A new chef and a new kitchen are bringing new meaning to fine dining in Richardson, Texas, as the Renaissance Dallas Richardson introduces Burak Ozcan as its new executive chef, and announces the hotel's move to add Kosher catering to its expansive list of event services.
Burak Ozcan, a native of Turkey, was inspired by his mother and began helping with meal preparation at an early age. Now, at the age of 26, Ozcan is executive chef at the Renaissance Dallas Richardson Hotel and has helped inspire the hotel to move forward with its catering services by educating himself and his staff in Kosher meal preparation.
"We had noticed not many hotels in DFW area are doing this at our AAA Four Diamond standards," Chef Ozcan says. "We are very eager to set the bar very high, as far as standards go."
In the past, this upscale Dallas hotel had been outsourcing its Kosher catering for clients utilizing their popular event space for Kosher Jewish celebrations. Realizing the opportunity, the culinary team familiarized themselves with the processes required to meet Dallas Kosher (VAAD) standards, whether the event is a Kosher wedding reception, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, or business gathering hosted by the Renaissance's venues in North Dallas.
Chef Ozcan began his professional career at the Ciragan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul, one of the most luxurious hotels in Europe. "We have noticed after doing some events already that we have made a positive impact on our local Jewish communities," he says. "We don't have specific dishes that we specialize in; instead we cater all our menus to each of the client's personal needs, and then try to make them as innovative as possible."
Moving to the United States at the age of 21, Ozcan served as Stephen Pyle's executive sous chef at Pyle's Samar restaurant in downtown Dallas. The restaurant was named one of the top 20 restaurants in the United States by Esquire magazine that same year.
He also honed his skills in food preparation and overall hospitality operations doing consulting work for establishments in Houston and Dallas and working closely with restaurateurs to develop their menus and assist with operations. So, when he saw opportunity unfold at the Renaissance, he set his sights on moving forward into the Kosher market.
"All of our events are meticulously planned with the supervision of Dallas Kosher (VAAD), the area Kosher supervising authority," Chef Ozcan says. "They are onsite during the entire process, to ensure that everything is perfect from the butcher to the client's plate."