Gaziantep shines with gastronomy festival
The Gaziantep International Gastronomy Festival, GastroAntep, organized to advertise the province’s cuisine to the world, kicked off on Sept. 12. It will run through Sept. 15. This is the second time the festival is being held.
The festival is hosted by the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality under the coordination of the Gaziantep Governor’s Office and with the collaboration of the Gaziantep Development Foundation (GAGEV).
The opening ceremony of the festival was attended by Gaziantep Governor Davut Gül, Gaziantep Mayor Fatma Şahin, world-famous chefs, gourmands, gastronomy writers, scholars, NGO representatives, media representatives and thousands of locals.
Participants joined a pepper harvesting activity on a 60-decare-area in the province’s Nurdağı district.
Before the pepper harvesting activity, Şahin held a speech. “Languages change, but the language of taste does not; this is the language of Gaziantep. Voices change, the voice of the taste does not; this is the voice of Gaziantep. Colors change, but the color of taste does not; this is the color of Gaziantep,” she said.
“In the variety of the Gaziantep cuisine, which embodies about 500 courses, our agricultural production is important. What constitutes the basis of our rich and unique courses is the vegetables, cereals, legumes, fruits, pistachio, endemic plants and spices that grow on Gaziantep lands thanks the favorable geography and climate conditions. And the Gaziantep peeper, which is a source of income for thousands of farmer families in our province and adds a unique taste to our courses, is just one of these products.
“I find it very meaningful and important that we do the opening of the festival with pepper harvesting,” said Şahin.
During the four-day festival, concerts, exhibitions, kitchen workshops and cooking competitions will take place. Local food will be tasted and dishes will prepared with products bearing local brands.
In 2015, Gaziantep has become the first Turkish city to be included in the UNESCO UCCN program (UNESCO Creative Cities Network) in the field of gastronomy.
Launched in 2004, UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network currently comprises 180 cities worldwide. It aims to foster international cooperation with and between cities committed to investing in creativity as a driver for sustainable urban development, social inclusion and cultural vibrancy.
Turkish cities in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network include Gaziantep (2015), Hatay (2017), Istanbul (2017) and Kütahya (2017).