Gaziantep to host masters of gastronomy
Gaziantep, considered by many as a culinary paradise in southeast Anatolia, is preparing to host an international festival to advertise its historical and cultural richness to the whole world.
The Gaziantep International Gastronomy Festival, GastroAntep, hosted by the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality and Gaziantep Development Foundation (GAGEV) and organized with the collaboration of the Culture and Tourism Ministry, the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB) and Turkish Airlines, will be hosting hundreds of professionals and travelers from Turkey and abroad.
The city, which was included in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network together with 116 other cities in the world following some meticulous work, will be brought to the international arena during the festival.
Forty-one world-famous chefs from 40 countries will all be coming to Gaziantep for the international organization.
At a press conference recently held in Istanbul, Gaziantep Mayor Fatma Şahin underlined that GastroAntep is a great opportunity to carry the rich cuisine of Gaziantep and its cultural richness from the local to the global level.
“Gaziantep, the city that contributes to the Turkish economy by engaging in the production and exportation of a wide-range of products, from textile to agricultural products and from furniture to chemical products, was selected as one of the most competitive seven cities in the Competitive Cities Databank project of the World Bank. We see today that our city, which has a deep-rooted history, is rising to an even more competitive position with its rich cuisine culture. I believe with all my heart that Gaziantep will in a very short period of time become a gastronomy center that will be well-known around the world, hosting tourists from all over the world,” she added.
During the three-day festival, which will be offering an unforgettable food experience to both the guests, who are important figures in the dining sector globally, and the visitors coming from all parts of Turkey, there will be a march with the participation of famous figures as well as concerts, exhibitions, kitchen workshops and cooking competitions.
Local food will be tasted and dishes will prepared with products bearing local brands. They will be introduced in GastroAntep, and a show will be presented by the world-renowned butcher Nusret.
Products of local brands will be tasted by Michelin star chefs and they will be included in the recipes of world cuisines, Şahin said.
“There are 18 products with a geographic mark in Gaziantep, namely the pistachio, the Antep lace, baklava, the kutnu cloth, copper handicraft, mother of pearl handicraft, the beyran dish, the yuvalama dish, pistachio delight, lahmacun [very thin Turkish pizza covered with seasoned minced meat and onions], the round and flat bread, bulgur, the firik [boiled, pounded unripe wheat], the katmer [crisp flaky pastry], köy kahkesi [a type of bagel], şiveydizi [chickpea dish with garlic], muska [a special delight] and cheese,” she added.
“The Dülük ancient town, Karkamış which is the heritage of the Hittite, the Greek Castle, the Yesemek Open Air Museum with a 3,000-year-old sculpture, the Zeugma ruins dating back to the 300’s B.C., the Zoology and Nature Museums - which are museums that reflect the archeological and historical richness of the region - its castle that withheld hundreds of years of its history and the historical mosques, churches and synagogues that unite the three religions in Gaziantep make the city rich in history and culture and the city was included among the 116 cities in the Creative Cities Network of UNESCO in the world. This success will continue with the GastroAntep festival,” said Şahin.
The mayor also added that the festival would be held every year, saying, “Gaziantep hosted 1.5 million tourists in 2017. The number of tourists that came to our city in the first six months of this year is above 800,000. With the festival, our goal is to have approximately 2 million visitors by 2019 and to increase the number of tourists to 5 million with 3 million foreign tourists.”