Azerbaijan National Culinary Association (ANCA) was established by the decision № 99 of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated 23.04.1991. ANCA is engaged in the collection, studying, and promotion of the national cuisine culture of Azerbaijan. ANCA brings together the country’s leading culinary experts, scientists, and specialists.
ANCA has been a member of The World Association of Chefs’ Societies (WACS) since 1992, and the Traditional Food Committee of the UNESCO Folk Art Organization since 1998.
Azerbaijan National Culinary Association took an active part in the World Culinary Congresses (25th, Germany), (26th, Norway), (27th, Israel), (28th, Australia), (29th, Netherlands), (30th, Japan), (31st, Ireland), (33rd, United Arab Emirates) (34th, Chile), and European Conferences (Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Austria).
The teams of the ANCA have brought dozens of gold, silver, bronze medals and several awards from Culinary Championships and Olympics held in Malta, Korea, Singapore, Russia, Germany, Austria, Norway, England, Czech Republic, Malaysia, America, Greece, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Montenegro, and other countries under the auspices of the WACS, held Days of Azerbaijani Cuisine Culture in Russia, France, Austria, Germany, Japan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Dubai, Belgium, China, and other countries.
ANCA acted as a judge in some International culinary competitions in Russia(permanently since 1993), Romania, Greece, Malta, Turkey, Moldova and Georgia, America, Korea, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Montenegro, and other countries.
ANCA introduced Azerbaijan as a founder of a new food theory in the world. Dozens of scientific lectures were delivered by ANCA in higher schools of foreign countries and scientific conferences. Nowadays, students of several foreign universities take exams in Azerbaijani cuisine.
As a result of ANCA’s efforts, Azerbaijan became the first country in the former USSR that was admitted to the WACS (1992). Afterward, Russia (1994), Ukraine and Uzbekistan (2002), Belarus, Serbia (2006), Turkey, Kazakhstan, Moldova (2008) became members of the WACS under the auspices of the ANCA.
ANCA is currently assisting Georgia in this area.
Now Azerbaijan is represented as a member of the Presidium, Executive Committee, Youth Committee of the World Folk Art Organization, and chairman of the “Traditional Food Committee”.
Employees of ANCA are the cavaliers of the highest culinary award “Badge of Dignity” established by the Russian Culinary Association in The World Association of Chefs’ Societies, the highest culinary award of the Ukraine “Kyлинарное слово” and other awards. ANCA was awarded the Order of the International Foundation for Human Values and the Academy of Public Recognition. It was honored with the title of World Culture and Art master in the Organization for World Masters on Culture and Art.
Today, the Azerbaijan National Culinary Association is the only professional organization in the country that deals with culinary problems in the Republic. Not only chefs, but also scientists (historians, doctors, ethnographers, philosophers, linguists, etc.), and the media cooperate with the Association.
The specialists trained by ANCA within the national teamwork in the leading enterprises of the Republic, in foreign countries (America, Germany, Romania, England, Greece, etc.).
ANCA is the only organization working to promote the National Culinary Culture in the country. Hundreds of different types of speeches on TV and articles in the press have increased attention to Azerbaijani cuisine recently,
The Republican Competition of Young Chefs, the Republican Culinary Championships for Housewives, the Republican National Cuisine Championships, Family Cuisine Competitions in the framework of the International family holiday, the Republican Competition of Bartenders, the Regional Cuisine of Azerbaijan within the Tourism Day were displayed, and meetings were held at higher, secondary specialty schools and the Teacher Training Institute over and over, classes were taught to lyceum, college and institute students and they were helped to gain experience.
ANCA has repeatedly held scientific-practical Republican conferences on “Modern state of Azerbaijan National Culinary and Mass Nutrition, ways of development”, commented on scientific works sent from foreign countries and the Republic, defended the first dissertation on “Comprehensive study of Azerbaijani national cuisine culture”.
The first magazine in this field “Kulina” was created in Azerbaijan
ANCA has a high rating not only in the Republic but also abroad.
We standardize our dishes and about 20 dishes for the restaurant business are patented.
More than 1,500 samples of national cuisine have been placed on the portal of state protection of our intangible national cultural heritage of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
We have collected more than 4,000 national dishes and we continue this process.
We founded the modernization of the national cuisine in 1993, and since 2005 the direction of neo-classicism has been studied and applied. In ancient sources, kitchen samples are collected and restored.
Court kitchen books of the XV-XIX centuries are collected, translated, restored, and used in our restaurants. The heritage of national cuisine is studied through scientific research.
National cuisine samples have been involved in complex research on terms of historical, ethnographic, medical, archeological, technological, esthetic, ethical, etc. As a result of these researches, 2500 national cuisine recipes restored according to modern requirements have been compiled as a book and they have been given to the usage of chefs and restaurant business. New standards have been created by us, patented, and began to be applied.
There were halal food standards, but there was not halal cuisine and halal service. These standards have been prepared by us within WICS and the notion of halal culinary that covers halal restaurant combining halal cuisine-halal service and halal catering was brought to the restaurant business. Hilal (star for restaurant and Hilal for chefs) standards with 1, 2, 3 stars, that are the analogue of Michelin, have been created, patented, and now work is carried out on them.
The initiator, founder, and general director of ANCA is Tahir Amiraslanov İdris