The Turkish cuisine history researcher, cookbook writer and chef, Ömür Akkor, has prepared dishes from Turkish cuisine with Malaysian Queen Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah.
The event, organized by Yunus Emre Institute's Kuala Lumpur Branch, the Communications Department of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish Airlines (THY) under the auspices of the Turkish embassy in Kuala Lumpur, in Putrajaya, the administrative center of the capital of Malaysia, was attended by Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Kuala Lumpur Merve Safa Kavakcı, Chef Akkor, Yunus Emre Institute's Kuala Lumpur Branch Director Ömer Altun, Kuala Lumpur Press Adviser Zeynep Havva Rafique, THY Kuala Lumpur Office Director Hamza Arslan, who were accompanied by Queen Azizah.
Chef Akkor described the Ottoman dishes, Helva-i Hakani and mücver, and showed Queen Azizah how to prepare them. Cooking helva and mücver with Akkor, the Malaysian queen commented that she like the way Turkish dishes are cooked and their ingredients. Then, Queen Azizah prepared select dishes from the Malaysian cuisine and gave their recipes to Akkor.
The dinner given by the royal family as part of the event was attended by King of Malaysia Sultan Abdullah Riayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah. Following the dinner, Sultan Abdullah and Queen Azizah watched the sema show by semazen Seyit Sercan Çelik.
Thanking the royal family for inviting him, Akkor presented gifts to the king and the queen. Then, Ambassador Kavakcı, Institute's Kuala Lumpur Branch Director Altun and Kuala Lumpur Press Adviser Zeynep Havva Rafique gave an Ottoman kaftan to Sultan Abdullah as a gift. Sultan Abdullah wore the kaftan and posed for photos with Turkish and Malaysian attendees.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, chef Ömür Akkor indicated that he had been waiting for this program. "It was a very successful event. We cooked dishes both from Turkish and Malaysian cuisine. We left with hospitality higher than I expected," he said.
Akkor noted that the helva they cooked with Queen Azizah had been originally prepared for the circumcision ceremony of Cihangir, the son of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I. "We cooked Helva-i Hakani according to its original recipe. Then, we cooked mücver together. We stayed in the kitchen for about one hour and a half. It was an unbelievable experience for me. The king and the princes accompanied us during the rest of the program," he said.
Akkor noted that he had been working on the culinary diplomacy in cooperation with the Institute. "This is what we sought to achieve here. They promoted their cuisine for us and we promoted ours," he said.