IN the centre of Bridgwater, you will find a buzzing restaurant at the heart of the community - Wild Rocket.

Owner, Erdal Sahin, 45, also owns The Green Olive, but three years ago also decided to open Wild Rocket closer to the town centre.

Erdal said: “I always wanted to come into the town centre because this is a great location for us.”

Erdal began his career at The Mount Somerset in Taunton but soon moved to Bridgwater. After The Green Olive, he planned to expand and buy the furniture store next door but the landlord let the building to someone else.

So, Erdal brought the Wild Rocket building three years ago and has created a breakfast, lunch and dinner restaurant for the local community.

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Erdal said: “It went really well the first year, I had a great team. We then had a few issues with chefs but now, with Max during the last few months, we are really on track. I love this place.”

Now, Maxim Woody Brown, 34, has joined the team as Head Chef and he is looking forward to making some exciting changes with the help of Erdal and General Manager, Fabrizio Territo, 33.

Max said: “I began my cooking journey when I was six years old by making my first ever cake for my little brother’s birthday, after being fascinated with my favourite tv programme - Master Chef. I made the cake spontaneously and didn’t use any measurements for the ingredients and hoped for the best - luckily it turned out alright.

“I started my first pot wash job at the age of 10 to gain experience. I slowly worked my way up from there and experienced chef life in bars, restaurants, independent pubs and hotels all around the country. My life moved depending on the location of my job.”

Eight years ago, Max had taken a break from the catering scene and opened up a furniture store next to The Green Olive, where he met Erdal. Last year, Erdal realised that Max was a talented cook and asked him to become Head Chef at Wild Rocket.

Max explained: “I went from a small pub and kitchen to a 48-bedroom hotel, but now I have worked with so many incredible chefs. I got all my passion back and I love the blood sweat and tears that go into a catering career. At the end of the shift, when you realise how many covers you’ve done and the positive feedback you get, its great.

“I love it even more now. Finally having somewhere that I can manage myself is great – I get to choose my menus and I can put my own stamp on what we do here.”

Max loves to experiment in the kitchen and works hard on the menu, which will be changing next year – but its still a secret for now.

Max said: “There are some big changes happening next year. We needed to get the whole team ready first and the menu – that’s all we can say.

“We will definitely be bringing something new to the town.

“I love to experiment in the kitchen and don’t think anyone who hasn’t been a Chef will truly understand the buzz you get from the kitchen atmosphere.

“Or the buzz from the end result - making people happy by feeding them our creations. You can ultimately turn something basic into something mindblowing by using your experience.”

At Wild Rocket, they have a seasonal modern, yet traditional A La Carte menu and a meal deal menu which changes monthly. They also offer breakfast and lunch too if you fancy it.

Salt and pepper are two ingredients that Max couldn’t live without, he believes they are fundamental elements of a dish that bring it to life.

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However his favourite dish is steak. He explained: “For some establishments steak can be difficult to cook to the customers preference, but at Wild Rocket this is something we commend ourselves on. If you ask for a rare steak, you will get a rare steak.”

They also source their produce as locally as possible to ensure that everything is fresh – and they are all about supporting the local community too.

Erdal said: “Our main thing is to get involved with the community and see more locals coming in for food. Bridgwater may be small but it is a booming place.”

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