Ali Güreli graduated from the Faculty of Business Administration at METU (Middle East Technical University). He is the Founder and Chairman of Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair, under whose leadership the fair has become one of Istanbul’s most prestigious art events. Güreli was a Board Member of The Marmara Hotels group from 1989 to 2002, he is the Founding Partner of ICEC (Istanbul Convention & Exhibition Center) since 1994. Güreli is the Founder of TÜROB and served as The President of the association from 1994 to 2001. Currently, Güreli is the Chairman of the Board of The Sofa Hotels & Resorts/ Autograph Collection and he is on the Board of TTYD. Ali Güreli has a great passion to enhance the position of Istanbul as a cultural and intellectual hub where multiple dynamics embracing the Middle East and Europe converge.
Aslı Pasinli graduated from Boğaziçi University with an undergraduate degree on Economics. She also has a master’s degree from the University of Illinois and MBA degrees from the U.S.
Pasinli started her career in the Coca-Cola Company headquarters in Atlanta and she worked in the offices of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, İstanbul and Vienna for 6 years as a manager in the fields of strategic planning and marketing.
Between the years of 2003-2016, she was a partner in charge of the Soul Group restaurants, which she founded. With 80 team members, Soul Group restaurants serve for 10 thousand guests monthly and received many national and international awards. Soul Group restaurants received the most meaningful award from Time-Out magazine, which was a Special Achievement Award. The award was given because one of the Soul Group restaurants, La Mancha, became the first Green Restaurant in Turkey.
Pasinli initiated the Green Restaurant program in Turkey, which aims at reducing the carbon footprint that food and drink industry causes, and issues certificates to restaurants. With the program, production of organic fertilizer from food waste took place at the municipal level for the first time in Turkey. She was also vice president for Sustainability at Turkish Restaurant & Entertainment Association.
Pasinli has been the General Manager of the WWF-Turkey since January 2017.
Ayhan Çarıkçılar was born in 1961. He served as an navy officer in Turkish Naval Forces at logistics and supplying department until 1992 since his graduation from Naval Academy in 1984. His entrepreneur passion had taken him away from his job which he was in love with and he went into business in same year. He has brought into real widen interpreted World Cuisine concept which named Midpoint within his know-how and experiences for 10 years in retail industry in 2002. He still manages 5 different brands with 42 branches with his All Points Group.
Defne Ertan Tüysüzoğlu had her Associate Degree from Boğaziçi University, Tourism Administration in 1993, and BA from Michigan State University, The School of Hospitality Business in 1996. For her industrial training, she worked at Divan Hotel (Istanbul), Hilton Hotel (Ankara), Morels (Detroit, MI), Bistro 110 (Chiago, IL). Ertan Tüysüzoğlu worked as manager at Scoozi (Chicago, IL), Laledan Restaurant – Çırağan Palace Hotel Kempinski, and Hünal’s Brasserie. She started her own venture in 2001 by opening The North Shield Pub as a franchisee at Darüşşafaka and Parkorman.
In 2004 Defne Ertan Tüysüzoğlu has co-founded a multi-concept restaurant-chain firm; Gruppo Turizm İşl. A.Ş. which developed several concepts for a fish restaurant, a pub, an Italian Café and a Turkish restaurant chain – Kırkpınar Lokantası. In 2012, when the Kırkpınar Lokantaları reached to its 22 branches, she quit her operational duties and took the position of Director of Le Cordon Bleu –Turkey, opened in partnership with Özyeğin University. Since then, along with her administrative position, she has been teaching “Cost Control in Restaurants” at Özyeğin University.
Ertan Tüysüzoğlu is a member of Turkish Friends of Wine Association, Friends of Kitchen Association, Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Association.
Dr Jaeho Ha completed his doctorate in food chemistry with the practical combination of mass spectrometry and gas chromatography at the Korea University in 1992. He joined the Food Analysis Center at Korea Food Research Institute in 1984, where he involved himself in the analysis of food components in food and Kimchi, including mycotoxin, pesticides, nutrients and aromas. Dr. Ha served his presidency of Korean Society of Analytical Science 2014.
