On Thursday, March 29, Michigan State University partnered with the Yunus Emre Institute in Washington, D.C. at The Kellogg Hotel to put on a Turkish Cuisine Seminar in an effort to engage the public through culinary diplomacy. Held in East Lansing, Michigan, guests were treated to a demonstration of how to prepare a five-course Turkish meal by Chef Begüm Jariyawiriya.
The event began with a presentation on the history of Turkish cuisine. Covering a span of 1,000 years, Chef Begüm broke the presentation into five sections, providing details about the history of Turkey, the Ottoman Empire, and the evolution of Turkish cuisine. Immediately following the half-hour presentation, the cooking demonstration began. The chef demonstrated for the audience how to prepare a five-course meal, making meatballs, stuffed mackerel, lamb tandir, eggplant puree, and sponge cake. After each course, guests were given a small plate to try for themselves. The lamb tandir was a favorite among the participants.
Following the cooking demonstration, the participants were eager to ask questions. The audience was interested to learn more about where they could purchase the ingredients so that they could make the dishes at home.
A non-profit organization that engages in public and cultural diplomacy to share Turkish culture and heritage with the American public, the Yunus Emre Institute in Washington, D.C. was happy to partner with the Kellogg Center and Michigan State University. The institute aims to further utilize culinary diplomacy by holding similar events in the future because in November of 2017, Hatay was named a UNESCO Creative City for gastronomy, highlighting the importance and high esteem of Turkish cuisine and thus the need for increased culinary diplomacy.