At home with The city of Istanbul has shaped this chef’s life and career in Sydney
Chef Somer Sivrioglu was born and raised in bustling Istanbul in Turkey, so living in the quiet suburbs of Sydney was never going to suit. As the owner of the Anason restaurant in Barangaroo and Efendy in Balmain, both of which offer Turkish cuisine, the influence of his birthplace remains.
“I came from Istanbul, which is loud and busy, and when I came to Australia, Pyrmont was the first place I moved into,” Somer says. “I did try living in the suburbs but it was just too quiet, so I came back to Pyrmont.”
Together with his wife Asli and children Deniz and Derin, the family enjoy living in a city apartment relatively close to Somer’s workplaces. Somer has even invested in an electric bike to get to his city restaurant.
“I don’t get to spend that much time at home, so I don’t want to spend the time I do have sitting in traffic,” he says. “It takes me six minutes to get to work.”
Although Somer is a highly accomplished chef, he doesn’t cook at home.
“I try not to take my work home,” he says. “Also, my wife says I am too messy.”
The couple also like to eat out, sampling the food of other restaurants, much to the chagrin of their children.
“My children have grown up going to restaurants,” he says. “While most people look forward to going out, my kids are so used to eating out, they just want to eat at home.”
The working hours of a chef can be demanding, but Somer tries to spend quality time with his wife every morning.
“My wife and I always like to have a morning coffee together, or go for a walk before lunch service. I like to be home by 9-10pm to watch a movie together.”
I spent my childhood in this quaint little suburb on the Anatolian side of Bosphorus Strait.
Dogboy chef’s knife
I bought this knife at the amazing Tasting Australia event in Adelaide less than three months ago — and it’s already my favourite knife.
I cherish this piece. It was given to us by the vice president of The International Mevlana Foundation, Mrs Esin Celebi Bayru, who is the 22nd granddaughter of (celebrated poet and scholar) Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi.
Lighter and tobacco case
I am not a smoker, but this is a present from a close friend featuring two amazing Turkish artists, actor Yilmaz Guney and singer-composer Ahmet Kaya. It reminds me of the suffering of Turkish intellectuals as both of them died in exile because of their humanist and socialist political beliefs.
Fenerbahce jersey (Istanbul soccer club)
This is 100th anniversary jersey of my beloved team signed by the whole team, including club legend Alex de Souza.
Chef Somer Sivrioglu Apartment in Pyrmont with his wife Asli and children Deniz, 13, and Derin, 10 The German edition of my cookbook with David Dale, Anatolien, sold 15,000 copies, more than any other country, including Australia I grew up in a strict home where there was a living room just for guests. I didn’t want that for my kids