On the crossroad between the Caucasus, the Middle East, the Balkans and the Mediterranean, Anatolia hosts one of the richest food heritage in the world in terms of varieties, breeds, and processed food products. Yet, its gastronomic heritage is disappearing at an alarming pace. This is why Slow Food has gathered a group of chefs who are committed to promoting and safeguarding the hidden gems of Anatolia’s and Trakya’s cuisine, building concrete bridges with the ultimate guardians of biodiversity: small-scale artisan farmers and rural communities.
30 chefs from across the Country have answered our call to action, from throughout the HoReCa business. A prestigious list, including renowned chefs such as Ali Ronay – one the most established ambassadors of the Anatolian Turkish Cuisine to the world; Aylin Yazıcıoğlu – a chef and consultant with experience in several Michelin-starred chefs, and Maksut Aşkar – who has contributed to the re-discovery of many forgotten food traditions across Anatolia. The Alliance also encompasses chefs with clear commitments towards sustainability and the protection of food biodiversity.
The Slow Food Cooks’ Alliance in Turkey is not meant to be a prize awarding dishes or menus. It is a living alliance of chefs recognizing the key role that artisan farmers play in Anatolian gastronomy: preserving the ingredients that make it possible.
Slow Food has already cataloged onto the Ark of Taste over 80 Turkish food products that are at risk of extinction – whether vegetable varieties, animal breeds or processed food products. Through the Slow Food Cooks’ Alliance, chefs now commit to use local and neglected food ingredients to ensure these products – and the communities that keep them alive – a sustainable future.
As part of the Slow Food Cooks’ Alliance launch event, Metro will be hosting the chefs who are members of the Alliance, Slow Food representatives from the global community, Turkish Slow Food leaders, producers and members of the press at Gastronometro on June 27, 2022.
The event will start with the workshop “From Shared Problems to Shared Solutions“.
It will gather the chefs of Chef’s Alliance with the producers in order to discuss in detail their shared problems from different angles; in the restaurants and in the field. Coupling the chefs and producers in groups, the workshop will put certain problematic themes on the table, such as the negative impact of global warming on food production and quality, decreasing food waste both in the restaurants and in the field, sustainability of regenerative agriculture, financial concerns arising in prioritizing and producing good, clean and fair products. In addition to making both sides to identify shared problems from their perspective, workshop aims to have a general debate that will make producers and the chefs to develop solutions that will lead to beneficial outcomes for both sides.
After the opening speeches of Metro Turkey CEO Sinem Türüng and Gastronometro Director Maximilian J. Thomae, Slow Food Travel Director Michele Rumiz will give a speech.
After speeches of the Slow Food committee members, Chef Luka Lübne, spokesperson of the Almaya Slow Food Cooks’ Alliance, will be presenting their actions and experiences in Slow Food Cooks’ Alliance Germany.
Special food prepared by Gastronometro chefs including Ark of Taste products will be served to all participants. At the same time, a special dish prepared by the guest Chef Luka Lübne and Chef Aylin Yazıcıoğlu with Turkish Ark of Taste products and offering contributions from both cultures will be served to the guests.
The Slow Food Cooks’ Alliance is a global network of cooks defending food biodiversity across the world. It brings together chefs from restaurants, bistros, cantines and street kitchens who support small producers, the custodians of biodiversity, everyday by using products from Presidia projects and the Ark of Taste, as well as local fruits, vegetables and cheeses, in their kitchens.
Slow Food is a non-for-profit global movement of over 2000 local communities located in over 160 countries. It envisions a world where everyone can enjoy food that is good for them, good for the people who grow it, and good for the planet. Slow Food rallies a worldwide movement to achieve good, clean and fair food for all.
Slow Food in Turkey has been active since 2007, and today relies on a wide network of over 30 communities and local groups, involving hundreds of volunteers. Over the years this network has worked hard to defend the commons, starting with a major campaign to defend the Blue Fish and promoting sustainable fishing on the Bosphorus, one of the world’s most fish-rich seas. Again to protect the commons, our network in Turkey launched the SLow Olive campaign to protect olive biodiversity and rural landscapes across the Aegean and Mediterranean regions, where the olive tree has propagated spontaneously over the centuries. For this reason, in 2019 the Slow Food Presidium of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the Indigenous Landscapes of the Aegean was launched together with Doğa Derneği. This project protecting artisanal food production joins 3 Slow Food Presidia: Boğatepe Gravyeri, Divle cave cheese, and siyez wheat bulgur, one of the ancient wheat varieties of Anatolia. SLow Food also operates 4 farmers’ market named Earth Markets, respectively in Şile (Istanbul), Foça (Aegean coast) and Tarsus (southern Anatolia); and an extensive network of educational projects.
Full list of cooks adhering to the Slow Food Cooks’ Alliance
- Ali Ronay, chef at Ronay’s Deli in Kadikoy, Istanbul
- Aslı Mutlu chef at Karnas Vineyards, Bodrum
- Asuman Bakıcı Kemer, chef at the Vocational and Technical Anatolian High School and Training Hotel, in Antalya
- Aylin Yazıcıoğlu, Gastronometro & Cordon Bleu,Consultant chef, Istanbul
- Cem Aydoğdu, chef at Kapadokya Üniversitesi, in Nevşehir
- Cihan Beyit, chef at Amanruya, Istanbul
- Çiğdem Seferoğlu, chef at Hodam in Beyoglu, Istanbul
- Damla Özay, chef at Çiy in Kuşadası, Aydın
- Deniz Yoldaç Yalçın, chef at Limonita Vegan Kasap, in Kadıköy, İstanbul
- Emre Şen, chef at Casalavanda in Şile, Istanbul
- Eyup Kemal Sevinç from Eks Mutfak Akademi in Kadikoy
- Fatih Saatçı, chef at Senit in Fethiye, Muğla
- Hakan Süve, chef at Maramara Hotel in Bodrum
- Hilal Gökmen chef at Polima Müze Restaurant, in Urla, Izmir
- Hilal Hatip Sırmalı, chef at İncir, in Fethiye, Muğla
- Maksut Aşkar, chef at Noelokal, in Beyoğlu, Istanbul
- Mehmet Ali Börtücene, chef at Olympos Mountain Lodge, in Antalya
- Melih Demirel, chef at Klimanjaro in Şişli, Istanbul
- Melih Icigen, chef at Kapadokya Üniversitesi in Nevşehir
- Ömer Faruk Yılmaz, chef at Hilton Mersin, in Mersin
- Orhan Demirok, chef at Hapimag Resort Sea garden, in Bodrum
- Osman Serdaroğlu, chef at Teruar Urla in Urla, Izmir
- Özgür Bozgurt, chef at Six Senses Kaplankaya, in Muğla
- Saim Eser, chef at Yalı77 in Beykoz, İstanbul
- Seray Öztürk, chef at Dalga Beach in Bodrum
- Serra Beklen, chef at Capra in Kaş, Antalia
- Sinem Özler Kırangeçen, chef at Seraf Restaurant in Bağcilar, Istanbul
- Tuncay Güncü, chef at Chayote in Kaş, Antalia
- Vedat Temir, chef at Doğuş Grubu, in Istanbul
- Zeynep Yildiz, chef at Mipale in Sariyer, Istanbul