Gastro Tourism

Gaziantep cuisine has a privileged place in Turkish and world cuisine. The diligence in the selection of food ingredients which are used in the dishes and desserts as a heritage from grandmother to grandchild, the skills shown during the preparation and cooking of the food, different delicacy and flavors given by spices, tomato paste, sauces and mixes, all these features led Gaziantep dishes and desserts become famous and palate delight.

Authentic and contemporary restaurants are numerous in our province. In these restaurants show all phases from the preparation to presentation of Gaziantep dishes and desserts. Therefore, annually, many domestic and foreign tourists come to our city in order to taste Gaziantep dishes and desserts.

Almost all national and international festivals and fairs held in the city create an environment where Gaziantep cuisine is introduced and tasted. For example:

In the last ten years, Antep Pistachios, which have a significant place in city gastronomy, are subjects of a festival held in Nizip (Gaziantep Province). People show great interest in this organization. This festival is also important for professionals who are related to the quality of Antep Pistachios, its marketing and production.

Antep Pistachio Culture and Art Festival is organized as an international event in the city centre with the participation every year of several foreign cities, all twin tows and sister cities of Gaziantep. During this festival, besides the presentation of the food, some events are conducted like literature, music and folk dance.

Again since ten years, in September, there is two-days festival about the grape and Antep pepper which are fundamental ingredients in Gaziantep gastronomic culture. 40 different kind of grape are produced in Gaziantep.

There is an other festival organized every year for shira (food made of grape) in order to maintain this tradition and cultural values. Another festival celebrates pomegranate sour sauce, where dishes and salads are introduced with it.

• In May 2014 and September 2015, as part of Backstreet Culinary Organization and Gastronomic Tourism; Australia, the US and Britain have organized three-day programs for some clients.

Culinary Backstreets (CB) is an agency trying to promote cities having culinary jewels. There is a global target group for such activities. First the representatives of the project team meet the culinary people, and institutions in town in order to talk and form a culinary program for the city/region. After meetings with provincial stakeholders, Municipality, Governorship, Universities, The unions of restaurants, the unions of cooks, the hotels etc., the team drafts a program for those who are willing to experience the secrets of the recipes, see pistachio harvesting, kebab preparation, cooking with home chefs and eating attend sweet dessert making with grapes from the vineyard etc. The participants experience a three days culinary adventure in Gaziantep. The success of such programs reflects the cooperation of the city's stakeholders related to the food culture.

• Providing consultancy service for writers working in the field of gastronomy, institutions and filmmakers working on the gastronomic culture of Gaziantep, or for sustainable food tourism organizations.

Establishments in advisory services contributed to this offer are the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, the Municipality of Gaziantep, the Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Industry and Gaziantep University Gaziantep.

Gaziantep has been in the agenda of various cookbook writers and food journalists since 1980s. One of the food journalists and writers is Paula Wolfert who came three times to Gaziantep for her 3 new books research. After her discovery of the culinary jewels of Gaziantep in her book, her colleagues, friends and readers wanted to experience the highlights in her cookbooks too which were awarded by James Beard Foundation. After Paula's praises in her books, articles and interviews; Gaziantep hosted various foodies from all over the world who strengthen the place of Gaziantep in the global culinary world. All other fellows whose names appear on the following list (Conde Nast Traveler - Wendy Perrin, BBC Rick Stein, Fodor's Guide - Yigal Schleifer, Greg and Lucy Maoluf, ZEIT- Christiane Grefe, Anna Purquhoun, Guardian-Kevin Gould, Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra, Anissa Helou, Douceurs d’Orient- Angelos Abazoglu, SAVEUR- Todd Coleman, Los Angeles Times- Faye Levy, RKB Mainichi Broadcasting Station, On the Noodle Road- Jen Lin Li, Frommer's Jamie Ehrlich, Lonely Planet- Brett Atkinson, Alchemy TV, London. Spice Series (Stevie Parle), CBC Canada- Danielle Nerman, ARAMCO- Gail Simmons and George Azar) visited Gaziantep at different times for different culinary activities, for example; baklava making, pistachio harvest, live home cooking demonstrations, Gaziantep cooking photo shooting, at home, in a restaurant and on the street, etc. As a result of concerted efforts and works of the Municipality, the Governorship, the Universities, the Chambers of Trade and Industry, Exporters Union and other relevant public, private institutions and NGOs; the food and its social, historical and economical components were always reflected in all the works performed by the stakeholders. After these strategic performances, public and private airlines have increased their flights to and from Gaziantep in order to bring more people who would like to experience traditional and healthy Gaziantep food.