IZMIR BECAME A MEMBER TO NETWORK OF GOURMET CITIES
Izmir has joined DELICE Network of Gourmet Cities, including 23 cities leading in gastronomy worldwide. Aziz Kocaoğlu, Izmir Metropolitan Mayor and Ekrem Demirtaş, Chairman of the Executive Board of Izmir Chamber of Commerce (ITO) and President of IUE Board of Trustees, signed the membership agreement in Lyon, France.
A delegation of Aziz Kocaoğlu, Izmir Metropolitan Mayor, Ekrem Demirtaş, Chairman of the Executive Board of Izmir Chamber of Commerce (ITO), Cüneyt Güleç, Treasurer at ITO Executive Board and Council Member of Livestock, Poultry, Meat Products Group, Ahmet Dönmezler, ITO Council Member of Livestock, Poultry, Meat Products Group, Asst. Prof. Dr. Betül Öztürk, Acting Head of Department of Culinary Arts and Management, and Sırma Güven, Program Implementation Coordinator of IUE School of Applied Management, traveled to Lyon, France to attend the meeting for Izmir joining the DELICE Network of Gourmet Cities. Member cities gave briefing about their work at the Delice Meeting that took place at Lyon Town Hall. Following that Dounia Besson, Deputy Mayor of Lyon, delivered a speech at the signature ceremony. Besson said that Lyon was a metropolitan that gathered all food professionals and gourmet experts together, and they organized many activities including Sirha Fair. Dounia Besson said, “Delice cities improve mastery in kitchens, taste education, and good food for citizens. As the Head city of the Network, Lyon is thrilled to welcome the Turkish City Izmir to the network.”
FULFILLED A SHORTAGE
Delice President Jean Michael Daclin told that they have been working hard to enhance the Delice network which was established in 2007 and they had 23 member cities from 4 continents, and none from the geography Turkey is located at. Daclin said, “Everyone who travelled to Turkey has in fact nice memories about the food there. Turkish cuisine is well known. Therefore, we are very pleased to have Izmir joined our network. Izmir is such an important city with fine dining.”
SHARING MAKES FOOD MORE ENJOYABLE
Mayor Aziz Kocaoğlu also stated that they were very pleased with the fact Izmir, with its history dating back to 8500 years, experience from the national and international organizations attended, warm climate, natural beauties, and delicious meals, has joined Network of Gourmet Cities. Kocaoğlu said, “Izmir values both healthy production and healthy consumption. Therefore, we, as the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, joined Turkish Healthy Cities Association in 2006. We established City Health Guide for Izmir in 2009 which covers subjects on healthy eating and struggle against obesity. We conduct training on healthy eating to thousands each year with Eşrefpaşa Hospital team, a municipality hospital. The ‘Süt Kuzusu’ Project allows us to deliver free fresh, safe milk to approximately 100 thousand children aged between 0-5 in Izmir. We also bake gluten free bread in Kent Ekmek Fabrikası (Bread Factory) for citizens who are on a gluten free diet. We raise awareness about organic agriculture among farmers, offer free soil and leaf analysis at our labs to promote healthy farming. We organize organic food markets all around Izmir to bring local producers together with consumers seeking healthy options. We host many professional visitors at Food Fairs, Olive and Olive Oil Fair, Wine Fair, and Ecology Fair. We know that the more you share experiences, the more valuable they become, just like the more food you share, the more delicious they become. Dining in Izmir means to experience thousand years old healthy and delicious tastes. It means to get together with loved ones with joy and pleasure. Therefore, this union, becoming member to Delice means so much to us.”
TURKISH CUISINE FROM MIDDLE ASIA TO ANATOLIA
Chairman Ekrem Demirtaş pointed that their relation with Lyon started in 2012, and that Joseph Viola, one of the most famous chefs of Lyon, started to teach at IUE Department of Culinary Arts and Management, the beginning of a long-term relationship which led to IUE students performing their internships at restaurants in Lyon. Demirtaş said, “Initially, 2 of our student chefs came to Lyon. Last year 14 students came, and this year 24 more students will come”. Demirtaş indicated that relation got stronger and led all the way to Izmir joining Delice Network of Gourmet Cities. He said, “We are a nation coming from Middle Asia. We brought many different values, tastes regarding food culture until we settled down in Anatolia. Together, they make our exquisite cuisine. We have street food as well as authentic tastes. When mentioning Izmir, we should not forget about our herbs and seafood. As we improve our food culture in Delice Network from now on, we will both share our experiences with other cities and benefit from their experiences.” Demirtaş stated that they placed great importance on improving gastronomy culture and gastronomy tourism, and joining Delice Network was very important for that matter.
Following the speeches, Mayor Aziz Kocaoğlu, Chairman Ekrem Demirtaş, and Delice President Jean Michael Daclin signed the membership certificates and the agreement together. Izmir Delegation also visited one of the major food and gastronomy fairs in Europe, the Sihra fair.