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Türkiye’s delicious cuisine and got artsy with rich, traditional Turkish arts

AVRUPA TIMES/LONDON-Joining over 700 fantastic established and emerging makers, designers, brands and galleries from around the world Yunus Emre Institute London was delighted to take part and contribute to the celebration of creativity for London Craft Week! Taking place between the 8th and 14th of May at the Institute in Fitzrovia, the theme this year was Getting Artsy and Cherishing the Ancient Tastes of Anatolia! After the earthquake that hit and deeply affected the most important cities of Turkish gastronomy, Yunus Emre Institute London stepped up to promote the cuisine of the earthquake-affected cities with all the proceeds donated to the Türkiye Earthquake Relief Fund! Participants had the opportunity to take part in workshops, demonstrations, talks and more with master artists and world-class chefs! Cooking delectable dishes from 3 gastronomy cities from the earthquake-affected area in Türkiye, they had a splendid week as they cherished the ancient tastes of Anatolia and celebrated Türkiye’s rich cultural heritage through practising traditional Turkish arts!

During the culinary workshops led by master chefs who are originally from three different cities hit by the earthquake, the participants delved into the tasteful mosaic of Turkish cuisine and had a genuine experience of cooking and sharing meals with locals from the heart of Anatolia. The artful & tasteful week kicked off with masterclasses and demonstrations with award-winning Chef Ali Açıkgül on ‘Anatolia’s Zero-Waste Kitchen’ exploring sustainability baked into Turkish cooking, the many types of ‘Turkish Şerbet’, and the ‘Forgotten Taste of Anatolia’ delving into the Malatya’s delicious dishes. The attendees were lucky not only to cook with the awarded chef Ali Açıkgül but also to learn and get inspired about the forgotten tastes of Anatolia! Through the various dishes he cooked, Chef Ali Açıkgül demonstrated how the colourful mosaic of dried food used in Anatolia is a beautiful and traditional example of valuable practice on low waste and sustainability. 

Delving into Hatay cuisine, awarded Chef Özlem Warren, hosted an authentic Hatay dinner during which she cooked Tepsi Kebabı (Traybake kebab), Patatesli Bulgurlu Köfte (Potato and Bulgur Patties) and Biberli Ekmek (Flatbreads with Za’atar and Cheese). It was an unforgettable evening for the attendees as they not only cooked dishes but also extended their love and sympathy as Özlem told stories of her childhood in Hatay and its rich, ancient cuisine. As the culinary activities continued on the second day, Yunus Emre Institute London’s kitchen was once again adorned with the rich colours and flavours of Gaziantep cuisine! Led by the master chef Servet Kılıç the attendees were shown how to prepare various traditional dishes of the UNESCO City of Gastronomy, such as Omaç and Alinazik. During the second workshop, the attendees were amazed by the generous (literally) amount and distinctive flavour of the pistachio that went into Katmer Antep Fıstığı Ezmesi, some Antep’s most famous desserts made with love and exquisite pistachio all the way from Antep!

Alongside culinary activities, craft workshops took place throughout the week as renowned artist Gulnaz Mahboob led calligraphy workshops where the attendees stepped into the world of calligraphy and experienced the timeless elegance of Islamic calligraphy! The attendees were introduced to all the techniques and traditional tools used in this art form with passion and precision. They were very pleased to return home with their personalised gifts bearing their initials written by the master calligrapher. On the other hand, during the beautiful art of Ebru workshops led by Dilara Karaağaç hundreds of flowers blossomed on the trays. From one class to the next, the attendees were on a non-stop art adventure where they learned how to sprinkle the paint with the brush onto the surface of the water! Alongside adults, this year kids were also able to embrace and enjoy the traditional paper marbling techniques where they experimented with different tools and techniques to create unique and intricate designs on their paper marbling. 

Yunus Emre Institute London concluded London Craft Week with 18 amazing workshops featuring traditional Turkish arts and Turkish cuisine. Yunus Emre Institute London has welcomed hundreds of attendees for London Craft Week over the past five years. Whether you are a chef or simply love food, an artist or an art enthusiast, this is a perfect opportunity to explore Turkish arts and cuisine!   


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