CEO Life / Cradle of Food

01 August 2023

“Cradle of Food", became the threshold of solidarity

Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a unique event that took the promotion of our country's values to a new level. The event was called Cradle of Food. During the event, the rich culinary cultures of cities such as Hatay, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaraş, Şanlıurfa, which were severely damaged by the earthquakes that struck one after another on February 6, 2023, which left us all in a state of loss and grief, and which are known as the cradle of civilizations, were discussed, introduced and examined by dozens of experts from different parts of the world. Everyone had only one wish: The sustainability of this rich culture.

The event, held at Old Billingsgate, had over 50 chefs, food writers, and experts from Turkey, as well as participants and speakers from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Israel, and Syria.


The conference began with speeches by Antakya-born chef Maksut Aşkar and continued with speeches by speakers such as Ana Sortun, Anissa Helou, Ansel Mullins, Carolyn Steel, Filiz Hösükoğlu, Gözdem Gürbüzatik, İsa Bal, Jessica Rosval, Kathryn R. Morgan, Kemal Mouzawak, Muhammed Orfali, Tangör Tan, some of whom were chefs and some were writers. The situation, hope, and solutions were presented. We asked one thing from foreign chefs: "When you return, use one or more ingredients from the region in the dishes on your menus and introduce them to your guests."

This extraordinary event and food conference were organized by Cemre Torun and Mehmet Gürs. Ahmet Dede, Ana Sortun, Banu Zeytinoğlu, Berkok Yüksel, Burkay Adalığ, Burçak Kazdal, Cem Adıyaman, Cem Mirap, Cihan Çetinkaya, Deniz Alphan, Emre Şen, Esen Hünal, Esra Muslu, Fatih Akerdem, Filiz Hösükoğlu, Hus Vedat, Hülya Ekşigil, İmad Al Arnab, İnanç Çelengil, İsa Bal, Kardelen Soyalp, Kemal Demirasal, Leen Al Zaben, Levon Bağış, Lotta Jörgensen, Maksut Aşkar, Mehmet Akdağ, Moyin Halabi, Mohammad Orfali, Murat Deniz Temel, Nilay Örnek, Murat Güllü, Mustafa Özgüler, Oğul Türkkan, Özhan Zengin, Reyhan Ülker, Sandra Kaya, Şemsa Denizsel, Seray Öztürk, Serra Yılmaz, Sinan Büdeyri, Sinan Hamamsarılar, Somer Sivrioğlu, Süleyman Gülüm, Şahin Erdal, Tangör Tan, Tülin Bozüyük, Tuba Şatana, Yaren Çarpar, and any volunteers whose names I may have forgotten - and I apologize in advance for this - provided support, assistance, and dedication.


Mey|Diageo is a part of our country's gastronomy ecosystem. Thanks to them, we have once again seen and experienced the importance of being a 'responsible social institution'.

All proceeds and additional donations from this event are used to support producer cooperatives, small-scale local producers and farmers in the earthquake zone through the UK registered charity Turkey Mozaik Foundation.