GAZİANTEP – Anadolu Agency
The southeastern city of Gaziantep, which has one of Turkey’s best cuisines and has been included in the UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, now aims to acquire a Michelin Star, known as the Oscar of food, with new restaurants serving unique tastes.
To attain the goal, Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality is seeking to attract new venues to the city, including the Culinary Arts Center (MSM), which features a range of foods from Gaziantep cuisine, in one of the busiest spots in the city.
Besides presentation, the center has also drawn attention for unique dinner sets depicting the promotional face of the city, thy Gypsy Girl.
The center serves two different menus every week, including a seasonal dish, soup, main course and dessert.
Gaziantep Mayor Fatma Şahin said the city had been experiencing some difficult times due to the effects of the war in neighboring Syria but needed to quickly return to normal.
“Gaziantep is like an open-air museum for cultural tourism. We have five ancient cities, inns, baths and museums. Also, our biggest power is that we are the world’s eighth cuisine to be approved by UNESCO. Our local cuisine is a rising value,” Şahin said.
She said Gaziantep’s cuisine was not only limited to lahmacun, kebap or baklava, as the city also boasts 500 other types of dishes.
“We need a place to offer these tastes to tourists. We need to increase the number of high-quality venues. If you want to fight in the international arena, you need to create alternatives. This is why, as the municipality, we saw that we need to open more social facilities. Within the scope of this, we first opened a special café at the Zeugma Museum, the most popular tourist attraction in the city. Now we are adding variety to such venues. The Culinary Arts Center opened last month. More people come to this place every other day,” the mayor said, adding that many dishes unique to the city could be tasted at the center.
Gaziantep Municipality Coordinator Doğa Çıtçı said they were working to make the city’s name heard in the world of gastronomy.
Çıtçı said Gaziantep cuisine was the only one in the world known for the name of the city. “We have an unbelievable cuisine culture. One of the reasons why we opened MSM is to show that Gaziantep cuisine is not limited to a few dishes. Even though it recently opened, our guests say they feel like they are in a Michelin-star restaurant. This is what we want to do. We have two menus in a week; we can make it more but in this way, we can offer better dishes. We are going well right now.”