Hatay Metropolitan Municipality brought together experts in the field of gastronomy and important chefs to introduce the city’s food culture to the world. Hatay Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Lütfü Savaş said, “Hatay is a city where different cultures have lived together for centuries. Where the first agriculture started. Right in the heart of Mesopotamia. We want to carry the legacy of our ancestors to the future.”
Two-day ‘Hatay Gastronomy Meetings’ were held in Hatay, one of the creative cities of UNESCO. Many experts from local food producers to academicians, important chefs such as Ebru Baybara Demir and Süreyya Üzmez and leading non-governmental organizations in the field of gastronomy tourism attended the meeting led by the Metropolitan Municipality and shared their experiences with panels and kitchen shows. The event was followed from many countries, including the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Sweden, America and England, with live broadcast and simultaneous translation on the website. Promotions will continue with a gastronomy festival to be held in the city next May.
HATAY’S CUISINE CULTURE!
Making evaluations to Hürriyet Daily, Mayor Lütfü Savaş spoke about the gastronomy project as follows: “Hatay is a city where different cultures have lived together for centuries. People from many religions, sects and ethnicities live together. It has also been one of the most important trade centres since the Roman period. The Silk Road, the pilgrimage route passes through here. We are where the first agriculture started, right in the heart of Mesopotamia. The geography and climate are very suitable for agriculture. Since trade has been done for centuries and many different cultures have lived, a great food culture has emerged here. These are inherited from our ancestors. We want to carry this legacy into the future. We want to share the gastronomic culture of our ancestors with the world. To share this, we became one of the creative cities of UNESCO in 2017. We are one of the gastronomic cities in the world. We want to bring Hatay to the place it deserves by making the mentality, quality, hygiene and presentation techniques for gastronomic tourism suitable for the world. We want this to be permanent.”
Savaş explained, “In this project, we invited experts in the field of gastronomy. From today on, we want to progress rapidly on this path. Today we gave the start of gastronomy. In the next process, we will do everything necessary to ensure that all these efforts are permanent. We want to carry out all the procedures that will bring the gastronomic tourism to the highest level in Hatay.”
“There is a tremendous potential. Its presentation has been lacking so far. In tourism, it was 500 thousand in Hatay, but now it has decreased to 110 thousand. With EXPO there will be more. The war in Syria made us very tired. This is the richest cuisine in Turkey,” Savaş added…