Academy Chief

Cemre Siyahi Temim, a graduate of Saint Michel High School, took a step towards pursuing her true passion in the culinary field after completing her education at Istanbul University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and leaving her master's degree in molecular biology and genetics unfinished. She graduated from Professional Pastry-Bread Baking and Food-Beverage Management programs. During her internship, she served as an acting chef for Tefal TV shoots. Following her internship, she worked as a demi chef alongside Tim Briggs from the famous chef Alain Ducasse's team at Baylan Patisserie. Cemre, who was part of the core team in the establishment phase of Doors Academy, was responsible for the preparation and implementation of pastry and bread baking training programs. In October 2012, she joined the team of Mama Shelter Istanbul, the first restaurant opened outside France by the renowned French chef Alain Senderens with 3 Michelin stars and Jerome Banctel with 2 Michelin stars. In addition to the pastry department, she played a role in developing and transferring recipes for both cold and hot kitchen. In 2013, she started working as a professional pastry-bread baking instructor chef at a private culinary academy. During this period, she also served as a guest instructor at ALMA Scuola Internazionale Di Cucina Italiana. With a versatile interest in the professional kitchen, Temim also served as a workshop instructor in programs such as food styling, macarons, chocolate, and artisan bread. In 2015, she opened Imalathane 34 with her partner, where they provided bakery product production and supply to various hotels, cafes, and restaurants, as well as industry consultancy services to various brands. She collaborated with international companies such as Metro Market and Turkish Airlines for brand campaigns. Simultaneously, between 2016 and 2020, she worked as a lecturer at Halic University and Nisantasi University. In 2020, together with her partners, she established the ghost kitchen model within Imalathane 34 by creating two more brands, Papas Sandwich&More and Tante Bakery. Since 2021, she has been conducting masterclasses on advanced pastry topics such as Entremet and macarons at Acunmedya. Due to her special interests in fermentation and sustainable cuisine and agriculture, she completed a fermentation course from HarvardX and a Natural Living and Sustainable Agriculture Education from Ankara Bilişim University. She currently serves as the Pastry Production Coordinator at our academy.


Consultancy and Foreign Student Education Coordinator

Elif Edes, a chef instructor from Okan University Faculty of Applied Sciences Gastronomy Department, is a gastronomy consultant, author, and TV program producer. After graduating from Notre Dame de Sion, she completed her photography education in Washington D.C. and Florence, and later received gastronomy education at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Edes, who has been active in various aspects of gastronomy since 1992 and is one of the leading figures in the food and beverage industry in Istanbul, is responsible for project development and collaborations with foreign schools at USLA Academy. Starting with "Elif Gourmet" in the 90s and continuing with "Crema," she became one of the pioneers in the "Gourmet Shop" and "Catering" in Istanbul. She worked at "Design Cuisine" in Washington D.C. and returned to Istanbul in 2003 to establish the personalized party venue "Masa." In 2009, she gathered her cookbooks under the brand name "Mutlu Mutfak" (Happy Kitchen). In 2009, "Misafir Sofraları for Newlyweds," in 2011, "Afrodizyak Yemekler: 44 Tabak Aşk" (Aphrodisiac Meals: 44 Plates of Love), and in 2018, "Tüy Siklet" (Featherweight) books were published. She prepared and presented cooking programs such as "44 Tabak Aşk," "Olsa da Yesek," "Mutlu Mutfak," and "Elif ile Lezzet Yolculuğu." Since the 90s, Edes has been creating menus, table settings, food styling, event organization suggestions, gourmet pages containing recipes, and travel articles for numerous magazines and newspapers. She continues to participate in magazine shoots. She provides menu design, kitchen coordination, and project consultancy services to institutions such as National Palaces and Beltur A.S., which include historical venues in Istanbul, as well as hotels, cafes, and restaurants. She conducts kitchen workshops and private lessons within the USLA Academy. Elif Edes occasionally organizes gastronomy, culture, art, and music-themed journeys for both domestic and foreign food enthusiasts.