He was the vice-president of Korea Food Research Institute and a leader of food analysis division of Korea Society of Food Science and Technology. He is currently the president of World Institute of Kimchi (WIKIM) located in Gwangju, Korea. Concurrently, Dr. Ha is applying GCxGC-TOFMS technology coupled with stir bar sorptive extraction and dynamic headspace sampling techniques for the analysis of flavors in Kimchi and foods.
Ertuğrul Özkök was born in Izmir. After completing his degree at Ankara University College of Political Sciences Academy of Journalism, he finished his doctorate in France in communication sciences.
After completing his doctorate he returned to Turkey and worked at Hacettepe University till 1986 as a member of the faculty. Afterwards in 1986, he became Ankara representative of Hürriyet daily newspaper and later on in 1989, he became Hürriyet’s chief editor.
Özkök has completely transformed Hürriyet newspaper during the 20 years he was in charge. He created special pages in areas other than the consumer corner, such as real estate, automotive, gastronomy. He created a modern and pioneering newspaper incorporating different voices and different colors into the newspaper also using Saturday and Sunday supplements. Özkök has been a columnist since 2009. Ertuğrul Özkök, a member of the Board of Directors of the World Editors Forum, has 10 books.
Fatma Şahin (was born June 20 1966, in Gaziantep) graduated from the Faculty of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering Department of Chemical Engineering in Istanbul Technical University. She worked as Operating Engineer and Operating Menager in private sector. She is the Member of parliament from Gaziantep in the 22nd and 23rd period. She is the “first woman” Member of Parliament from Gaziantep and Southeastern Anatolia region in the history of Republic of Turkey. She is also first woman parliamentarian who is chosen second time in a row from Gaziantep and the region. She was on the duty of in Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee Member in 22nd period. She served as President of Commission on Grand National Assembly of Turkey(TBMM) honor and vandetta crime and violence against children. She executed political affairs and organization each of one- year period as a vice president in the AK Party Women’s Organization.
She worked in the Tuz Lake Research Commission and Parliamentary Investigaiton Commission related with Energy and Natural Resources former minister Cumhur Ersümer and Zeki Çakan. She was chosen for Centeral Decision Excutive Board at the 2nd AK Party Ordinary Congress. She is married and has 2 children.
Born in 1968. Ms. Gamze Cizreli graduated from Middle East Technical University, Department of Business Administration.
After the graduation, she started her business career in restaurant business by creating the first cafe concept “CAFEMİZ” in Ankara. Afterwards, created the brand “KUKİ” that brings a different point of view to pastry&bakery, and another brand “QUICK CHINA” which offered Far East cuisine with affordable prices.
In 2007, Gamze Cizreli created a new brand “BIG CHEFS Cafe Brasserie” in Ankara.
In 2009, with a new partnership, she opened the first location in Istanbul. The brand expanded rapidly. Today Big Chefs has reached total of 50 locations (44 locations in Turkey, 6 abroad) with more than 2.500 employees and 5.5 million visitors a year.
She created a sister brand “Big Dürüm”, a Quick Service Restaurant Concept.
In September 2016, The company made a partnership with an European based Private Equity Fund, Taxim Capital. Gamze Cizreli currently serves as the CEO and Executive Board Member of Big Chefs.
Gamze Cizreli was awarded as the “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” competiton in 2011, 2013 and 2017 by Economist magazine. She is also Executive Board Member in KAGIDER (Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey, in TURYID (Turkish Restaurant and Entertainment Association.) and in BMD (United Brands Association).
Gamze Cizreli has two sons.
Geoff Tansey curates the online, open education resource, the Food Systems Academy and is a member of The Food Ethics Council. His books include The Food System: a guide (with Tony Worsley) and co-editorship of The future control of food – A guide to international negotiations and rules on intellectual property, biodiversity and food security.
He is an honorary visiting fellow at the Universities of Cardiff, Lancaster and Newcastle.
