In the June issue of SE23, local student Bercem Budak had the last word.  See what she had to say:

I’m Bercem Budak, a student studying Media at Sussex University who is very interested in journalism. I also love music, I sing as well as play a Turkish instrument called the ‘baglama’. I’m the daughter and niece of the owners of the family run business Lazy Chef and currently manage their social media, create their menus and work part-time as a barista for additional income.


How long have you lived in the area?

I’ve lived in Forest Hill for my entire life; I was born here and grew up to be a part of the lovely community.

What has changed most during that time?

Growing up here I have seen some lovely changes, businesses have improved, there has been an addition of some lovely cafes, bars and pubs.

What do you most value about the area?

There is a lovely sense of community in Forest Hill, which I have found to be more important and touching since I have been spending time at University in Hove. I’ve always felt very welcomed when visiting businesses. Though I must mention my love for the Horniman Gardens, which I spent much of my childhood running around in.

What’s the one thing you couldn’t do without?

My baglama. I’ve always loved music and really have found the baglama plays a huge role in who I am today, which is thanks to my Father who introduced me to it. You would often find myself and family spending time playing and singing along to the baglama.

Where are you likely to be found on Saturday?

Most probably at Lazy Chef. My weekends for the past 2 years have been at the cafe serving customers or working in the bar. Not only seeing the customer satisfaction but also serving such a lovely community and creating friendships with customers has really added to my passion and excitement in being a part of the business.

What is your favourite place to eat?

In terms of breakfast my first choice would definitely be the Lazy Chef’s Special. For the evenings I tend to treat myself to Babur To Go which is one of our first options when ordering takeaway without a doubt. We also really enjoy Piazza Della Cucina, as not only are their pizzas amazing but the staff are also lovely.

My perfect holiday..

Anywhere with family would be the perfect holiday for me. I love spending time in nature and would prefer the countryside, which is why I spend my summers back at home in Dersim (Turkey).

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This article first appeared in the June issue of SE23.