Ismail Oztas

Ismail Oztas, Executive Chef of Fins, is originally from Turkey. In 2000, he moved to Paris, France to be closer to him family. Upon moving to Paris, he became greatly interested in the city’s rich and all-encompassing food culture. Oztas made the decision to become a cook and acquired a job at la Fontaine de Mars. His initial position was as a dishwasher and, from there, he rapidly grew in his career by moving to prep cook, line cook and, a year later, sous chef. While working in Europe, Oztas learned many French cooking techniques. In his free time, he traveled to Italy, Rome, Sicily, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Germany and all throughout France to continue to grow his experience. Oztas said that working throughout Europe helped him grow his passion and knowledge for cooking. In March of 2006, Oztas moved to Milwaukee, WI, to work under corporate chef Adam Siegal – a Best Chef in the Midwest nominee – for Bartollota’s Restaurant Group. He said that working at Bartollota’s helped him glean experience in a fine dining establishment. In 2010, he began working for Hotel Ambassadors, which gave him the chance to create both daily and seasonal menus. According to Executive Chef Oztas, food doesn’t need to be complicated. “It’s important to know where food comes from,” Oztas said. “I identify my own food philosophy as “globally inspired and locally created,” being a process that begins with premium ingredients, then with sourcing the best product available to focus on incredible flavor.”