Turkish delicacies, entertainment hit Kigali at Turkish Food Festival

By Jean d’Amour Mugabo
On 26 October 2017 at 12:18

The Fun-filled Turkish Food Festival has brought the best of Turkish cuisine and special performances by Ankara-based artists to Kigali.

The four-day festival starts today (Thursday) at the Kigali Marriott Hotel which organised the fair in partnership with Turkish Airlines and the Embassy of Turkey in Rwanda.

IGIHE caught up with Ismail Keklikci and Samet Yildiz, two chefs from Istanbul Marriott Sisli, who have been in Kigali for two days preparing for delivering authentic Turkish dishes to festival goers.

Keklikci, a Turkish national with 13 years of experience in food industry, said the Turkish cuisine touches on several other cuisines including Mediterranean, Arabic and Greek to produce ideal mouthwatering dishes.

“We have come to make Kigali residents and visitors taste delectable dishes from Turkey. We will serve mezze (hummus, eggplant salad, spicy tomato paste, feta cheese, green olive salad and ‘coban’salad). As hot starters, we have cheese ‘borek’ and manti with yoghurt sauce. Our main course features chicken skewers, beef kebabs, kofte, crushed wheat rice and grilled tomato, as well as many other dishes. We also have desserts such as rice pudding, the world-famous lokum (Turkish delight), and more. Coffee and tea lovers can even taste the flavoursome tea and coffee from the heart of Turkey,” he said.

Keklikci invites festival goers to try kuru fasulye, one of the most loved Turkish dishes, that brings together cheese pastry, feta cheese, butter, tomato paste, dry beans and dry beef.

Spiced up with Turkish music, Ottoman uniforms, and authentic Turkish decorations direct from Istanbul, the Turkish Food Festival is expected to be graced by envoy of Turkey to Rwanda, Mr Mehmet Karaca, among other dignitaries.

“We’re very excited to showcase, not just the food, but the exciting spectacle that goes into Turkish cooking. We want Rwanda to experience a taste of Turkey,” Keklikci says.

Participants can enjoy delicious all-you-can-eat Turkish dishes and entertainment from Thursday to Sunday (October 26th-29th) for Rwf 25,000.

Turkish food Borek; filled pastries that are said to be "matchless in savor"
The Turkish coffee cup; a drink of exquisite and refined taste
The Candy coconut cube, a true relish!
Samet Yildiz (left) and Ismail Keklikci, Chefs from Istanbul Marriott Sisli, are in Kigali to deliver authentic Turkish dishes to festival goers
Kigali Marriott's hosts in Ottoman garb. The team is serving Turkish food to Kigali residents and visitors