He works for fair and sustainable food systems. He has degrees in soil science (Univ of Aberdeen) and history and social studies of science (Sussex Univ). He helped found and edit the journal Food Policy in the mid-1970s, has worked on various agricultural development projects in Turkey, Mongolia, Albania and Kazakstan and travelled widely.
Iñaki Gaztelumendi has been working in the tourism sector for more than 20 years, from the field of tourism destination management, strategic planning and project development.
He is currently a strategic consultant in the tourism sector.
He collaborates as a professor in several Spanish Universities, and gives presentations on Strategy and Current Trends in Tourism, in particular on Destination Management, Cultural Tourism, MICE, Gastronomy, Marketing and Communication.
He was also Managing Director of Tourism of Santiago de Compostela.
In the field of gastronomic tourism, he has designed the Saborea España product club strategy, collaborates with UNWTO and the Basque Culinary Center in the development of the knowledge and training program on gastronomic tourism and has been the coordinator of the Global Tourism Report Gastronomy of the UNWTO. He is the Technical Director of the World Forum of Gastronomic Tourism UNWTO-BCC.
Among the most recent works, Iñaki has made Strategic and Development Plans for organizations such as the city of Donostia-San Sebastian (Spain), the European Commission, the AVE Cities Network, the Spain Film Commission, or the Gipuzkoa Hotel Association.
It collaborates in countries such as Spain, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Oman, Azerbaijan, or Uzbekistan, regions such as the Basque Country, Gipuzkoa, Barcelona, Asturias, Valencia, cities like Donostia San Sebastián, A Coruña, Ibiza, Valladolid or Gijón, and entities such as the Instituto Cervantes, the Cultural Capital of Europe 2016, the Consortium of the City of Santiago de Compostela, or the Leading Brands of Spain Forum.
It also carries out feasibility studies and business plans in the tourism sector for various national and international investment funds and hotel chains.
Director of Communications and Country Image in the Commission for the Promotion of Peru in Exports and Tourism – PROMPERÚ. She is a publicist and communicator with a Master in Cinema Studies from New York University (Tisch School of the Arts) and a Bachelor in Comparative Literature from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Virginia. She has extensive experience in planning and executing communication campaigns. She is also writer, editor and interpreter. She has also ventured into social and public management projects, as well as mass media. In PROMPERÚ she was in charge of launching Brand Peru, a historic case of worldwide success in which a country brand managed to become a well-known .lovemark in its first year of life.
Ismail Ertürk joined Manchester Business School in 1987 after having completed his post-graduate studies at New York University and having worked in Istanbul at an investment bank as assistant treasurer. He received his high school diploma from Robert College in Istanbul and his undergraduate degree from Middle East Technical University, Ankara. His responsibilities at Manchester Business School include teaching banking, finance, economics and international financial risk management on the MBA Programmes and Executive Centre courses. He has also acted as Course Director of several banking programmes at the Executive Centre, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Development Bank, Lloyds-TSB Bank, NatWest Bank, T.C. Ziraat Bank and World Bank. He held visiting positions at Stockholm School of Economics, St Petersburg, Istanbul Commerce University, and Federal University of São Carlos in Brazil, ESCP Europe Business School, Paris, and Danish Institute for International Studies. He has wide international experience in carrying out executive workshops on international finance and banking for leading companies that include Lloyds-TSB Bank, NatWest Bank, Toronto Dominion, British Telecom, Thales, PwC New York, KPMG, IBM, UCB, ACCA Moscow and Hong Kong, European Chamber of Commerce in China. He has provided advisory and consultancy services to IBM, U.K. Customs and Excise, Jeffrey Green Russell Solicitors, Metropolitan Municipality of Istanbul, Brazilian National Confederation of Industries, Manchester International Festival amongst others. Through his consultancy company IPE Cultura he advised Metropolitan Municipality of Istanbul, Istanbul European Capital of Culture Agency and Mersin Chamber of Commerce and Industry on creative and cultural industries, and creative cities. He organised two major international conferences in Istanbul in 2007 and 2010 that influenced policy on creative industries in Istanbul. His advisory work on creative economy in Istanbul led to the creation of an UNCTAD supported International Centre for Creative Economy and Cities at Istanbul Commerce University. Currently as Advisor to Rector of Istanbul Commerce University he is leading projects to develop and internationalise creative industries in Istanbul in collaboration with UNCTAD. He was a trustee of Arts Council funded SHISHA, the international agency for contemporary South Asian crafts and visual arts between 2008 and 2012. He has collaborated with several contemporary artists on their work on financial crisis and money. He published two books of critical essays on cinema and culture and one book of short stories in Turkish from Yapı Kredi Publications. His current research interests are central bank policies after the crisis, banking crisis and reform, cultural economy, creative industries, financial innovation, financialisation, and corporate governance. He has published three books and many academic and professional articles these areas from prestigious academic publishers. He participated in funded research programmes including European Social and Economic Models of Knowledge Economy, Centre for Research into Socio-cultural Change, European Cooperation in Science and Technology, Finance and Inequality Project sponsored by Foundation for Progressive European Studies. He has given numerous conference presentations internationally and recently appeared on many international TV programmes, radio and print media, including BBC, Bloomberg TV, Channel 4, Russia Today, Financial Times, The Observer, Reuters Insider, The Telegraph, The Huffington Post, Washington Post, etc.
