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USAID Zrda Activity in Georgia Presents Meskhuri Tabla Cookbook

By Nino Gugunishvili
Friday, August 3
“Meskhuri Tabla,” a newly published culinary cookbook with 20 ancient, traditional, Meskhetian recipes from Georgia’s Samtskhe - Javakheti region was presented on July 31, at Stamba Hotel, Tbilisi.

Peter Wiebler, USAID Mission Director, Brian King, Chief of Party, USAID Zrda Activity in Georgia, and Giorgi Chogovadze, Head of Georgian National Tourism Administration, among other guests gathered at the book launch event.

With its focus on Tourism and Agriculture development, USAID Zrda Activity in Georgia is a five-year program set to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the country’s targeted regions through improving Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) growth.

Publishing the “Meskhuri Tabla” cookbook is said to be the first project initiated by the Samtskhe-Javakheti tourism stakeholders working group to become Destination Management Organization (DMO).

“Meskhuri Tabla” is a result of the joint effort by the USAID Zrda Activity in Georgia, the Georgian Culinary Academy, the NGO Georgian House and a group of dedicated stakeholders from Samtskhe-Javakheti who have poured their passion into this project,” Brian King, Chief of Party, USAID Zrda Activity in Georgia said, while introducing the Meskhuri Tabla cookbook.

“In Samtskhe-Javakheti, a significant portion of our work focuses on working with local stakeholders to build a robust platform for sustainable tourism development as an economic engine for the region,” he added.

A beautifully illustrated “Meskhuri Tabla” with plenty of mouthwatering recipes from Meskhetian Khachapuri, to Duck Plavi, Rice Shakarlama, Lukhumi, Tsero Khinkali, to name a few, is aimed at promoting local Georgian food while raising awareness of the region locally and internationally.

The book would be sold through local retailers in Georgia and also internationally- on

Giorgi Chogovadze, Head of the Georgian National Tourism Administration, who took the stage, talked about the fruitful cooperation between the USAID Zrda Activity in Georgia program and the National Georgian Tourism Administration, as he underlined the importance of tourism development for the county’s economic growth.

“Tourism is a driving force for our country’s economic development, with the number of tourists increasing, with a consequent rise of income from international tourism and creation of new job opportunities,” Chogovadze stated.

“One of the things I loved about this project, about the “Meskhuri Tabla” cookbook was that it merges local traditions, old Georgian culinary traditions with a modern objective which is to stimulate economic growth in this region.” Peter Wiebler, USAID Mission Director, who just recently arrived in Georgia, said while addressing the guests, also noting the strong partnership between the USAID directly and other participants and collaborators of the project.

“It’s this types of strong relationships that I hope will grow only stronger in the years to come and it’s this kind of relationships that will help Georgia move to fully strong, fully functioning development,” he pointed out.

The income received from Meskhuri Tabla cookbook is said to go to the newly established DMO, and serve as an initial revenue stream to support operations of the organization. The book is available in Georgian and English languages.

“Meskhuri Tabla" is an invitation to journey through the world of Meskhetian cuisine. The book is a collection of traditional recipes of Samtskhe-Javakheti that are easy to follow and feature available ingredients. “Meskhuri Tabla” will be your guide in reliving the long-standing history of traditional Meskhetian cooking right in your kitchen,” the book preface says.