When I turned 15, I realized that this job meant to me something special. It was as if I had been created for this job, which was not an ordinary occupation, but something very different. Everybody was telling about how much this job was fitting for me. I hold meat very differently and cut it distinctively. I am the one who understands meat best. I can say that, if meat has a language, I am the only one who knows it. I am quite challenging in this matter. I did not work for myself only; I believe I have made meat more loveable to our country, and I have trained many masters in this job. I have attained this position thanks to my speed, diligence, and work discipline. Most importantly, I really loved my job and wanted to do it. Therefore, everybody discerned me and thus things became easier. Beside many Turks, you are also called as “ambassador of love and friendship” in Europe. Where did this title originate from? Why are you called so? As you do your job with love and belief, it carries you to the entire world, creating international bridges, admirations, love and respect. I have met and made acquainted with people all around the world, with whom we established friendships and shared knowledge. My love of people and nature, namely of all living, has made me different in all times and places. I think this is the reason behind the title you mentioned. I have been thinking for years that the gastronomic richness of our country is not represented truly in international platforms.
This has remained inside me as an impetus. I have traveled many countries, where I have gained beautiful friendships. I can say that the activity in which we got chance to represent the richness of our country was that of San Sebastian Gastronomika held in Spain last year. In this activity, our successful and beautiful team represented our country’s richness of food and drink in the international platform, with a beautiful language and by cooking. Participants admired both our food and energy. Newspapers, TV channels, and social media gave wide coverage to us. After returning to Turkey, they came to our country and visited us. They invited us to their countries to be featured at TV shows. It made me very happy that I had a chance to represent again our country in Europe. We will crown our achievement with an international workshop to be held in our country in May, 2017. Let’s go back to Cüneyt Asan 48 years ago. Did you dream of present day, of this legend? My goal was to be sufficient to myself and then to my family, and when I realized this, I wanted to serve my country. The place I have attained now is very good, but it should
go further. It is better to say that our goal now is to be a world brand. I will be serving my country as long as I live. I have made butchery loveable to my country, carrying it to a distinct position. In the past, people did not let their daughters marry with butchers, but now our daughters want to be butchers. See, world brands never stop. They always create new concepts and new tastes. We
should not stay at the same point either. The world has not yet discovered the tastes of our beautiful country. Each of our regions has a distinct taste and a distinct fabric. We live in a paradise of agriculture and regional cuisines. We must introduce these tastes to the world adequately. Thus, not only Günaydın, but all successful Turkish brands should aim at the world. Our goal is to be a world brand. We have strengthened our brand and taken the necessary steps. Our next goals and plans are going in this direction. These dynamics appear in a splendid outcome today… You made a running start in the GCC area? Did you like the Gulf? What is the next step? We are really happy, as all is going very well. We loved Dubai very much. Günaydın at the Souk Al Bahar Water is our first enterprise in the Gulf. All Gulf countries are important showcases for us, and Dubai is a focus in the world. Our branch there serves as an important reference. I think this enterprise is a very significant initiative in order to advertise our country. We love our country, and we have ambition to introduce the world to the Turkish cuisine. We believe that we will carry out this task in a
best way. As we earned money, we made investments to our brand, aiming to carry our business to a highest point. Money has become an instrument for us, not a purpose. We have two branches in Azerbaijan, and we started the first branch in Dubai. Our current goal is to start branches in all Gulf countries, in London, New York, Iran, Italy, and Miami. We have been receiving tens of partnership offers from these places. 6. We watched your inauguration. Your tempo on that day was more exciting than that of many talk show stars… You have such a quality? Do these feelings grow naturally? I am a primary school graduate, but I have worked hard to attain today’s success. My business life, the friendships I have established, my environment, and my resolution have compensated this shortcoming of my career. As you may know, I give lectures at seminars, educational institutions, especially at universities, on my success story and on how to create a brand. It makes me stronger to be with the young and see their energy. For I feed myself with people and crowds. Don’t take love only in sensual meaning. This is the love of job, love of nature, and love of living. Therefore, I would like you to know that Cüneyt Asan is always natural and genuine, in any time and in any place I exist in. You have a life that is passing at lectures, meetings, and on board… How do you get prepared? Don’t you feel tired? I am doing the job for which, I believe, I was born. In fact, it is not a job for me; it is my hobby, my entertainment, my source of life. Thus
this energy is found in me continuously. I would like to add that, if you do the job you love, you become happy, successful, and energetic. Every place I go means new friends, new works, new people. My source of nourishment is people. I can’t eat alone, can’t sit alone, can’t live alone. The only number one for me is the human being. Meat makes a considerable contribution to this energy, for I am sure that nourishment with meat and with proteins has positive impact on intellect and muscle force. Having combined all these, you really become quite happy and successful. And as you become happy and successful, you have much energy. I believe that serving people means serving God. 8. How can our readers follow you up? You have fans in the internet 🙂 Where can we find you? I have personal accounts in Instagram and Facebook, and you can follow me up on my website www. cuneytasan.com. I am at work and at shops all the time. If you follow me in social media, you can find out what shop I am at and what I am doing. When I see the comments in social media following the exhausting and exciting projects, I am more encouraged about my job.