Joxe Mari Aizega is General Manager of Basque Culinary Center, which integrates the Faculty of Gastronomic Sciences and the Research and Innovation Center on Food and Gastronomy. This center is the first Gastronomic School in Spain with an official Degree in Gastronomy and Culinary Arts. Joxe Mari Aizega is founder and pioneer of this center that was created with the support of public institutions, some of the most relevant chefs in the world, private companies and Mondragon University.
Joxe Mari Aizega holds a degree in Business and Law and is Doctor of Law from the University of the Basque Country.
He worked as a professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of the Basque Country and at the Faculty of Business in the University of Mondragon. He was also Vice Chancellor of Mondragón University.
He graduated from Ankara College. After studying hotel and catering management in England (University of Surrey 1988-1991), he started his professional life in Bodrum Yalikavak with hotel management. In 1994, he experienced his first restaurant investment and management with Bodrum Gumusluk (Karaf Restaurant).
After a successful 5 year period, he continued his investment and management life with brands in Ankara (1998 Karaf Restaurant), Bodrum Gölköy (Havana Beach-Karaf 2001) and Istanbul (Niş 2002) brands. Reina Nish 2003, G by Karaf (Reina 2004) and in 2007 he brought Topaz to Istanbul’s eating and drinking world. In the second half of 2010, he transferred the shares of Topaz, Blue Topaz, Niche and Lipsi brands to his partner and opened Frankie Istanbul Restaurant on Sofa Hotel in 2012.
Demirer has been the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of TURYİD between 2005-2010, and since 2011, he is the Chairman of the Board of TURYİD. At the same time, He is Board Member of TAMPF – (Turkey Shopping Centers and Retailers Association Board Member.)
Levent Veziroglu, born in 1967, graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences in 1989. He completed his post-graduate education in Economics at the American University, Washington DC, USA.
In addition to his teaching experience, he assumed various positions in public and international institutions throughout the years 1990-2007, such as Auditor at the Supreme Audit Court of Turkey, Head at the IMF Affairs and Balance of Payments Department for Undersecretary of Treasury and Senior Advisor for the IMF Executive Board.
In 2008, he joined Doğuş Group as the Executive Vice President at Doğuş Holding. He currently serves as the CEO of D.ream, the conglomorate of Doğuş Holding, since its foundation in April 2012. Levent Veziroğlu is the Chief Executive Officer of D.ream, the leading food & beverage and entertainment company.
Born in 1968 in Istanbul, Mehmet Aksel launched his career in the automotive industry. Ranked among the top selling dealers for 4 consecutive years, Aksel discovered his passion for the food & beverage industry and teamed up with the country’s leading gourmet Tuğrul Şavkay, to open 3 restaurants. His tenure in the food & beverage sector taught him that success in this business can only come with well trained and educated staff, driving him to found Mutfak Sanatları Akademisi (MSA) in 2004.
