This story originally appeared on foodandwine.com.
Chef Mehmet Gürs’ Istanbul Food & Beverage Group runs so many restaurants, cafes, and coffee spots that he can't quite count them—"It's a very vibrant company," he says. As Turkey's most recognizable chef, Gürs has been so wildly successful, in part, because he knows the country and its food culture very well. In fact, with the development of every new space and every single dish on his menus, Gürs and his team works to answer a single question: How can we preserve the past by looking into the future? Gürs even employs a full-time anthropologist to help with that answer.
It's no surprise, then, that his deep knowledge of Istanbul is as palpable as the black on the mulberries featured on the menu of his award-winning restaurant Mikla. Next week, Gürs will bring his signature style to New York City, where he’ll be captaining Studio dinners at Chefs Club on February 20th and 21st (you can still book tickets to the event here) and headlining in the main dining room on the 22nd (book here). But just in case you’re planning on heading to Turkey sometime soon, here, Gürs shares a true insider's guide to eating, drinking, and shopping throughout Istanbul.