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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!

THE MEZE

The Meze

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.

CHEFS

RUBÉN ARNANZ
SPAIN

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.

PERE PLANAGUMA
SPAIN
Awarded two Michelin stars, Pere Planaguma also holds a Sommelier’s Certificate from Fundació Universitat Oberta de Girona. He has worked at La Tour d'Argent in Paris, as well as at the renowned elBulli in Barcelona, which has three Michelin stars; following that, he served as the Head Chef at El Celler de Can Roca , ranked first and second in the World's 50 Best Restaurants List. After returning to Girona, he opened his own restaurant (ROM). He continues to participate in gastronomic activities throughout the world as an academician and a gastronomic consultant for the Gastrocultura Mediterrânea Academy.
JOE BARZA
LEBANON
Joe Barza is a Member of the French Academy of Cuisine and the Head of the Lebanese Chefs' Union. During a career spanning more than 30 years, Barza has contributed enormously to raising the profile of Middle Eastern cuisine. Between 1995 and 2000, he was recognized by Salon Culinaire with silver and gold medals for seafood, Lebanese cuisine and mezes. He also won the Jury Honorary Award at the European Sandwich Combat in 2003. He ranked 9th and 5th in 2003 and 2005, respectively, in the Pastry World Cup. Additionally, he was recognized with the Championship Award at the 2006 World Championship of Tuna contest, held in Sardinia.
PRIN POLSUK
THAILAND
Prin Polsuk served at the London branch of the award-winning Nahm, moving to the flagship Bangkok restaurant, where he served as the Head Chef. Nahm was awarded its first Michelin star, and ranked among the World’s 50 Best Restaurants during his tenure there. Polsuk has long studied and utilized recipes dating from Siam’s storied culinary history. He is a founding partner of the ‘Samrub for Thai’ platform.
MOHAMMAD ORFALI
SYRIA
Mohammad Orfali began his training at Institute Hotelier of Aleppo in 1997 and in 2009 trained at Le Nôtre Kitchen's Academy in Paris. Specializing in the cuisine of Aleppo, Orfali was among the first chefs to utilize molecular gastronomy in Arabic cuisine. He has served as a speaker and jury member for television programs, including Matbakhna Al Arabi, Arabic Modern Cuisine, Hakawi, Fatafeat ICCA Academy. He is currently the master chef and chef de partie of FATAFEAT TV, owned by Discovery Communications.
MOSTAFA SEIF
EYGPT
The renowned Egyptian chef discovered his cooking passion at the age of 20, during his military service. At the invitation of an uncle who ran a restaurant in Paris, Seif moved to France and began working professionally as a chef. He was the First-Place winner at HACE, organized by the Egyptian Chefs Organization, and a Top Chef on the Bravo Network show in the USA.
MAROUANE BOUHMIDI
MOROCCO
Discovering at a young age his love of cooking, Marouane Bouhmidi conducted his culinary training at Mohammedia MOROCCO. He was selected from among thousands of chefs to represent Morocco on Arab World Top Chef, finishing in 4th place. He was also the sole representative from Morocco in the Bocuse d'Or competition. He has served in Morocco in the hotel and restaurant sector alongside other renowned Michelin star-awarded chefs. At present he is the Chef of the Royal Tulip City Center Tangier.
JOHNNY GORIC
PALESTINE
Johnny Goric started his training in Lyon at the age of 16 and began introducing Palestinian cuisine at international events while in his 20s. He won the Villeroy & Boch 2010 Culinary World Cup, together with a team of chefs from different ethnic backgrounds in 2010. He belongs to the Chefs for Peace organization, which counts many Israeli and Palestinian chefs among its membership. Chief Goric continues to work as the Executive Chef for the Legacy Hotel Group. His work has been instrumental in the global recognition of Middle Eastern cuisine.
EMRE ÇAPA
TURKEY
Born on February 18, 1984 in Istanbul, Emre Çapa is a fourth-generation member of the Çapa family, whose members Ahmet, Celal and Izzet have been involved for years in the food & beverage industry. Çapa trained in the culinary arts at Johnson & Wales, Rhode Island, USA. He worked for a number of restaurants, including Apicius, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris. Upon his return to Turkey, he opened the first restaurant at the W Hotel, Minyon. In 2013, he introduced 'Duble Meze' to the food & beverage industry on the terrace of the Donizetti hotel in the Pera district. He opened the second branch of the same restaurant in Karaköy, in 2018.
ERHAN GÖRÜCÜOĞLU
TURKEY
Erhan Görücüoğlu was born in İzmir in 1976. After graduating from university, he worked for 19 years in business administration, as well as in the management of bars, beach clubs, restaurants and F&B. He currently operates the ZIPKIN Fish Restaurants in İstanbul’s Arnavutköy and Alaçatı.
UMUT KARAKUŞ
TURKEY
Umut Karakuş developed his love for pastry at his father’s kneading table and subsequently graduated from Le Cordon Bleu Pastry Department He started his career in 2006, working with some of Turkey’s finest chefs in Anatolian cuisine. In 2012, Karakuş founded the country’s first modern tavern. He has spent the last six years in an extensive exploration of mezes and spices, establishing Turkey’s first spice library of Turkey. He continues this work, with the mission of creating a comprehensive inventory of the country’s spices.
VOLKAN BEKİT &
SAVAŞ İRLAN
TURKEY

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.

DOĞA ÇİTÇİ
TURKEY
Doga Çitçi worked in his family business, in Elazığ, until 1996, when he moved to his own restaurant, Harput Sofrası. He has served as an Executive Chef at the Mersin Ali Baba Restaurant and the Sultani Restaurant, as well as at restaurants in the Mersin Hotel Souser, the Mersin Hilton, the Sultaşa Hotel, the Riverside Holiday Resort and the Mersin Tennis Club.
MEHMET AKDAĞ
TURKEY
Representing the third generation in a century-old business with a ‘grandfather to grandson’ tradition, Mehmet Akdağ was born in 1983 and is the manager and chef at 7 Mehmet. Established in 1937, the 81-year old restaurant’s name derives from a V-shaped scar. Mehmet Akdağ, the founder of 7 Mehmet and grandfather of the current Mehmet, sustained the scar on his forehead in an accident; in Arabic and Old Turkish, ‘scar’ was ‘seven’. Thus, the restaurant became ‘7 Mehmet’. Current manager Mehmet Akdağ was born in 1984 and has served in the family business almost since his birth, following the footsteps of his grandfather and father. Currently he serves over 600 Turkish cuisine and regional flavours, along with unique dishes.
AHMET SEMERCİ
TURKEY
Piyazcı Ahmet is the first name that comes to mind when a craving for the traditional bean salad arises. Ahmet Semerci began working in his father’s piyaz shop after completing his military service in 1984; for 34 years, he has consistently strived for excellence in both his professional and personal life. Saying that ‘it is an honour to serve Antalya, its residents and its visitors’, Mr. Semerci always proffers high quality, fresh food.
SERKAN GÜZELÇOBAN
TURKEY

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.

MARIA EKMEKÇİOĞLU
TURKEY

TICKET

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Contact


2. Uluslararası Meze Festivali
12-13 Ekim 2018
Akra Hotel
info@mezefestivali.com
mezefestivali.com

Şirinyalı Mah. Lara Cad. No:24
Muratpaşa / Antalya
T: +90 242 310 99 99 Pbx
F: +90 242 316 20 30
info@akrahotels.com
akrahotels.com