Now, MSA’s more than 4500 graduates have an employment rate of more than 90%. About 10-15% of graduates work or establish their own restaurants abroad.
Several awards and nominations carried MSA to a global platform, ranking the school among the top culinary schools around the world. In 2011, World Assocation of Chef Societies named MSA “The Culinary School with the highest quality in Professional Culinary Programs”; in 2012, MSA was named “The Most Excellent Vocational Center in the World” by the British Royal Academy; and then in 2013, 2 MSA graduates were selected for “Medal of Excellence” among 2 million graduates across the globe.
In addition to his endless and exhaustive work at MSA, Aksel is also recognized in 2010 as an Endeavor Global Entrepreneur and also for his projects to raise awareness for vocational education and to create new employment opportunities in Turkey.
Aksel is also a well known collectionner and the founder of the country’s only food & beverage museum and library.
A professional athlete, Aksel is thoroughly dedicated to equitation and has been an avid equestrian since he was 4. He was a member of the National Equitation Team for 10 years, has 6 gold medals in national championship and owns the Balkan Champion and Athlete of the Year titles.
Aksel also was a professional racer between 1992-2005, leading to several national and international medals and awards.
He has been married for 14 years and has 2 kids.
Mehmet Gürs, chef and partner of 18 successful restaurants and cafés including the unique “Mikla”. He is credited by many to be the one “kicking
off the contemporary restaurant scene in Istanbul” when he returned from the US to start his first restaurant in 1996. He is most known for his recent introduction of the visionary “New Anatolian Kitchen”. In this new approach, traditional and true “noble” products are treated with utmost respect while being transformed with a blend of new and ancient techniques.
Years of extensive research and a dedicated creative process together with a team of Chefs, a full time Anthropologist, Villagers, Mothers and Grandfathers has resulted in an extensive network and a deep knowledge of the traditional habits, products, techniques of the area. With a successful cooperation between the keepers of the land and the chefs in the city as a result. Mikla was selected as one of the Worlds 100 best restaurants in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
In addition to Mikla, Gürs is running the casual restaurant chain “numnum café & restaurant”, the casual Italian eatery “Trattoria Enzo”, the innovative fresh casual self service restaurants “Terra Kitchen” and the groundbreaking “Kronotrop Coffee Bar & Roastery”. Kronotrop is considered the leader in the specialty coffee movement in Turkey. Its roasters and baristas are representing Turkey at the World finals for the past two years. Buzzfeed listed Kronotrop as one of the 25 coffee shops in the World to see before you die.
Gürs and his company, the Istanbul Food & Beverage Group, continues to be at the forefront of the culinary world in Turkey.
New York University Stern School of Business 1990
Şans Restaurant, Chairman
Chaine des Rotisseurs Türkiye, Member of the Board of Directors
Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Degustateurs, Chairman
Canyon Venture Partners, President
Holds a bachelor degree of Economics from Uludağ University. Still Under Grad of “Cultural Heritage and History” in Anatolian University.Author of the Book “Bursa Mutfağı” ” which elected as “Best Local Cuisine Book 2009” by Gourmand Cookbook Awards which is considered as the Nobel of the Cook books.Producer of a TV Show on the National TV called “Komşuda Pişer” which translated into 5 languages. The TV Show has a title of most ongoing Cooking TV Show in Turkey for it has more than 120 episodes and 1000 replays.
Takes part as a chief in the oldest excavation in Turkey’s history which is 105 years in the city of Alaca Höyük and implements 4000 year old recipes. He is the first and only chef to be part of an excavation.
Writing articles for the local magazines such as Uçuş Noktası, Olay Trend, Yolculuk, Dergi Bursa, High Life.
For the last 15 years he traveled 81 cities across Turkey to complete “250.000 km for Turkish Cuisine” Project. The Project continues as “300.000 km for Turkish Cuisine”.
He is Professional Paragliding Pilot and took part in many international competitions. He is the founder of the first Paragliding team of Bursa.
Sahir Erozan is the founding partner (with his mother Ayla) of Macakizi Hotel located in Bodrum, Turkey. He has been in the hospitality business in the United States and Turkey since 1980.
