October 4, 2012

Written by
Maria Sonnenberg For FLORIDA TODAY

Chef Q&A: Cafe Margaux maestro
inspired in global cuisine

Influences include German summers

Chef at Cafe Margaux in Cocoa Village is Erol Tugrul.

Chef at Cafe Margaux in Cocoa Village is Erol Tugrul. / Chris Kridler/FOR FLORIDA TODAY

For diners at Café Margaux, the man behind the food remains a myth.

Chef Erol Tugrul is hardly seen and rarely heard, and his existence could be in question, except for the fact that from the Margaux kitchen consistently excellent meals continue to emerge.

Tugrul prefers his food to do the talking, but here’s a chance to learn more about the elusive chef.

Question: What’s the story behind Erol?

Tugrul: I was born and raised in Florida. Growing up, my family spent most our summers in Germany. In terms of previous jobs, I’ve had too many to recall.

Q: Who inspired you to start cooking?

Tugrul: My grandparents did. They grew most of their food on their farm in Germany.

Q: Any culinary school training?

Tugrul: When I was younger, I traveled throughout Europe, and I’ve worked under many skilled chefs who have taught me things that a culinary school couldn’t.

A: Hobbies?

Tugrul: Motorcross and surfing.

Q:Signature dish?

Tugrul: I don’t feel like I have a signature dish. Our menu is a mixture of many different cultures, but I’d like to believe people enjoy our fish specials.

Q: Your idea of the perfect dinner?

Tugrul: My wife cooking at home for family and friends

Q:The most memorable meal you’ve prepared?

Tugrul: A fried bologna sandwich for a regular customer.

Q:What’s on your bucket list in regards to cooking?

Tugrul: I can’t say there is one such thing. I can’t think of many things that I haven’t cooked. Our customers usually keep me on my toes.

Q:What can’t you live without in your kitchen?

Tugrul: A food processor.


Tugrul: There are many good cooks in my family, especially my wife. She’s better than she thinks she is.

Our family is always traveling. Currently, my brother is in China, my father is in Turkey, and my mother is in Germany. They always give me culinary ideas.