Professional Cooking Instructor

Chef Doğu Doruk Ulufer was born in Istanbul in 1989. After graduating from Yeditepe University's Advertising Design and Communication Department, Ulfer worked as a copywriter in various advertising agencies before deciding to pursue a career in cooking and graduating from a culinary academy. He began his career as an intern at Ristorante Italia di Massimo Bottura, a restaurant by 3-Michelin-Star Italian Chef Massimo Bottura at Zorlu Center. He then continued his work at Due Forni Ristorante. He was part of the opening team at Must Nişantaşı Restaurant, and later served as the fresh pasta and hot station chef at Ristorante Morini under the guidance of Michelin-starred American Chef Michael White. He worked as the hot section chef at Kanyon Gina and continued his career at Wyndham Grand Kalamış Hotel. He subsequently worked as the Istanbul Regional Executive Chef at Arçelik and as a workshop instructor chef for omnichannel stores. Since 2020, he has been working as a Professional Cooking Instructor Chef at USLA Academy.


Chef Instructor

Chef Melih Gizay Gürün; born in Istanbul in 1987. While studying Mechanical Engineering at Yeditepe University, he also started his career in the hospitality industry. After six years of simultaneous management in two different locations in Istanbul, he decided to pursue his true passion for cooking and received professional chef training at USLA Academy. After completing his training, he completed his internship at Neolokal Restaurant and then joined the opening team of Nobu Istanbul. After gaining experience in the industry, he returned to USLA Academy as an Assistant Chef. He currently serves as an instructor chef within the academy.


Professional Pastry and Bread Baking Instructor

Chef Gamze Vatandost, after graduating from Saint-Benoit French High School, studied International Relations at Koç University. In 2010, she received professional chef training at a private academy and completed her internship at Conrad Hotel before working in London and Istanbul Cipriani. In 2012, she completed the Professional Pastry and Bread Baking program at USLA and finished her internship at Gile Restaurant, followed by working as an assistant chef at USLA. From 2016 to 2020, she established and operated Marquez Chocolatier, a handmade boutique chocolate brand. Currently, she is pursuing her gastronomy doctorate while also serving as a lecturer at universities. She is also a part of our team as a professional pastry and bread baking instructor chef.


Professional Pastry and Bread Baking Instructor

Chef Tuğçe Mina Saraç was born in Istanbul in 1993. After completing her primary, secondary, and high school education in Istanbul, she graduated from Marmara University with a degree in English Political Science and International Relations. Immediately after graduating, she received professional pastry and bread baking training at the International Service and Flavour Academy. After completing her internship at the academy, she worked in various restaurants. In February 2019, Tuğçe Mina Saraç started her position as an assistant chef in the Pastry and Bread Baking department at USLA. Excelling in her role, Saraç currently continues her work as a Professional Pastry and Bread Baking Instructor Chef at USLA Academy.


Workshop Instructor

Chef Hakan Şen; born in Istanbul, graduated from Anatolian Tourism and Hotel Management Vocational High School and Istanbul University's Tourism and Hotel Management, Food and Beverage program. He completed his internships at international chain hotels. He worked at Crowne Plaza, Hilton ParkSA, and Radisson Sas hotels. He was part of the opening team at Les Ottomans, selected as Europe's best boutique hotel. After gaining professional kitchen experience, Şen chose the education field and worked as an instructor for nine years at a private culinary school. He then worked as the Chef of Academies at Intema Yaşam, a subsidiary of Eczacıbaşı Holding, for two and a half years. Since November 2021, he has been a part of USLA Academy, serving as the Executive Workshop Chef.


Workshop Instructor

Chef Bensu Akba; completed her culinary education at Haliç University and simultaneously completed the Professional Cooking program at a private institution. She completed her internship at the restaurant opened by French chefs Alain Senderens and Jerome Banctel, Mama Shelter Istanbul. She gained sectoral experience in various brands such as Hub Food, Porter BBQ, and Belight Kitchen. She then served as an Assistant Chef at Intema Yaşam Academy, a venture of Eczacıbaşı Holding. She is currently continuing her professional career as an Instructor Chef at USLA Academy.


