Gastronomy show in Istanbul

Gastronomy show in Istanbul

The international “Gastro Entertainment Show” is set to be organized in Istanbul Volkswagen Arena in the coming days, on Sept. 16 and 17.

“We aim to bring together the country’s producers and chefs with consumers. Everything ranging from seed-growing, organic farming, wine, cheese, olive oil, flavors from Anatolia and famous chefs will come together on this platform,” VİP Tourism CEO Yasemin Pirinçcioğlu has said. 

Besides local and famous foreign chefs and connoisseurs, gastronomy writers from Italy and Spain have also been invited. The president of the Madrid Gastronomy Academy, Luis Suarez de Lezo, is among those participants.

The two-day event aiming to bring Istanbul to the fore as a gastronomy destination will cheer up visitors with live performances by artists. This is good news on behalf of Turkish cuisine. Still, I have worries about “sustainability and continuity” issues. In the past, many events were organized in Istanbul in the name of Turkish cuisine. Today, I really do not know which ones still continue.

The Mistura Festival, a symbol of Peruvian cuisine, has been continuing nonstop for about 10 years now.

Mistura, which is also supported by the Peruvian government, brings together some 350 producers and 50 restaurants from every region with the attempt to bring the diversity of the country to the forefront.

Besides, it hosts contests such as the “best young chef” and “best young pastry cook.” In short, the “Gastro Entertainment Show” can only be efficient introducing the Turkish cuisine when it gains continuity. Pirinçcioğlu said a scientific report written by Gonca Güzel Şahin and Gülçin Ünver from Atılım University, with the theme “Gastronomy Tourism” in 2015, was influential in her decision. Şahin and Ünver conducted a study similar to the “Global Gastronomy Tourism Report” by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for Istanbul.

A survey participated by 93 A-group travel agencies in Istanbul provides interesting data. 

Those who believe gastronomy plays a key role in Turkey’s tourism market constitute 76.6 percent. Those who believe that Istanbul has a strong image in regards to its gastronomy potential are 64 percent.

The percentage of agency managers who believe that Istanbul is preferred by local and foreign tourists for gastronomy tourism is 53 percent, and that is quite low.  

It means primarily that we do not fully believe that Istanbul can become a destination for gastronomy. 

We must first look at ourselves before responding to the question on whether or not we are satisfied with the quality of service at restaurants in Istanbul.

The percentage of those who believe that the service is “partly” satisfying is 59.4. Those who think it is satisfying constitute 25 percent and the ones who disagree are 16.6.
“State institutions and organizations must come together with the private sector, evaluate world standards and make the necessary arrangements,” the report said. 

This report stresses once again that we need scientific data when talking about Turkish cuisine.