Starting his education in Istanbul, Mr. Erozan majored in mathematical engineering and international business, while continuing his studies in Washington, D.C, he began his first business in the heart of Georgetown, Café Med. Later in the 1980s, Mr. Erozan opened Cities Restaurant in Adams Morgan neighborhood of D.C.
Living in the United States’ capital city for over thirty years, Mr. Erozan was naturally drawn to politics. He supported five presidential campaigns as well as numerous congressional races. During the early 1990s, Mr. Erozan engaged in active support for the Bosnian independence. He hosted and funded the first visit to the United States of Bosnian President Izzet Begovic to Washington making numerous advance arrangements for President Begovic to meet with appropriate officials in the US government and to gain maximum media coverage.
Sahir Erozan was a Board Member of the American-Turkish Council for over 20 years. He was also instrumental in raising more than five hundred thousand dollars in private contributions for the victims of the 1999 earthquake in Turkey.
He served on the Host Committee for NATO’s 50th Anniversary celebration held in Washington, D.C. He was on the civilian advisory committee for the Prague NATO Summit. Mr. Erozan has hosted numerous presidential, congressional and other dignitaries throughout the years during their visits to Turkey in addition to hosting Turkish delegation including Prime Ministers and Parliamentarians, while he was in Washington.
Recently, Mr. Erozan has focused his energy and time in the broad promotion of Turkish tourism. To that end, he has hosted events in Washington, New York, London and Paris as well as three large events during Venice Biennale for Art and Architecture and Art Basel Miami.
Sebastian Nokes is a partner in Aldersgate Partners LLP, an advisory firm and placement agency, which he founded almost twenty years ago. He is a British citizen, was born in Kong Kong, and has Turkic genes from his mother's side. Sebastian has advised many private sector and government organizations on starting up and financing new ventures, and on improving
operations that are not performing well. He has also advised on the financing of several restaurant deals in Dubai, and is currently advising on a boutique restaurant, hotel and lifestyle brand in London, particularly on expansion from a London footprint to a worldwide brand. Before Aldersgate he worked for IBM and Credit Suisse First Boston. He was educated at London
University (Birkbeck College, Imperial College and London Business School), aking a BA (Hons) Philosophy and MSc Finance. Financial Times Prentice Hall has published several of his books, and he has been a series editor for the same publisher. Besides English he speaks French, and can read Arabic and Russian. Time permitting, he hopes one day to learn Turkish.
Servet Yıldırım was born in Ankara in 1964. He has graduated from the Middle East Technical University Department of Business Administration in 1986 and the same year he began working at Türkiye İş Bankası Directorate of Economic Research as an Economics Assistant Specialist. In 1988, he continued his service at Türkiye İş Bankası in the newly established Fund Management Department.
Yıldırım began working for Reuters News Agency at the end of 1989 as a reporter. He was appointed as the head of Reuters’ Turkish News Service in 1996. Having directed this service for eight years, Yıldırım moved to CNBC-e channel in April 2004 and started working there as the General Director of News. In 2005 he was appointed chief editor of the channel. In 2005, he was appointed as the Chief Editor of the channel. He has been appointed as the President of Economics Group of the Doğuş Media Group in 2011. Yıldırım, who still continues to serve in this position, also appears on NTV as a commentator in the “Geri Sayım (Countdown)” program.
Having started to work as a columnist in Yeni Binyıl newspaper in 1999, he continued to write columns in Sabah newspaper between 2002 and December 2004 and in Referans newspaper between 2004 and 2009 and in Radikal newspaper between 2009 and 2011. Since 2016, he writes a column in the Milliyet Newspaper entitled “Ekonominin Halleri (States of the The Economy)”. Yıldırım’s articles were published in many local and foreign newspapers and magazines.
