MasterChef increases interest in gastronomy in Turkey, says producer

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MasterChef Turkey has awakened the foodie inside people across the country as universities have opened more gastronomy departments and municipalities have started food courses, said the producer of Turkey’s most-watched program on Dec. 21.

“Even the 8, 9 or 10-year-old kids are now in the kitchen making pastry and bun,” İrem Kanan told state-run Anadolu Agency.

MasterChef is a worldwide known TV format founded in Britain in 1990. The Turkish version of the program was first aired in 2011 on Show TV, but later it switched to private channel TV8 in 2018 and has been a blockbuster ever since.

Noting that they might be the reason for the increasing interest in gastronomy in the country, he said: “In a season, we make around 500 meals. I think this aroused the interest. Recently people used to buy macaroni from the market. Now they are making it at home.”

Due to the concept, in every episode, contestants have to cook what the three chefs of the show order them to make. In some episodes, contestants are taken to Anatolian cities to cook local food.

“We have watched all the international versions of MasterChef. We wanted to put our taste to the format. We are going to Anatolian provinces like nomads with a crew of 200 people,” Kanan said.

He also highlighted the effects of those episodes showing local food on the viewers of the show.

“One day, we shot an episode in Silivri [district of Istanbul]. The chefs gave information about water buffalo cream. The day after the episode got aired, we learned that the stocks of water buffalo cream in the district sold out,” he said.

According to the producer, Masterchef Turkey is watched by all categories of people. “The youth is fanatic. They support a contestant like supporting a football team. The middle-aged people watch to learn to cook.”

The last episode of the third season will be on air on Jan. 3, 2021.

“We are discussing day and night about adding new things to the show. We are working on a project for kids. A MasterChef for kids.”

Two Turkish chefs, Mehmet Yalçınkaya and Somer Sivrioğlu, and an Italian chef, Danilo Zanna, are the jury of the program.

“I call them teachers. I think that is what they are. Contestants are their students,” Kanan said about the chefs.

“Chef Mehmet is stern but fatherly. Chef Danilo is lively and amusing. Chef Somer is the balance between the two.”

Hurriyet Daily News

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