Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Faculty of Tourism, in cooperation with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Ministry of Tourism and Environment, hosted Turkey's famous gourmets Mehmet Yaşin and Teoman Hünal. Gourmets, famous for their “Görevimiz Yemek (Our Mission is Food)” program GURME television on beIN channel, tasted Cypriot cuisine prepared by EMU Tourism Faculty academic staff and Gastronomy and Culinary Arts Program students. The tasting event, which started at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 24 November, 2021 at EMU Tourism Faculty Tower Restaurant, aimed to pave the way for students to carry out work for the future by inviting experienced professionals from the industry, in addition to the theoretical and practical training they receive.
“Cypriot Cuisine is Very Good”
Commenting on the event, Teoman Hünal stated that he is happy to be at an institution like EMU and said, “20 years ago, there wasn’t any gastronomy program in universities. Considering the food we eat, it is pleasing for someone like me who has been in this sector for 30 years to see a faculty that has 500 students now. We tasted good examples of the Cypriot cuisine. Types of bread we were served were very interesting. We tasted many types of bread that are not available in Turkey and Greece. The ‘Thief Kebab’ was very good. You have very original dishes eaten at home. “Cyprus is a very beautiful place,”.
Mehmet Yaşin, on the other hand, stated that they are happy to be tasting the Cypriot cuisine. Stating that he knows most of the dishes and that he has come to Cyprus for the 10th time with this visit, Yaşin said, “However, every time I come, I come across another taste. Cypriots are lucky because they have very delicious food. We would like to thank EMU and TRNC Ministry of Tourism and Environment for giving us this opportunity.”
“Culinary Tourism is a Very Important Product for Our Country”
Dean of EMU Tourism Faculty Prof. Dr. Hasan Kılıç stated that they are very happy to be hosting doyenne gourmets, Mehmet Yaşin and Teoman Hünal at EMU. Stating that the event has actually been going on for two days. Prof. Dr. Kılıç underlined that restaurants where local dishes are tasted from east to west of Cyprus were visited within the scope of the program within this short period of time in the format of a gastronomy tour. Underlining that as EMU Tourism Faculty, their main aim is not only to train experts in the field of gastronomy, Prof. Dr. Kılıç also emphasized that in order to ensure that the local flavors of the country are not diminished, they have to struggle against today's fast food understanding and the dominance of other countries’ cuisines. Stating that they aim to introduce the Cypriot Cuisine to today's youth, tourists and the world, Prof. Kılıç stated that this mission motivates them and enables them to do their work with more determination. Prof. Dr. Kılıç emphasized that during this process, they can cater for any request from both the state and entrepreneurs to raise the awareness of the local people in a professional sense and to improve the Cypriot Cuisine by increasing the service quality, and that they will certainly contribute their best if they are contacted on this issue.
Providing information about the dishes served, Prof. Dr. Kılıç underlined that EMU Tourism Faculty students presented the guests, known as gourmets at the highest level, with the local dishes of the Cypriot Cuisine prepared with traditional methods during this visit. Prof. Dr. Kılıç said, “We have prepared a nice tasting menu. In this sense, we once again remembered what an important mission we have undertaken. Our students and academic staff performed a very effective team work. We think that we have made an important contribution to the promotion of our university and to the gastronomy of our country. Once again, we have witnessed the importance of culinary tourism for our country. We will continue to promote the food culture of Cyprus with different events.” Prof. Dr. Kılıç concluded his speech by thanking the EMU Tourism Faculty faculty members, administrative staff and students, “Görevimiz Yemek” team, and especially the EMU Rector’s Office, TRNC Ministry of Tourism and Environment, and all participating businesses, who made the event possible.
Visit to EMU Rector
After the event, famous gourmets Mehmet Yaşin and Teoman Hünal paid a visit of courtesy to EMU Rector Prof. Dr. Aykut Hocanın. During the visit, EMU Tourism Faculty Dean Prof. Dr. Hasan Kılıç was also present. Prof. Dr. Aykut Hocanın thanked the famous gourmets and the “Görevimiz Yemek” team for their visit to EMU. At the end of the visit, Prof. Dr. Hocanın presented Mehmet Yaşin ve Teoman Hünal a Cypriot Lefkara frame.