Tuğrul Ağırbaş received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Istanbul University and joined Efes Beverage Group in 1990. From 1990 to 2001, Mr. Ağırbaş worked as Project Development Specialist, Marketing Specialist, Istanbul Region Sales Supervisor, New Product Development Supervisor, Group Product Manager, Sales Manager of Marmara Region and Marketing Manager of Miller. Mr. Ağırbaş was appointed as the Marketing Director of Efes Russia in 2001 and General Manager of Efes Russia in June 2005. He assumed the post of Anadolu Efes Turkey General Manager on 1 January 2010. Mr. Ağırbaş was reappointed as General Manager of Efes Russia on 1 November 2011. Since 2014, Mr. Ağırbaş served as Anadolu Efes Eastern Europe and the CIS Group General Director, Head of Corporate Functions and Sales Organization Transformation Lead, respectively. As of 1 August 2017, Mr. Tuğrul Ağırbaş is appointed as Anadolu Efes Turkey General Manager.
Vedat Basaran is a Turkish chef, and food culture researcher from Istanbul who is well-known for his contributions to the
culinary world, through his interpretations of old Ottoman cookery books and re-introducing the forgotten dishes of Ottoman culinary culture. Basaran worked for providing assessment of Ottoman’s historical cuisine both in civilian platforms and in catering services for the first time in Turkey. He aimed at directing public attention to Turkish historical cuisine by learning Ottoman Turkish language, to interpret old cookery books and applying the recipes by using these translations.
Mehmet Kalay is a Managing Director at The Abraaj Group and has over 20 years of experience in industry, consulting and private equity. He is responsible for commercial and operational evaluation of new investment opportunities as well as sustainable post-investment value creation. Mr. Kalay is focused on driving growth agenda and ensuring scalability of partner companies in Turkey and Central Asia, and is a Board Member at
Yörsan, the third biggest dairy company in Turkey.
Prior to joining Abraaj, Mr. Kalay was General Manager and Sub-Region Head for Turkey and Central Asia with Hilti, a leading global construction equipment manufacturer and solution provider. Within 2.5 years, he led a major turnaround by doubling sales, achieving the highest profitability growth, and highest networking capital improvement that resulted in 6x investment return.
Before Hilti, Mr. Kalay was the General Manager and Cluster Leader for Tetra Pak Processing Business for Greater Middle East where he was responsible for 28 countries. Under his leadership, Tetra Pak doubled its operating return with 25% gross margin improvement while achieving double digit sales growth. Previously with Tetra Pak, he was the Global Head of the Innovation Center where he led a company-wide transformation that resulted in 30% time-to market reduction and eight-fold quality improvements.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Kalay was a management consultant for eight years with PTC, a US$1 billion innovation solution provider, and PRTM, an operational strategy consulting firm specialized in high-tech industries, innovation and supply chain operations, now part of PWC. Mr. Kalay holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University, MS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bogazici University and MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.
After graduating Saint Joseph High School, Chairman Ali Başman completed his university education at the Finance Department of the Istanbul University Faculty with a bachelor of Economics. In 1985, he worked in Sales and General Coordinator Departments after he has worked in Accounting and Inventory Departments in Kavaklıdere Wines Co. Mr Başman, who is the Board of Directors, is also the president of Turkish French Trade Association, Chief Executive Officer of the Company, TÜSİAD, Ankara Chamber of Industry, Foreign Economic Relations Council, Akyurt Industrialists and Businessmen Association, Turkish Belgian Luxembourg Commerce Association, Chaine Des Rotisseurs, Wine Club Ankara, Wine Friends Association and Galatasaray Sports Club Member He is the President of the Association of Wine and Wine Producers. Besides his passion in music and viticulture, he is also an animal lover.
Önder Arsan was born in Istanbul in 1965. He graduated from Ankara Gazi University, Faculty
of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of Economics.
After his graduation he started his career life in Unilever in 1990. Between 1990 – 2002, he was involved in Sales with increasing responsibilities. He worked in various Sales roles, with increasing levels of responsibility, from 1990 to 2002. In 2002,Onder Arsan joined the Marketing Department with the role as Commercial Marketing
Manager. In 2006, Arsan continued his career as Sales Director of Modern Commerce. In 2010, after 20 years of Retail experience, Arsan was appointed to Unilever Food Solutions Unit Operating in Unilever’s Out-Of- Home sector. He is currently in the position of Unilever Foods Solutions General Manager (Turkey, Central Asia, the Caucasus and Iran) and also a Board Member of the Unilever Steering Committee. Conducting various projects in transformation projects and sustainability issues, Önder Arsan’s biggest passion is travel and photography.
