Renowned chef touts Anatolian cuisine to Spanish football stars

A famed Turkish chef, and social influencer with tens of millions of followers, has been dazzling Spanish footballers with the delights of his homeland's cuisine.

Burak Özdemir, a 27-year-old proprietor of the Hatay Civilizations Table who also goes by the moniker CZN Burak, was invited to Madrid by La Liga as one of more than 100 social media influencers to support the promotion and marketing of the top Spanish football league.

Having been entertaining his social media followers with his larger-than-life preparations of mouthwatering Anatolian culinary specialties, Özdemir said he was in constant contact with La Liga for his fourth visit to Spain.

"Football is universal, just like food is universal," said the chef, who has more than 47 million followers on TikTok and 27 million on Instagram.

"When La Liga got in touch with me, they said: 'Burak, you introduce Turkish cuisine all over the world with the dishes you cook. As Spaniards, we're famous for football; we love football. Let's combine the two,'" Özdemir said.

Stating that Marcelo, the captain of Real Madrid, is a very close friend of his, Özdemir said, "I made kebabs with him at his house."

Of his La Liga gig, he explained: "It's professional work, but it's not a job I make money from. We cooperate with each other."

He noted that Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is his friend and that they met when he came to his restaurant in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Stating that after Spain, the sky is the limit, he said: "Now I'm in talks with Manchester United from England. I'm hoping you'll see us there soon."


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