Süheyl BUDAK

I was born in Antakya in 1951. I completed my primary, middle and high school education in Antakya. During my education, I first had become an apprentice, then assistant foreman and finally a foreman in confenctionery and Turkish delight production. After my undergraduate study, I became interested especially in Turkish delight production area of this profession and I have written an unpublished thesis study on how the changes made in water, starch and sugar ratio affect the Turkish delight, as a result of the studies I had carried out for ideal Turkish delight formulas. I graduated from the Civil Engineering Department of Istanbul Yildiz University in 1976.

I started my job with prefabricated houses and at the end of 40 years, we continue our business by building smart houses. I have over one hundred published articles on housing and municipal works as of 1980. The titles of some of these articles are:

Right to housing, is the shanty a destiny? The reasons of housing problem in Turkey, solutions to the shanty problem, Mass housing, Is mass housing a remedy to housing deficit? Habitat, Right to shelter, I want my municipality, City assemblies in municipalities, How should the smart houses, smart buildings, smart roads and smart pavements be?, multi-functional materials, self-cleaning vitrifications etc.

As a result of my studies in social responsibility projects as of 1990, I took part in the establishing and commissioning process from planning to the construction of the DOGAR plant which is a first in Turkey. DOGAR natural treatment plant is a project for cleaning the sewage residue of a town with 2500 residents, without using any electricity or cleaning agent.

In those years, I started off with the fear that the tastes of my mother and childhood have changed and a cuisine will disappear together with this change, and on this road I realized that there is no publication about Antakya cuisine and that this cuisine is carried by word of mouth from the mother to the daughter. After realizing that, I first started to collect and publish the recipes of this food; however, I had to research the roots of Antakya cuisine while taking these actions. As a result of these researches, I have seen, experienced, learnt and written that this is a cuisine which brings the cuisine cultures of very old cultures up to today and make us experience those cultures.

Since Antakya cuisine is in a geography that has become home to 15 out of 23 civilizations established in the world, it could experience the cuisines of these great civilizations and brought the ones it liked up until today. In researches I have carried out about this, I have found out that it is influenced by Sumerians, Akkadians, Hittites, Phoenicians, Roman cuisine, Byzantine cuisine, Abbasid cuisine, Fatimid cuisine, Oghuzs, Mamluk cuisine and Ottoman cuisine, and that it is a unique and probably the world’s only cuisine which has brought the food it likes from that period.

I have published most of these researches on the magazines of Guney Ruzgari and Hatay Keşif. Some of these articles are: An 11th century food Borani, a 19th century food Paper Kebab, A bread left us from Sumerians, Pomegranate syrup: A gift from the Sumerian cuisine, Abbasid cuisine in Antakya cuisine. Interaction of Antakya cuisine with other cuisines, Antakya food in epic and poems, Rıtual food in Antakya cuisine, Turkish bath food in Antakya cuisine, Feast food in Antakya cuisine, engagement and wedding food in Antakya cuisine etc.

When I started to examine the circulation of food in the world throughout the years, I have seen how food change in time and how their names become different. Then I started to study on the histories of the food and write articles about that. With my articles such as From Tutmac Soup to Ravioli, From Muferrike to Ratatouille, From Kulic to Kulce, I revealed how our food are taken by other cuisines and shown as if they are the products of their own cuisine.

I started to make researches on geographical signs in 2000 and as a result of the studies I have carried out for raising public awareness regarding this subject, I took public’s attention and raised public awareness through registering Antakya Kunafa’s geographical sign to Antakya Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2016. I am still giving seminars and speeches on geographical signs.

The books I have published so far are Antakya Cuisine from Past to the Future, Antep Pistachio (Editor Gonca Tokuz), My Dear Antakya with Rebel Smile (Editor Hakan Mertcan).

For seventeen years, I am a part of a study which includes the food of Anatolian cuisine on an index. This index is collected under 32 main titles and I am trying to collect them under the name of Turkishfoodcodex. The soup section, which is the first of these main titles, is completed and I have detected that we have 1016 types of soup.

I am currently an honorary member an advisory board member in Turkish Culinary Federation.