Prima döner: meet the Michelin-starred chef who cooks kebabs in Manchester
A favorite with Friday night revelers, kebab shops aren’t usually known for their gourmet offerings – but one chef is looking to change that by giving the humble doner a Michelin makeover.
All served on Turkish pide bread, the kebabs are made from high quality local meats such as Tamworth Mortadella, Cornish Lamb and Cotswold White Chicken.
“Kebabs are everything you love about a kebab, but it’s all made with the best British meats I would use in my Michelin-starred restaurant,” Carter told Euronews Culture.
Dreaming about doner
The idea arose out of winter confinement when the chef started creating take-out kebabs as his restaurant was forced to close.
“I wanted to bring joy to people’s lives by doing something fun, so I borrowed my friend’s kebab spit and put a bologna sausage on it,” he said. . The idea turned out to be extremely popular, selling 400 servings in two days.
“We ended up selling them every Friday and Saturday throughout the lockdown as a click and collect. Instead of just bologna, we added lamb and then changed the meat weekly, buying in large quantities to support local suppliers.
After five months, Carter knew he had a successful business idea in his hands.
Quality skewers for everyone
At £ 10 per kebab, the goal has always been to prioritize accessibility, applying Michelin star ethics and expertise to comfort food that can be enjoyed in a relaxed setting.
“High-end restaurants can be quite exclusive and they shouldn’t be. They should be accessible to everyone, and the kebabs are an extension of that, ”Carter said.
One Star Döner Bar’s menu also draws heavily on Carter’s rave days in the party city of Berlin, with smoky Scottish-style sauces named after various genres of dance music.
“One of my best culinary memories was standing in line in Berlin for four hours, in -12 degrees, for a Gemüse Kebab. It was one of the best things I have ever eaten – still to this day.
He also remembers stocking up on potato smileys before busy weekends, a nostalgic classic he now serves alongside caviar in his restaurant.
Moseley housings and beyond
Completely self-taught, Carter opened his Carters of Moseley restaurant in 2010 with his partner Holly Jackson, winning numerous awards and accolades, including a Michelin star in September 2015.
Since opening last week, the kebabs at One Star Döner Bar have also been a huge success: “We sold 560 something last Saturday.”
While Carter isn’t ruling out the possibility of an expansion, for now, he’s focusing on the present.
“Manchester is a young and energetic city with so much to do. This is the right place to be. [The franchise] is something that I would love to see grow, but it will happen organically, it will not be something that I will force.