Umut Özkanca, born in Istanbul in 1977, completed his high school education at The American School in Lugano, Switzerland. Afterwards, he continued his undergraduate education at Bentley College, Boston where he studied international economics. After graduating from Bentley College, he went to French Culinary Institute for a year and found the opportunity to work with the greatest chefs of world. He graduated from the institute ranking first in the school.
During the summer periods of high school and university, he worked at the service and kitchen of Borsa Restaurants, which earned him the first experiences about restaurant management. While he was in abroad, having in mind that he will continue his career in future, he closely observed the restaurants’ management and operating systems as well as menus. And at the age of 23, he opened his first restaurant, Loft, in Istanbul.
Umut Özkanca, who knows English, Spanish and Italian, takes place in management board of Sele Istanbul Group, which embodies Boğaziçi Borsa, Kandilli Borsa, Masa, Parle, Sele and La Viña. Lastly, he created Rüya Restaurant, which represents traditional Turkish and Anatolian cuisine with a modern twist in Dubai and London.
Umut Özkanca is now CEO of d.ream (Doğuş Restaurant Entertainment and Management); one of the major international players in F&B sector with the support of the Doğuş Group.