Ali Güngörmüs


Whets our appetites more than any cookbook: the story of Ali Güngörmüş

Raised on a farm in the Anatolian hills, Ali Güngörmüş came to Germany at the age of ten with his guest worker parents, speaking no German. Today he is the only Turk ever honoured by the Michelin Guide, and one of Germany’s most famous chefs. While Ali Güngörmüş’s life story is intriguingly unusual, his success is the result of years of hard work. He realised early on that tastes and aromas – good food, in short – was going to be the focal point of his life. And he asserted himself, despite the odds, ignoring the ignorance of fellow pupils who laughed at his poor German, or the misguided teacher who wanted to send him off to a special needs school. And he ignored his family, who thought that a man’s place was not in the kitchen. Ali Güngörmüş gained a traineeship at a Bavarian restaurant and cooked his way to the top, battling past all the obstacles in his way. He now works at the most prestigious establishments in the country, runs his own restaurant and is one of Germany’s best-known cooks.

Through the years he has stayed with certain favourite dishes, each associated with an important phase in his life: the lamb rolls in mint sauce, for example, that his mother cooked when the family was still in Turkey (it is still featured on the menu of his restaurant in Munich) or the roast pork he discovered during his training in Bavaria and which became a personal favourite. This delightfully entertaining book tells Ali’s remarkable story, using ten of Ali’s favourite dishes as milestones along his way to the premiere league of the culinary world.