Oklava chef Selin Kiazim to open second site

Selin Kiazim, the owner and chef of Turkish restaurant Oklava, is to open a second site in Fitzrovia in spring 2018.

The chef, who was one of the winners of the BBC Two programme Great British Menu last year, announced the opening through a job advertisement on Code.

Her debut restaurant Oklava in London’s Shoreditch opened in 2015 after surviving for two years as a pop-up, taking residencies around London. It was launched in partnership with business partner Laura Christie, former operations manager at Salt Yard Group.

It serves food influenced by her Turkish-Cypriot roots such as roasted pumpkin flatbread, mozzarella, cemen crumbs and tulum with a Cornish free-range egg; seftali kebab, red onion salad and lemon; and Baharat-spiced pork belly, sweet pickled apricots, garlic cabbage and marinated leeks.

The new 45-cover restaurant will follow the same ethos with a Mediterranean influence.

In 2016, Kiazim told The Caterer that she would open a second site once Oklava had settled in. She said: “I’ve got so many ideas of slightly different concepts, I’d definitely like to open another restaurant. However, I’m a firm believer in building a solid team first and rewarding those who enjoy working with us and who stick around. When the time is right, we’ll do it.”

Kiazim has worked with Peter Gordon at the Providores and Tapa Room, Marylebone, and at Kopapa in Covent Garden. She also did a stage at El Bulli and was Spanish Young Chef of the Year in 2010, as well as a semi-finalist in the Craft Guild of Chefs’ National Chef of the Year 2013 competition.

She also won bronze and silver awards with the Junior Team GB in the Culinary Olympics in 2008, and reached finalist stage on BBC3’s Young Chef of the Year in 2009.

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