Born in 1968 in Istanbul, Mehmet Aksel launched his career in the automotive industry. Ranked among the top selling dealers for 4 consecutive years, Aksel discovered his passion for the food & beverage industry and teamed up with the country’s leading gourmet Tuğrul Şavkay, to open 3 restaurants. His tenure in the food & beverage sector taught him that success in this business can only come with well trained and educated staff, driving him to found Mutfak Sanatları Akademisi (MSA) in 2004.
Now, MSA’s more than 4500 graduates have an employment rate of more than 90%. About 10-15% of graduates work or establish their own restaurants abroad.
Several awards and nominations carried MSA to a global platform, ranking the school among the top culinary schools around the world. In 2011, World Assocation of Chef Societies named MSA “The Culinary School with the highest quality in Professional Culinary Programs”; in 2012, MSA was named “The Most Excellent Vocational Center in the World” by the British Royal Academy; and then in 2013, 2 MSA graduates were selected for “Medal of Excellence” among 2 million graduates across the globe.
In addition to his endless and exhaustive work at MSA, Aksel is also recognized in 2010 as an Endeavor Global Entrepreneur and also for his projects to raise awareness for vocational education and to create new employment opportunities in Turkey.
Aksel is also a well known collectionner and the founder of the country’s only food & beverage museum and library.
A professional athlete, Aksel is thoroughly dedicated to equitation and has been an avid equestrian since he was 4. He was a member of the National Equitation Team for 10 years, has 6 gold medals in national championship and owns the Balkan Champion and Athlete of the Year titles.
Aksel also was a professional racer between 1992-2005, leading to several national and international medals and awards.
He has been married for 14 years and has 2 kids.