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Turkish Appetizers: A Meze Demo & Tasting with Chef Eda Akarsu-Smith

  • Pacific Food and Beverage Museum 731 S. Pacific Ave. San Pedro, CA 90731 United States (map)

Pacific Taste is an ongoing series of culinary demos, talks, and workshops hosted by the Pacific Food & Beverage Museum in Los Angeles. A wide range of culinary professionals, cookbook authors, PacFAB curators, and others deliver lively lectures and lead tastings and hands-on workshops demonstrating the rich culinary traditions and distinctive cuisines of the American West, Pacific Rim, and beyond.

Turkish Appetizers: A Meze Demo & Tasting with Chef Eda Akarsu-Smith


Italy has antipasto. Spain has tapas. And Turkey? It has meze. Each is a Mediterranean small plate, but each has its own flavor profile and tradition. On Saturday, February 16, visit LA's Pacific Food & Beverage Museum and meet Chef Eda Akarsu-Smith, a native of Turkey and Owner of Chez Eda. She'll demonstrate and share the how-to and distinctive flavors of Turkish appetizers. The demo, employing fresh fare from Melissa's Produce, features three traditional dishes:

  • Mercimek Köftesi (Red Lentil Balls)

  • Peynir Ezmesi (Aegean Cheese Spread)

  • Köpoğlu Mancası (Thracian Yogurt Dip)



Eda Akarsu-Smith CROPPED.jpg

Eda Akarsu-Smith, a native of Turkey, has always been interested in the culinary arts. She comes from humble professional beginnings, working as a catering assistant while attending the Istanbul Anatolian Tourism & Hotel Vocational High School, one of the most prestigious hospitality schools in Turkey. After graduating, she attended the University of Istanbul, where she earned a degree in Tourism & Hotel Management. Throughout her career, she has been involved in the ethnic culinary sciences, focusing on the world of Mediterranean cuisines. Whether it’s Turkish, French, or Moroccan, Eda, employing spices and other ingredients, can render any regional dish and yield a memorable dining experience.

After moving to California in 2003, she worked as a service ambassador at an Italian restaurant, where the owners were second-generation Americans from northern Italy. She seized this opportunity to research and prepare authentic Italian foods and further develop her cooking skills. This is where she met her husband, Patrick, and became a loving mom to two beautiful children, Jackson and Hunter.

In the art of French pastry, she has trained under MOF world champion Stéphane Tréand and MOF finalist Jean-Marc Touya. She continues to challenge herself to master new pastry cooking techniques and enhance her culinary vision globally. Eda established Chez Eda, a new catering venture serving Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego.