“We will always keep his lights on…”
Centre Restaurant started to serve its unique dishes in 1999 by a widely-known Chef Hüseyin Örlü in a park in the middle of a small town of Cappadocia, Uçhisar.
Chef Hüseyin started his job in Club Med (a global French Holiday villages chain) 25 years before he started his own restaurant after his retirement in this magical region.
During his career in Club Med, he travelled all around the world to work for the company and he improved his expertise in world cuisine, speacializing on French and Italian ones.
Besides his knowledge on global gastronomy, the dishes he created in his kitchen was so unique that many people from all over the world visited his restaurant every year.
The most important difference about him was that he never cooked to earn money but to have the pleasure of seeing people enjoying the dishes he created because the more he created art in his kitchen, the more he lived.
That’s why people who had the chance of tasting his dishes called themselves lucky.
Centre Restaurant continued to host its special guests from 1999 to 2018. During those years, the restaurant used to be situated in a park in the middle of Uçhisar. It also had a closed area with a nice romantic fireplace.
The park which had been turned into a paradise by Chef Hüseyin and his family with many trees and various flowers hosting the restaurant belonged to the city hall.
During the time Chef Hüseyin used the park to run his unique restaurant, he had created a paradise there with his family; so his guests used to have their magical dishes under big green trees and among flowers or they had dinner or lunch in a cosy closed area with a fireplace in a romantic atmosphere.
When telling the story I use Past tenses because the park was collapsed by the municipality for a project in 2018 and Chef Hüseyin had to build his own new restaurant in the garden of his house in order not to lose his guests and the magic he created. At first, he was so devastated by losing his restaurant that he didn’t want to go on any more. He was feeling as if he had lost his home because with his wife he had created a paradise there. Besides losing what he did with great efforts and love during 20 years, he was much more devastated for many kinds of trees and flowers that he had grown with love in those 20 years. That’s why he had lost the power to build them up again in a new place. However, people who know him very well were aware of the fact that he couldn’t live without cooking. So his friends and guests encouraged him to build up a new restaurant. His family was also still with him to help whatever he would do. In the end he was convinced to start again because cooking was his way of living and expressing himself so he didn’t give up no matter what happened to his paradise and his magic kitchen.
So he started again, let’s say continued from where he left in 2018 with his new Aegean-style restaurant and he continued to make people happy with his magic tastes and his deep conversations with them.
I use past tense again while telling the story because unfortunately he left this world in the place where he dedicated his life with a sudden heart attack in January, 2019.
He was an incredible chef and a very deep person so people from all around the world still visit his restaurant to find the tastes he created and to visit him.
Now his family keep his world and his memories alive in his new Aegean-style restaurant with his heritage kitchen and the same menu. His assistant and family as his students create a miracle in his kitchen now. With the same view of him, they try to keep his lights on forever. The reason why he created a Aegean-style restaurant was to bring his only daughter back to the hometown. His daughter used to live in İzmir and he used to say “I’ve brought İzmir to Cappadocia, so you won’t feel like a stranger here when you come back”..His daughter is back in town without him but with a struggle to keep his father alive..
That’s why when you have your meal here in Center Restaurant, you do not only fill your stomach with unique tastes but also you keep a unique soul alive in a place where you feel like home.