Local tastes of Aegean Region were the highlight of the 3rd International Gastronomic Tourism Congress. The Congress, under auspices of Ministry of Culture and Tourism, was co-organized by Izmir Fair Services Culture and Art Affairs (IZFAŞ), Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB), Dokuz Eylül University, and Izmir University of Economics (IUE). Local tastes of Aegean Region turned into a tasty feast at the Congress held at Fuar Izmir.
Students of Department of Culinary Arts and Management, Izmir University of Economics, served the guests appetizers that included: tarhana soup (Turkish soup made from a fermented and dehydrated mix of flour, yogurt, onions, tomatoes and green peppers), bakla fava, (mashed broad beans), rum mezesi (Greek hors d'oeuvre), çingene pilavı (literally translated as gypsy pilaf, this salad combines raw vegetables with grated Turkish white cheese), soured wild radish, radicchio, and cibes (local herb), pumpkin sinkonta (baked pumpkin with sun-dried tomato paste & crispy onions). The main course included lamb with fennel simmered in low heat, blessed thistle with lamb, baked Karaburun sea bream with common fennel. Guests were also treated şambali (shambali or Damascus honey) with cream and kazandibi (pudding with a caramel base) as desserts.
Trainer Chef Tolgahan Kamiloğlu, from IUE Department of Culinary Arts and Management, stated that the students all worked very hard for the congress. “Our students learn the niceties of culinary arts and then use them in practice. They were involved in all stages of this congress from preparation and cooking of the food to serving it to the guests. As one of the hosts of the congress, we wanted to make sure we presented our local tastes the best way possible. Local herbs were the highlight of our menu. These natural herbs turn our tables into a feast. This has impact on culture, life itself. We make it a point that our student chefs know about their own cuisine before they get experienced in world cuisines,” said Chef Kamiloğlu.