Before coming to Canada, Chef Mahmut Elbasi was a culinary student in his hometown of Kayseri, Turkey. While studying for his red seal designation, he worked as head chef at Elmacioglu Iskender. When an opportunity to work in Calgary arose, he took a leap of faith and moved to Canada, leaving his young family behind. Once reunited, the family opened Anatolia’s Turkish Cuisine in the Crossroads Market. Offering braised lamb shanks, kebabs, borek, pide, simit and other Turkish delicacies, the booth’s popularity soared and, on the request of many customers, they took another leap and opened their restaurant in the Burns Building across from Olympic Plaza five years ago. With his wife Selma Elbasi serving as head pastry chef (and indispensable business partner, he raves) Elbasi’s ingredients are local and fresh, and with spices coming from Turkey, he puts his own twist on Turkish classics. Some of our favourites include borek, baklava and anything eggplant. When not running his eateries, you’ll find Elbasi volunteering with newcomers and in the community working on bridging the gap between cultures. Both Anatolia’s locations are open for take-out, catering and currently dine-in, although we recommend you check before going.