November 23-25, representatives from ten global cities gathered in Izmir, Turkey, for the 2021 Délice Network Gathering. During three days, they were invited to discover the specificities of Izmir's food scene, meet with the sector's essential partners, and collectively discuss the power of Food Heritage.
After two years of virtual meetings, this historical gathering intended to go back to the roots of the global food cities: Heritage on a Plate.
Our heritage is present in every part of our daily lives. It defines how we communicate, how we work, and of course, how we eat. Food culture relies, of course, on local products and how we behave around food, the social habits surrounding a meal. For visitors in Turkey, the quality of hospitality is directly linked to this heritage.
During the 3-day program prepared by the Municipality of Izmir and The Kitchen Project, the guests from the Délice Network cities had the chance to discover the various layers of the local food heritage.
From Levantine Cuisine to Wine Tourism and Olive Oil production and the important connections between the soil and the city, food is about the products in Izmir. Therefore, the respect of the quality and those who produce them is an essential aspect of the strategy led by the city.
After defining the concept of Heritage through key-note speakers Maxime Michaud & Pati Jinich, guests were invited to peek into the strategy of some participating cities, looking at how they all work around their heritage.
A collaborative workshop also allowed members to work on perceptions and representations of our own Food Heritage and others.
Adapting to the Covid context was essential for Délice. As most member cities were still facing travel restrictions, a hybrid format was proposed to allow participants worldwide to participate in the discussions.
The hybrid set-up also allowed the Délice family to be greeted by US TV star Pati Jinich, live from her kitchen!
Replay the Introduction session on Heritage on a Plate:
- Key-Note by Pati Jinich
- Presentation by Maxime Michaud (Paul Bocuse Research Institute)
Replay the Round Table Discussion on Heritage on a Plate
City representatives from Istanbul, Brussels, Stavanger & Cali share their approach on the importance of preserving and promoting heritage.
All through the gathering, the Délice delegates were introduced to the core of Izmir's project around Food & Gastronomy: the celebration of local products and the high consideration for the farming families.
Mayor Tunç Soyer and his teams in charge of food at the Metropolitan Municipality of Izmir presented their core vision: adapting to climate change, improving work conditions of the farming communities, improving the quality & sustainability of the products produced.
In Izmir cuisine, the product is key. With icons such as the Olive or the artichoke, the chefs are also deeply engaged in this celebration of the product. In that approach, the consideration to be given to the production methods can only be stronger.
"Just eat the grape, no matter where it is from." This traditional Turkish saying is the opposite of the vision of Izmir on Food & Gastronomy.
Along with the gathering, the different layers of the Izmir food culture were celebrated through the meals. Aegean food, traditional Turkish and Levantine cuisine were all tasted and shared among the participants.
Two local chefs working on fresh products invited a guest chef in their kitchen for a 6-hand meal for the final evening.
Estelle Even, the second chef to starred Michelin chef Alexandre Baumard from Bordeaux, made the trip to Izmir to participate in the gathering.