Gastromasa expands

Two weeks ago at the SCWC Science and Food World Congress in Barcelona, ​​Selassie Atadika, an African-American chef, gave a powerful speech, but she cannot be considered just a chef but an important thought leader. .


Atadika is a figure far beyond the starred chef profile to which we are accustomed. She worked for years as an aid worker in Africa with the United Nations and founded a non-profit organization in Ghana called Midunu that showcases African produce and cuisines.

She fights for Africa to go beyond being just a supplier of raw materials, she says, “We need to be able to say African chocolate, not African cocoa.” For her, the intersection of culture, society and food is important.

When I approached her later to congratulate her after finishing her speech, she told me with great joy that she would soon be in Istanbul for Gastromasa. As we speak, I receive a message from Denmark. Hardeep Rehal, one of the world’s top mixologists, writes that he will soon be back in Istanbul, this time for the Gastromasa conference. I knew him from the world class bartending competitions in London, he is based in Copenhagen, is of Indian descent and has already been to Istanbul for the Gastro-Economy conference.

Good news I tell myself, we will see each other again. At the Barcelona Congress, Slovenian chef Ana Roš received the Sferic Prize this year. After celebrating her award, she and her assistant Manca Istinič hurriedly leave saying that we will see you very soon at Gastromasa. The same happens with Juan Roca, who has already been to Gastromasa. So, one can ask, what is this Gastromasa? But for many of the world’s star chefs, it’s now like a brand name, a gathering of world chefs, an event that connects people around the world for a series of inspiring talks. There is also a large funfair attached to the event, where Turkish brands display their wares, ranging from food to cooking equipment and tableware. This year, maybe just because I’ve been to two other international food events right before Gastromasa, I hear a lot of people talking about the event. It’s a flattering feeling when people including celebrity chefs say goodbye adding that we will meet soon in Istanbul.

This year, we see that the profile of Gastromasa, which normally brings together celebrity chefs, has gone a little further.
Gökmen Sözen, the founder and organizer of the event, spread the speeches over two days this year and organized the sessions into three parallel orders.


The event took place on November 19 and 20, spanning two days, but most guests stayed longer, with some heading to Cappadocia and others staying in the city to explore Istanbul’s foodie lanes . While the presentations of celebrity chefs, which are repeated every year, took the lead in the Gastromasa session, this time there were two parallel sessions, one focused on the world of drinks under the name of Gastromasa Bar, and the second focused on the tourism, hospitality and hospitality sector under the name of Gastromasa Hospitality.


Meanwhile, the pastry industry found its place in the event with the theme of Gastromas pastry. In the meantime, let us specify that Dinara Kasko, whose cakes we had the opportunity to taste under the Flosophia brand in Türkiye, unfortunately had to leave her country after the bombing of her workshop in kyiv, was also again in Istanbul with this opportunity . The bar section also had some exciting names, for example, sommelier and wine expert Søren Ørbek Ledet, one of the founders of Copenhagen Geranium, who was voted the best restaurant in the world last year, spoke in the Gastro section Bar, just like Réhal. It was also exciting to see legendary bar master Fatih Akerdem, who is known as the ultimate bartender teacher, on stage.


As always, there were big names in the classical section of Gastromasa. Christian Le Squer’s presentation provoked reflection on what it was like to have 3 Michelin stars for 20 years, and how he earned and kept several stars in each establishment he opened.

Chef Alchemist Rasmus Munk and chef Mugaritz Andoni Luis Aduriz were among those who hosted an extraordinary joint dinner in Copenhagen on November 15 last week. Their presentations were more inspiring and groundbreaking than ever. Stars such as Juan Roca, Elena Arzak, Albert Adria, Alex Atala and Virgilio Martinez were among the influential presenters who had previously attended Gastromasa.

This year was very exciting to welcome an inspiring name like Dan Barber, his point on seeds needs full mention in a future article. In addition to the international chefs, there were panels where our own chefs took the stage, a good step forward to have their visibility as well. Speakers aren’t the only ones coming to Istanbul for Gastromasa. There are also notable authors and influencers. I was happy to see Gualtiero Spotti from Italy, who already came to Turkey with the invitation of TGA some time ago and wrote a wonderful article about Urla and Alaçatı for the most prestigious quarterly magazine in Italy, Cook. Inc Magazine. Finally, the increase in the number of women on the list this year is a very encouraging development.

The panel with female chefs by Hélène Pietrini, the founder of the restaurant rating system La List, aka list of lists, was one of the sessions not to be missed. Gastromasa is forging ahead by expanding, getting Istanbul’s name mentioned in global culinary circles and putting the city on the food map.

Cap of the week:

As Gastromasa brings together the world of gastronomy, there will be another event today, bringing together the wines of Türkiye with eleven wine-producing countries. Previously there was a competition called TWC-Turkish Wine Challenge, now the awarded wines will be exhibited at Divan Hotel today.
It will be a great networking opportunity between stakeholders, and the 84 medal-winning wines from the 2022 edition will be exhibited and tasted, with the opportunity to meet wine producers and members of the profession. Wines from eleven wine-growing countries around the world were blind tasted by a professional jury made up of eight different nationalities during the 2nd Turkish Wine Challenge® (TWC) held on May 7 in London and May 11-15 in the Aegean city. from Kuşadası, Turkey. A total of 84 medals were awarded; 1 large gold medal, 30 gold medals and 53 silver medals. Italy, Georgia, Germany and Turkey were the countries with the most gold in the reds and whites while Spain received gold in the sparkling and fortified categories. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the organizer at [email protected]

Aylin Oney Tan,

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