PHOTO: Ambassador Ayşegül Kandaş, translator Sharon Tshabangu and Chef Burhanettin Doğan

17 May 2022

The Embassy of Turkey in Pretoria in collaboration with Johannesburg Yunus Emre Institute  and Defy hosted Turkish Kitchen live cooking demonstrations at the Capsicum Culinary Institute in Johannesburg on 14 May 2022, an initiative to promote Turkish culinary diplomacy and culture.



Turkish cuisine is one of the most varied and richest in the world. Turkish cuisine (Turkish: Türk mutfağı) is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Mediterranean, Balkan, Middle Eastern, Central Asian, Eastern European, Armenian, and Georgian cuisines.

This unique location combined with the migration of Turks over the centuries from Central Asia to Europe has shaped the identity of its gastronomy. The great diversity of fauna and flora in Türkiye has also contributed to the great variety in regional cuisines. Almost every region in Türkiye offers its own gastronomic experience and they all await you to discover them!

Turkish Kitchen live cooking demonstrations was performed by Chef Burhanettin Dooğan with the help of translator Sharon Tshabangu, a Student of Turkish language at Yunus Emre.  Having vast experience in cooking in many five star hotels, and also being the chef for top Turkish football club Fenerbahçe SK, Chef Burhanettin Dooğan is a culinary expert and at this event he prepared Turkish cuisine using some of the South African ingredients.

The guests had the opportunity to taste Turkish signature dishes such as Hünkar Beğendi, or Sultan’s delight as it is known, Yoğurtlu çorba Soup, Kısır and the authentic Desert Lokma Tatlısı, all prepared by Chef Burhanettin Dooğan.

Turkish Kitchen live cooking demonstrations was attended by the Turkish Ambassador Her Excellency Ms. Aysegul Kandas, Ambassadors of Kazakhstan, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Consul of Belgium, the Diplomatic and South African community.

In her remarks H.E Ambassador Ayşegül Kandaş of Turkey to South Africa, said  that Hünkar Beğendi, or Sultan’s delight was a dish created at the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, for the Ottoman Sultan Murad IV, it was prepared as an experiment but he loved it so much that it became an integral part of Turkish cuisine. This Ottoman dish is traditionally made with lamb that is served with roasted eggplant with cheese in a béchamel sauce

Ambassador Ayşegül Kandaş highlighted that her country needed to spread its wealth of culinary tastes to the people of South Africa, considering that the two nations shared their historical heritage and that the event was aimed at promoting Turkish cuisine and culture. Ambassador was optimistic that in the future activities between Turkey and South Africa will intensify the importance of culinary diplomacy and culture.

Emulating Ambassador sentiments, Abdülaziz Yiğit, Director at the Johannesburg Yunus Emre Institute said that the dates for Turkish cooking classes which will take place at the Institute in Johannesburg will be announced soon.

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