Önder Arsan is married & has two children.
Levent Komur was born in Istanbul in 1970. He graduated from the Industrial Engineering department of Bogazici University in 1992 and started his professional life in Procter & Gamble as Assistant Product Manager the same year.
In 1999, he was appointed to Procter & Gamble Brussels as Regional Product Manager for Strategic Planning. In 2001, he continued working for Procter & Gamble Brussels as Marketing Director. In 2003, he was appointed to Procter & Gamble Egypt as the Near East (Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq) Marketing Director. Between 2005 and 2009, he was appointed to Procter & Gamble Turkey as Marketing Director. In the beginning of 2009, Komur was appointed to Procter & Gamble South and East Africa as Marketing Director, where he continued his work for almost two years.
In December 2010, Komur founded and worked as the General Manager of the Istanbul Office of Integer Group, one of the leading shopper marketing agencies in the world. In 2012, Komur joined Mey|Diageo as Marketing Director and Executive Committee Member. In August 2016, he was appointed as the Sales and Distribution Director.
Remaining on top ranks in Capital Magazine’s “Marketing Executive of the Year” event in 2013, 2014 and 2015 consecutively, he was cited as one of the leading marketing executives in Turkey. As of October 1, 2017, he has been appointed as General Manager at Mey|Diageo Turkey. Komur is married with two children; speaks excellent English, intermediate French and basic Arabic.
Clay Gregory has more than 30 years of marketing and management experience in multiple industries, including technology, the wine industry (primarily in the Napa Valley) and currently, Destination Marketing. He is the President and CEO of Visit Napa Valley, whose mission is to promote, protect and enhance Napa Valley’s position as North America’s legendary wine, food, arts and wellness destination.
Visit Napa Valley works with all Napa County guest-serving businesses and community stakeholders to support initiatives that impact tourism in a strategically managed way.
Pelle Andersen is the Managing Director of Food Organisation of Denmark (FOOD). FOOD is a public-private partnership started to feed the interest in Nordic and Danish gastronomy and culinary culture. The organisation has offices in Copenhagen and Aarhus.
Pelle Andersen is also a member of several boards and committees, Danish and international, regarding tourism and gastronomy. Previously, Mr. Andersen has been responsible for national tourism policy and public diplomacy in the Ministry of Business and Economic Affairs and held several other positions in related areas in public and private organisations.
He is also the author of several cookbooks and publications on gastronomy.
With 18 years of professional working experiences at a hotel and Le Cordon Bleu in hospitality management and education industry, it is an honor to be invited to a guest speaker to share my experiences in globalization of Korean and Japanese cuisine with all participants in the Summit, in Turkey in March 2018.
I have been working at Le Cordon Bleu for 16 years and my company is considered the guardian of French culinary technique, through its cuisine, pastry and bakery programs, that preserve and pass on the mastery and appreciation of the culinary arts that have been the cornerstone of French gastronomy for over 500 years. In the mean time, my company is also focusing on the education and the promotion of the Culinary Arts and Gastronomy in each country we are based in. For instance, we have been successfully launching Spanish Cuisine, Mexican Cuisine, Thai Cuisine, and Japanese Cuisine under the system of Le Cordon Bleu.
While I have especially been working in Korea and Japan, I worked with the Ministry of Agriculture in Korea to promote Kimchi globally and published Kimchi book with the harmony of French cuisine. Based on this accomplishment, I was awarded the Order of Agricultural Merit from French Minister of Agriculture and Fishing in November 2013 and I received this award in recognition of my extraordinary dedication to protecting the future of French culture and gastronomy.
Since April 2016, I have been working at Le Cordon Bleu Japan as Representative Director while I am developing the new business in Korea as General Manager and have successfully launched Japanese Cuisine Diploma Programs in October 2017.