Food Fest | The International Food Fest Antalya Gastronomy Festival, which is being held for the second time this year, opened its doors with an opening ceremony.
The International Food Fest Antalya Gastronomy Festival, initiated by the Antalya Metropolitan Municipality to support local food, promote Antalya’s cuisine, and highlight the region’s geographically indicated products, opened its doors today with the opening ceremony. This year, under the motto “From Antalya to the World,” the second edition of the festival was attended by Antalya Governor Hulusi Şahin, Antalya Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Muhittin Böcek, Hatay Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Lütfü Savaş, Chairman of the ÇUKTOB Board Tayyar Zaimoğlu, Chairman of the MASTOB Board Cengiz Barut, Chairman of the ETÜDER Board Melih Şahinöz, Chairman of the AKTOB Board Kaan Kaşif Kavaloğlu, Chairman of the TÜROFED Board Erkan Yağcı, Chairman of the AGYİD Board Zeki Özen, world-famous chefs, NGO presidents, and many representatives from the gastronomy sector. AGYİD Chairman Zeki Özen, who spoke first at the opening ceremony, emphasized the benefits of introducing Antalya’s regional cuisine to the world for tourism. Erkan Yağcı, Chairman of the TÜROFED Board, mentioned that Antalya has gained prominence in recent years with its cultural elements and emphasized that gastronomy is the most important factor to diversify tourism.
Mayor Muhittin Böcek: We’ve Added Another Gateway for Our City to the World with This Festival
Starting his speech by stating that the International Food Fest Antalya Gastronomy Festival adds value to the city, Mayor Muhittin Böcek said, “As you know, we had two festivals in Antalya. One of them was the Golden Orange Film Festival, which we returned to its essence, and the other was the International Piano Festival. Since the first day we took office, we promised that Antalya would not only be the capital of tourism but also of culture, art, and gastronomy. With this idea, we started the Antalya Book Fair, which has over a million visitors and is the largest fair organized by the municipality, the first and only hobby festival in Turkey where everyone finds something for themselves, the Yeşilçam Festival that revives nostalgia, and the Yörük Turkmen Festival where we pioneered as the land of the Yörük. Last year, we held the first International Food Fest Antalya Gastronomy Festival to give our city the value it deserves. In this way, we increased our number of festivals from 2 to 7. We all know how difficult it is to become a gastronomy city, and how important it is to form habits and have good food. Antalya, in addition to its importance in gastronomy, is a city that produces the best vegetables, fruits, and meat for the table. That’s why we have placed great importance on the sustainability principle in agriculture since we took office. We have been working tirelessly on what needs to be done for the healthy generations of tomorrow in this geography, which is almost like a gift. With this festival, we have added another gateway for our city to the world. Antalya is now preferred not only for its sun, sea, and nature but also for the charm of its local cuisine. Because our beautiful Antalya deserved to be a world-renowned brand with its cuisine culture, which blends Anatolia with Mediterranean flavors and contains the seeds of peace, brotherhood, our ancestral heritage, the enchanting texture of the Mediterranean, and its ancient history. These values are also a cornerstone for our country’s economy and tourism. If Antalya is one of the most preferred holiday destinations for both domestic and foreign tourists today, our cuisine has a significant share in this. Today, we are happy about the success we have achieved on this journey to protect our city’s values, strengthen them, and leave them as a legacy for the future. We are proud to host this festival, which has contributed greatly to our goal of etching the name of our cuisine on the world stage.
In our festival, which we organize with the motto ‘From Antalya to the World,’ and where we say ‘From the field to the table,’ we bring together world-famous Michelin-starred and award-winning chefs, gourmets, gastronomy and tourism writers, and professionals from various sectors of the industry from Turkey and around the world. In our 3-day festival, we will share the meals we have missed together,” he said.
Antalya Governor Hulusi Şahin: Our Goal in the Tourism Capital Antalya Is Not Only to Make Money but Also to Win the Hearts of Our Visitors
Starting his speech by thanking Mayor Muhittin Böcek and his colleagues for organizing the International Food Fest Antalya Gastronomy Festival, Antalya Governor Hulusi Şahin said, “Since taking office, I have visited only three districts so far. Antalya is not only the capital of tourism but also a region of great importance in agriculture. For example, the Korkuteli district meets more than 50% of Turkey’s mushroom needs. In the tourism capital Antalya, our goal is not only to make money but also to win the hearts of our visitors to the city. For this, we first need to introduce Turkey’s magnificent cuisine. In this festival, our primary goal is to present Antalya dishes and Turkish cuisine in the best possible way to our guests. Antalya can be one of the leading gastronomy cities in the world. This festival is a big step in that direction,” he said.
After the opening speeches, women in Yörük costumes presented selected examples of geographically indicated Antalya dishes in copper dishes to the protocol members.
The first day of the festival ended with a concert by Melek Mosso, which was attended by thousands of people. The famous artist performed her most beloved songs and left her mark on the night.
The 2nd International Food Fest Antalya Gastronomy Festival will continue until September 3rd with exhibitions, product presentations, workshops, panels, discussions, competitions, and concerts.