I met Murat, the Frenchman who launched Amuse Bouche, “the original recession buster breakfast,” when I was casing out nominees for The Guardian’s Best of the Bay Awards. He was incredibly charming, from the time I contacted him to when he gave me an ipromptu lesson on muffin mixing to the time he made two egg cartons full of morning glory muffins for me to bring to my office. For months, Murat has been under a strict watch by the ICE. For the last few weeks, he’s been detained in prison for the same immigration issues. Today, we learned that he’s heading back to France tomorrow.
When I first asked him, “How did you come up with the idea of selling muffins and chai from a cart?” he responded, “Well, I like to bake, my girlfriend likes to bake, and she and I were trippin’ out, and we thought, ‘Hey, why not sell them?'” Murat was just a guy with an idea, and now he has to leave his wife (then girlfriend, pictured here with her at Eat Real) behind.
Here’s an interview I did with Murat that never got around to being posted to SFBG.
Hometown: Paris, France
When did you move to San Francisco? December 2008
What do you have to say to people who call your accent fake? Salut, ca roule?
Who taught you how to bake? My wife, my mother and my paternal grandmother.
I heard you got married recently. How did you and your wife meet? We have been friends since we were kids. Our families summered in the same place in Turkey.
What kind of wedding did you two have? City Hall, champagne in plastic flutes with our witness.
Where did the idea behind Amuse Bouche come from? We came up with the idea of the mini muffin and chai in an egg crate one night when we were stoned.
Is Amuse Bouche your full-time job? Yes.
Where do you work? At home and in the street.
Favorite thing to bake: Pear almond tarts. I love making them. There’re a lot of steps but it’s very exciting. And the result is very good.
What are your recommendations for making the perfect muffins? Do not overstir.
Got a recipe you’d like to share? Most of my recipes are modified from internet recipes. Here’s my favorite modification: When you make banana muffins, fill the cup halfway then add a teaspoon of nutella in the middle and cover with another half of batter.
I didn’t post this to pass judgment on a case I know very little about. Just sending Murat best wishes.