Turkish cuisine isn’t just food, it’s an entire civilisation: Ambassador Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul | Pakistan Today

Turkish cuisine isn’t just food, it’s an entire civilisation: Ambassador Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul

-Ciragan Palace chefs star at Turkish Food Festival

ISLAMABAD: Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul on Thursday inaugurated the Turkish Food Festival at a press conference where guests had the opportunity to meet the renowned chefs of Çırağan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul with a quote from a famous Turkish novelist equating Turkish food to a civilisation in itself.

Serena Hotels as part of its cultural diplomacy initiatives have invited Serdar Ongel, Sous Chef, Davut Kutlugun, Chef de Partie, and Servet Kanat and Pastry Chef de Partie to bring the flavours of Istanbul to Islamabad.

The eight-day festival will be held at Zamana Restaurant and a lucky draw would be held on the last day of the festival i.e. November 1, for two return tickets for Istanbul and a two-night stay at the Çırağan Palace.

The Turkish Embassy has also arranged a waiver on the Turkish Visa application service charges from Gerry’s International.

As significant as food is in Pakistan, it is also an important part of Turkish culture. Influences and interactions between the cuisines of countries surrounding Turkey as well as a fusion of Asian and European cuisines are reflected in the Turkish cuisine which uses a lot of vegetables, meat (mostly lamb and beef), cereals and yogurt.

Ambassador Yurdakul said, “Firstly, I would like to thank our chefs and musicians who came all the way from Turkey to promote their culture among our Pakistani brothers and to Serena Hotel for supporting such an event here in Islamabad. Turkish cuisine, formed by the intermingling of peoples, is a geography-oriented delicious kitchen. When the Turks migrated from Central Asia towards Anatolia, they brought the elements and practices they picked up along the way, including the food culture”.

Moreover, the ambassador told that empire characteristics of the Seljuk and Ottomans tastes have contributed to the diversity of Turkish Cuisine. “Turkish cuisine is one of the best in the world. So, I am sure that people who come to Serena Hotel this week will enjoy the food,” he said.

Islamabad Serena Hotel General Manager (GM) Mr Michele Galopin said, “Serena is delighted to welcome back sous chef, Serdar Öngel, chef de partie, Davut Kutlugün and pastry chef de partie and chocolatier, Servet Kanat, who are responsible for many of the superb meals at the Çirağan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul”.

“Serena Hotels delighted to be able to give our guests the opportunity to experience unique aspects of other cultures and countries. We collaborate with diplomatic missions to successfully conduct such festivals and we are privileged to collaborate with the Embassy of Turkey and the enchanting Çırağan Palace to transport the flavours of Istanbul to Islamabad,” he added.

Dating back to the 17th century, the only Ottoman imperial palace and hotel on the Bosphorus, Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul is unique in its splendid style, superb location, fascinating view and resort ambiance. It is also renowned for its superb hospitality and the rich variety of restaurants, from the ultimate Ottoman dining experience at the Tuğra Restaurant to the delicious comfort food and regional specialties of the Laledan Restaurant.

Mian Abrar

The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He can be reached at [email protected]