2. INTERNATIONAL APPETIZER FESTIVAL 2018
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!
Antalya Welcomes World-Famous 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.
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.
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
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 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’
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.
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.
VOLKAN BEKİT & SAVAŞ İRLAN
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
İstanbul Kandilli’de doğan Maria Ekmekçioğlu’nun anne tarafı İstanbul, baba tarafı Safranboluludur.
1713 senesine kadar uzanan aile ağacının kökleri fırıncılık yapan büyükbabaya ulaşmaktadır. Aile,
Soyadı Kanunu ile Ekmekçioğlu soyadını almıştır. Maria Ekmekçioğlu çocukluk yıllarında kış aylarını
İstanbul’da, yaz aylarını ise Kandilli ve Adalar’da geçirmiştir.
Eğitimini tamamlamak için gittiği Selanik’te 13 yıl yaşayan Ekmekçioğlu, burada bir evlilik yapmış ve 3
erkek evlat sahibi olmuştur. Üç çocuğunu yetiştirirken 2 pastane sahibi olmayı başaran Ekmekçioğlu
mesleğine ara vermemiştir.
Alexandros, Apollon ve Pascal adındaki 3 oğlu ile İstanbul’a dönen Maria Ekmekçioğlu, Etiler’de daha
sonra Maria’s Restaurant adını alarak devam edecek olan Maria’nın Bahçesi’ni ve Atina’da Maria’s
adlı restoranları kurmuştur.
Ekmekçioğlu, restoran şefliğinin yanı sıra Türkiye’de “Lezzet Büyücüsü” ve son 5 senedir bir
Yunanistan televizyon kanalında “İstanbul’dan Anadolu’ya” programını sunmaktadır. Özel bir
üniversitede öğretim görevlisi olarak deneyimlerini öğrencilerine aktaran Ekmekçioğlu, Mutfak Dostları
Derneği ile Chaine des Rotisseurs ve Chef’s Club üyesidir.
Maria Ekmekçioğlu kariyerine gastronomi alanında kitaplar sığdırmış, Gökçen Adar’la birlikte
hazırladığı “Bir O Yaka Bir Bu Yaka” ile “Hatıramdaki Mezeler’’ kitapları büyük ilgi görmüştür.
Ekmekçioğlu deneyimlerini uzun yıllar yaşadığı Yunanistan’a da aktarmayı ihmal etmemiş ve bu
ülkede de 2 yemek kitabı yayımlamıştır.
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.
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.
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.
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!
2. Appetizers prepared at the International Appetizer Festival: