Back to Main

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus

  • Çırağan Cad. No. 28, 34349 Istanbul, Beşiktaş, Turkey
BOP_572_aspect16x9

Adil Çakıcı

Executive Pastry Chef
“Everyone on our pastry team knows that they can stand up and share their opinion. When you create that freedom, new ideas just follow.”

 

Four Seasons Tenure

  • Since 2012
  • First Four Seasons Assignment: Executive Pastry Chef, Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

Employment History

  • Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet; Swissotel The Bosphorus, Istanbul

Birthplace

  • Bolu, Turkey

Languages

  • Turkish, beginning English

“You can do whatever you want.” That’s a dream directive for any Four Seasons team member. But for Adil Çakıcı, Executive Pastry Chef of Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus, it was a reality. “A general manager once told me that as boss of the pastry kitchen, I had total freedom,” he recalls. “He even encouraged me to change the colour of the walls. Trust like that can be very inspiring.”

Indeed. As head of pastry operations, Çakıcı oversees the creation of dessert menus, baked goods and chocolates for all of the Hotel’s dining outlets and banqueting. Each day, he meets with his 11-member team to review upcoming schedules, with demands fluctuating seasonally. There is a significant difference between summer and winter, he says: “When our outdoor spaces are open, we might be making dessert for up to 2,500 people a day.”

Çakıcı doesn’t overload guests, preferring to serve smaller-sized international desserts and traditional Turkish pastries crafted “with a twist” and no more than a couple of teaspoons of sugar per temptation. He likes to mix of local flavours with international styles, and he takes guest suggestions and comments to heart to create new tastes.

Create them he does. Hotel dessert menus are dotted with inventive, lip-smacking wonders, such as playful affagato with five balls of vanilla ice cream, espresso, gingerbread and “crispy corn flake milk chocolate,” and Chocolate Caramel Delight with light chocolate sponge cake dressed with caramel peanut fudge, caramel crème brulée, chocolate mousse and vanilla ice cream. Among Çakıcı’s signatures is the East & West with oven-baked shredded pastry in light syrup, mastic cream brulée, and pistachio ice cream. “I created this for a big international event attended by leaders from all over the world. It has been our best selling item for years.”

The Hotel sees much demand for traditional Turkish desserts. Çakıcı likes to create his from “a different point of view,” drawing from international influences to create more modern looks. “To be a good chef, one should travel, study, and taste a lot. I’ve been very fortunate for opportunities that have brought me to where I am today.”

Born and raised the youngest of three children in Bolu, Turkey, Çakıcı was inspired to the culinary arts by his father, who enjoyed a long career a chef at local restaurants. “Actually,” he remembers with a laugh, “I used to dream of being a cop when I was a kid. That was my grandfather’s plan for me.” After finding his way to Istanbul, Çakıcı spent nearly two decades with an international hotel group before joining Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet as Executive Pastry Chef in 2012. He transferred to the Bosphorus property in summer 2016.

The city’s vibrant culinary scene has long been an inspiration. “I love discovering new places, restaurants and tastes – and there is a lot discover,” he says, adding, “I think what distinguishes our pastry team is the spirit we have. Everyone knows that they can stand up and share their opinion. When you create that freedom, new ideas just follow.”

Happily married with three daughters, Çakıcı enjoys travelling with his family when he gets the chance, with trekking, photography and, of course, dining on the agenda. “I always enjoy meeting chefs and discovering new foods,” he says. “I learn a lot. However, in the end, having my own style was best way for me to gain a foothold in this business.”