“In a huge city, such as Istanbul, it is difficult to find the true and honest ingredients. This project emerged from the question of “how can we prepare the best food with the best products.” Finding local and true products at the right time and from the right producers and then introducing a new fresh approach when using them... Interpretation is the key word here. To preserve, improve, and also stretch the traditional ways while using both old and contemporary techniques. ”
Anatolia has a unique geographical and cultural position; from the fresh and lively Aegean to the productive and intense Black Sea, to the fierce and excited South East… It contains very cold and long winters, high mountains, rivers, and is surrounded by seas of different temperatures and salinity. There are many different geographical conditions, spread over a relatively small area. These differences create an immense diversity of products, which is unknown to many.
The many layers of cultures and great civilizations have all left a trace. The amazing ancient food cultures around Anatolia are breathtaking. To be able to keep the traditions living, a new perspective is needed. A contemporary usage is needed to keep the traditions alive and strong against the impact of the industrial food giants.
Since 2009, the Istanbul Food & Beverage Group employs a full time food anthropologist who researches and records the hidden or fading riches of the region. IFBG has accumulated an incredible data as the result of its extensive research. “We film and record all important things we find. Archiving is very important to us. All samples collected through various excursions are tried out over and over in our food laboratory called the “MiklaLab.” By preserving the ingredients’ main characters, we feel free to stretch their limits by trying new approaches. The search for perfection fuels an incredible creative process. Sometimes our trials with one specific ingredient go on for months. We always try to raise the bar an inch higher to do the best.” says Mehmet Gürs and defines MiklaLab as a true “laboratory” where new ideas are conceived and creativity and future are blended under the light of history.