Chocolate Chef/Chocolate Instructor

Chef Sadri Kaan Hendek; born in Istanbul. While working as a barista in a chocolate shop, his interest in the kitchen and chocolate was discovered. He transitioned to the chocolate workshop within the same company and specialized in flavored chocolate making and chocolate sculpting. Over time, he earned the title of Chocolate Chef, constantly improving his skills in chocolate. In 2022, he joined our team when the chocolate workshop was established at USLA. He currently serves as the Chocolate Chef at our academy.


Bar and Service Instructor/Food and Beverage Manager

İrfan Ateş; after graduating as an electrical technician, he continued his professional career in the field of food and beverage management. He completed Bar and Service Management and World Cuisine trainings, adding bartending experience to his career. He received coffee training in Chicago and Australia, and worked as a barista, service, and operations manager at Gloria Jeans Coffee, the first coffee chain in Turkey. He provided bar and service training to various corporate companies in different sectors by opening new branches. Since 2017, he has been continuing his career at USLA Academy. He serves as a Bar and Service Instructor Chef and also holds the position of Food and Beverage Manager.


Education Consultant/Food and Beverage Management Instructor

Sezi Kalkavan, a graduate of Istanbul University's Sociology Department and Dokuz Eylül University's Tourism and Hotel Management Department, started her professional career as a Food and Beverage Manager in Russian-based shopping mall projects owned by Koç Holding-Enka partnership in 1999. Throughout her 21-year corporate experience at multinational companies operating in four countries, such as Megapol Group, Asitane-Kariye Hotel, Alarko Holding Hillside Tourism Group, Armada Hotel, and Ülker Yıldız Holding, she deepened her expertise in F&B, Banquet, Hospitality-Guest Relations, retail, food retailing, and learning and development departments. Since February 2015, Sezi Kalkavan has been operating her own Education and Consultancy Company, specializing in Training, Facilitation, and Team Coaching.


Barista Instructor

Ömer Aydın, a white-collar worker who managed and supervised various IT projects from 2000 to 2013, established his own venture, CoffeeNutz Coffee Roasters, in 2013. As Turkey's first SCA-certified coffee roaster, Ömer Aydın continues to produce freshly roasted coffee with CoffeeNutz. In 2014, he applied for a patent for the world's first "High Capacity Cold Drip Method" and works on raising awareness of brands such as Cold Drip and Nitro Brew in Turkey. Ömer Aydın, who has the authority to train and certify as an instructor by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), continues to actively participate in training programs to promote the barista profession in Turkey and provides consultancy to coffee companies to position themselves correctly in the coffee industry. Ömer Aydın serves as an instructor in SCA-certified basic, specialty, and professional level barista training at our academy.


Bar and Mixology Instructor

Talat Arslan; born in 1987, completed his early education in Denizli. After coming to Istanbul to continue his education, Talat Arslan started working as a service staff in various venues due to his interest in the hospitality sector. Within a short period, he climbed the career ladder in positions such as service manager, bar manager, entrepreneur, and coordinator, and conducted studies on food-cocktail pairings and created special menus. After crowning his professional experience at venues like Kafe Pi, Finn Cocktail Bar, Zeplin Bar, and Twins Cocktail Lab, he continued his professional career as a business operator and head mixologist at Alexandra Cocktail Bar.


Bar and Mixology Instructor

Talat Aydın; born in 1982, after completing his high school education, started his professional life at TOUCHDOWN, one of the iconic bars of that period. At the same time, he received "DATABASE SOFTWARE" training at the communication academy and continued his education at the Faculty of Economics. Talat Aydın currently serves as a Bar and Mixology Instructor at USLA Academy. Throughout his education, Talat Aydın continued his work in the service industry. From 2004 to 2014, he served as the Bar Manager and Bar Training Coordinator at a chain establishment, a Bar-Restaurant group. From 2014 to the present, he worked as the Bar Manager at ANY. He currently serves as a Bar and Mixology Instructor at USLA Academy.