THE WORLD’S BEST-LOVED MEZES AT THE 2ND INTERNATIONAL MEZE FESTIVAL
Antalya, the jewel of the Mediterranean, once again hosts the world’s only meze festival! From October 12 to October 13, renowned chefs from three continents will show off their craft at the 2nd International Meze Festival. Embracing the magnificent view of the city, the Akra Hotel welcomes local and international gastronomy lovers, all within the scope of the Urban Social Taste concept.
Mezes hold an important place in a range of cuisines, and these tasty dishes are showcased in one of the world’s most exciting gastronomic events at Akra Hotel, on October 12 and 13. Deliciously established as a tradition from its debut edition, the 2nd International Meze Festival once again brings together the best chefs from the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Turkey.
Antalya Hosts World Renowned Chefs
International chefs including Ruben Arnanz from Spain, Joe Barza from Lebanon, Mohammad Orfali from Syria, Pere Planaguma from Girona, Prin Polsuk from Thailand and Mustafa Seif from Egypt offer an exciting range of global mezes to foodies and food lovers alike, while Turkey’s own Doğa Çitçi, Emre Çapa, Erhan Görücüoğlu, Mehmet Akdağ, Umut Karakuş, and Volkan Bekit serve traditional and modern mezes prepared with their own special touches.
Meze Recipes Will Be Shared at the Workshop Organised Before the Festival
Guests attending the workshop on Friday, October 12, can expect a special treat: as chefs present their dishes, workshop attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the history and preparation of mezes.
A Festival Organised by Master Hands
Vedat Başaran, an authority in the history of gastronomy and an expert chef, is a culinary ambassador renowned for known for the important gastronomy events; he, along with event planner Gökmen Sözen, and Barut Hotels Chef and face of gastronomy, Tolga Atalay, have made invaluable contributions to the development of the 2nd International Meze Festival. Once again, they bring their expertise to visitors!
With the name originating from ‘mazidan’, which means ‘to taste’ in Farsi, the meze, in both concept and interpretation, is an important gift from the Middle East to the world. As meze dishes were brought to other countries, each dish gained new and unique touches across diverse culinary traditions. As a small dish served with alcoholic drinks, the meze first gained prominence in wine houses and taverns throughout the Mediterranean. In our modern era, ‘mezes’ are also considered a meal’s starting dishes.
Meze: A Bridge Between Countries…
First, cold starters are served; these are followed by warm starters. Called ‘tapas’ in Spanish, ‘pintxos’ in Basque, ‘hors d'oeuvres’ in French, and ‘antipasti’ in Italian...mezes are truly international. Designed to gird the belly for alcohol or stimulate the appetite for a main dish to follow, these small plates have a truly special place on the dining table or the bar.
Born in Segovia, with only 29 years old he gets his first Michelin star in Villena Restaurant, being one of the youngest chefs to recognize. Traveling through different countries and learning from the most diverse cultures, Arnanz has cooked up in some of the best restaurants in the world, leading the culinary movement generated in the last years in Castilla/ Spain.
Juan Bravo, as owner, is his Fonda Ilustrada, an informal space with a kitchen to enjoy and share full of roots and his most popular recipes, which coming soon will open in more international main cities. Since 2016, the Chef is the consultant in the investigation & developement team at Huercasa, creating new products for the big markets that reach Spanish households. He runs his own gastronomic Consulting department, creating and establishing common objectives with those owners that want to start or improve their proposal around the world.
Volkan Bekit was born in Münih, in 1977. From the age of 10, he served in various roles at Bay Nihat Restaurant, opened by his father, Ahmet Nihat Bekit, in 1978. He continues to work in the family business alongside his father and his brother, Mustafa Hakan Bekit.
Savaş Irlan Born in 1966 in Ayvalik. During his military service, he worked in the kitchen of the officer's club serving the protocol and then he worked as a chef at Ayvalık Canlı Balık Restaurant. He has been working at Bay Nihat Restaurant since 1990.
Just one of two Turkish chefs to have been awarded a Michelin star, Serkan Güzelçoban grew up in the kitchen. Born in Germany, the 33-year-old chef began his career at the age of 17, and opened his own restaurant at the age of 33, creating globally acclaimed tastes offered with the famous Turkish hospitality. Chef Güzelçoban will be at the 2nd International Meze Festival on October 13!
At the age of 17, Güzelçoban started his career with an internship at the Millennium & Copthorne Hotel in Stuttgart from 2001 to 2004. Between 2004 and 2005, he served as Commis de Cuisine at the Eckart Witzigmann Palazzo, in Cologne and Munich. In 2005, he joined Restaurant MeerSalz at the Hotel MeerSinn, in Ostseebad Binz in Ruegen, Germany, as Chef de Partie. Later that same year, Güzelçoban worked as Chef de Partie Patisserie with Boris Benecke at Hotel Paradies in Ftan, Switzerland. He also served at Damals, awarded two Michelin stars and 18 Gault Millau Points between 2005 and 2006. Damals has been listed among the best restaurants in Switzerland. In 2006, Güzelçoban moved to Portocolom, Mallorca, where he worked as Sous Chef with Dieter Sögnerín at Restaurant Colon, listed among the best restaurants in Mallorca. In 2007, at the age of 22, he began serving as Chef de Cuisine at Restaurant Florian, also in Portocolom.
In 2007, he went to Germany, where he worked as Sous Chef at Restaurant CUBE, awarded 18 Gault Millau Points and listed among the best restaurants in Stuttgart. In 2009, he served as Sous Chef with Boris Benecke in Zweiflingen, Germany at Wald & Schlosshotel Friedrichsruhe; the Michelin starred restaurant was awarded with 16 Gault Millau Points and has been listed among the best 50 restaurants in Germany; the hotel was selected as the best Spa hotel in Germany for four consecutive years. Following that, he served as Executive Chef at Hotel-Restaurant Anne-Sophie in Künzelsau, Germany, before becoming the chef of the second restaurant, Restaurant Handicap, as of May 2013. Restaurant Handicap introduced a new concept to the culinary world: in November 2014, it became known for being the first restaurant where disabled people work. The restaurant was awarded with a Michelin star for its achievements, and Serkan Güzelçoban became the 2nd Turkish Chef of the World with a Michelin Star. The restaurant received 16 points from Gault & Millau in November 2015.
From experiences comes entrepreneurship The renowned chef opened his own restaurants, Bistronomie Schöner Hirte and Restaurant Filiae, in 2016, followed by Gourmet Restaurant Kleinod in 2017.