The head chef at two Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain, Paco Morales, came to Gaziantep to learn the local food culture of Turkey's city of gastronomy, which is listed in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, and promote it in his country.
Visiting the Culinary Arts Center, which works within the body of the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, Morales spoke to Anadolu Agency and stated that the most important reason he came to Gaziantep was to explore the local dishes.
Morales has a range of dishes and cultures in his two Michelin-starred restaurants in Cordoba, Spain. Morales said, "We present the food of three different cultures (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) in our restaurants. These plates combine the three cultures, for sure."
'Modern chefs must feed onspecific cultures'
Morales said that he liked Gaziantep because it has hosted "so many civilizations for hundreds of years" and for its rich and fruitful cuisine. "Cordoba is also a city promoted through its cuisine, I visit cities listed by UNESCO. I want to be familiar with their culture. It is not enough to just learn the food or visit the restaurants. I also have to learn about the culture. Modern chefs must feed on specific cultures in cuisine. Gaziantep people preserved their food culture and cuisine throughout the years. It was a must for me to visit the city to be able to learn about their culture. All Gaziantep food is splendid. You couldn't give the food here just one name. Every single plate prepared here is the product of a specific soul. Today, I observed the process of making yuvalama (a local soup) and baklava. Such a mesmerizing process; I enjoyed everything."
Stating that he will definitely present the recipes he learned in Gaziantep to his customers in Cordoba, Morales said: "I'll definitely make some changes in the recipe; I may add something or change some parts. I had never tried terebinth coffee. I didn't know that it is made from pistachios. I will serve the food that I've learned here back in my country." Culinary Arts Center Chef Doğa Çiftçi expressed his pleasure at hosting one of the most popular chefs in Spain: "Morales visited our city because Gaziantep is one of the cities listed in UNESCO's Creative Cities Network. He came here to explore Gaziantep cuisine and promote it in his own country. Here, we cooked local dishes with him. Now for him it is time to promote our flavors in his two Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain.