Turkish chef makes it to finals at Basque Culinary World Prize

Turkish chef makes it to finals at Basque Culinary World Prize

MARDİN - Anadolu Agency
Turkish chef makes it to finals at Basque Culinary World Prize

Ebru Baybara Demir, a chef and social entrepreneur from the southeastern province of Mardin, was selected as one of the 10 finalists of the 2018 Basque Culinary World Prize.

Jock Zonfrillo from Australia won this year’s prize, which is given to chefs who improve society through gastronomy.

Demir was also shortlisted for the finals in last year’s competition.

“It is a huge success to be among the top 10 finalists, not once but twice. I did not succeed at this alone; this was team work. I thank everyone who has supported me. A long way lies ahead and there is a lot to do,” Demir said.

In 2017, she competed in the Basque Culinary World Prize with her Harran Gastronomy School Project-Amazon Queens, which was supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the district of Harran Governor’s Office. Last year, 110 contenders from 30 countries took part in the competition.

This year, the title of her competing project was “From the soil to the dish: the living soil and local seed project.”

“Last year, a total of 160 people received training under the Harran Gastronomy School project. We helped 108 people find a job. This year, we have reached out to a total of 224 women, including Syrian refugees with the ‘From the soil to the dish’ project,” Demir said.

The yield from the “sorgül” seeds on a 102 decares of land was 20,000 tons, she said, adding that “sorgül” is one of the oldest wheat seeds known in the Mesopotamian region.

“We intend to spread this seed throughout the world as protection against drought. Wheat has originated from Turkey and Mesopotamia. We will protect this local seed and send it out to the world. This will be done by the women of Mardin,” Demir said.

She also noted that work has been launched to establish a gastronomy institute in Mardin.

“Our aim is to make gastronomy a milestone that changes people’s lives. We have identified a site to establish the institute. We will open this school particularly to help women in Mardin establish a profession,” Demir added.

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