A cooking seminar was on Wednesday 11 April 2018 organized by the Yunus Emre Institute D.C in collaboration with the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) to introduce new Turkish cuisines to the students of the United States. The cooking class was thought by Chef Begum, teaching students the different Turkish cuisines with the hands-on demonstration. During the cooking class, students learned the basics of cooking Turkish meals including Gavurdaği Salatasi -Gavurdagi Salad, Kireçte Kabak - Lime Pumpkin, and Uskumru Dolmasi - Stuffed Mackerel and their nutritional benefits.
Chef Begum started with explaining the stages of making the Stuffed Mackerel displaying to the students how to Cut off the gills, clean the organs and nutritional benefits. The rich variety of three Turkish cuisines were introduced by the Chef and students were able to prepare the meals themselves under the instruction of the chef adapting the Turkish culinary culture and style. Ingredients, plates, and cutleries were giving to each of them and they were taught stage by stage how to make put the ingredients and the amount of measurement to use.
In the end, the students were able to prepare the meals themselves. The participants learned about the origin and the nutritional values of the foods while learning the techniques of the preparations. They expressed their curiosity and enthusiasm to learn through questions and Chef Begum was there to answer and give further clarifications. After learning to make the Turkish cousins, participants sat down together to eat the food they have cooked.
Through this event, Turkish culture and tradition were introduced by teaching students how Turkish Cuisines could be prepaid. Despite their nationality, background, and color of the skin, the event was able to introduce peace and togetherness through culinary diplomacy. The event created a cross-cultural understanding of people from different works of life toward achieving a mutual corporation. It created an atmosphere of peace and bridged international divides.
The participants were excited to be part of the event as they praised the uniqueness of the Turkish culture.
Originally, Turkish food is a great sign of Hospitality for the Turks. Foods are mostly laid out on a large tray that is placed on a low table and people sit around on mates or rugs to take the food from the tray. Turks prefer eating as a family and they dine three times a day.