Fantastic way to spend a day! A clean and cozy atmosphere that feels more like friends getting together than a cooking lesson. Oguz meet us at an easy to find landmark and then walked us around some markets to buy ingredients for the day. Oguz is warm, welcoming, and has the most adorable laugh that instantly puts you at ease. Once we made it back to the cooking studio, I was impressed by the cleanliness and cheerful atmosphere. This space also doubles as a yoga studio (email Oguz for details). The space is filled with natural light and easy listening music from Oguz’s I-Pod.
Once we arrived, we spent an hour just talking and getting to know each other and local political and cultural issues. Then we dived into the cooking “lesson.” Really, it was more like a more knowledgeable friend leading you through recipes and offering suggestions and insights as you go. Oguz had printed off a copy of all the recipes for everyone and provided a pencil so you could write down any notes for yourself.
After a couple of hours of cooking, we finally settled down for our meal. It was so good and worth the wait! Oguz then cooked us a dessert and made us Turkish coffee before we parted. Oguz helped me make a shopping list for the Spice Bazaar so I could make the recipes at home. After my trip, I was then able to make a couple of Turkish dishes for my family while we looked at pictures from my trip. Also, I was able to write out the recipes and pair then with spices I bought as presents for family and friends.
Really, the best part of the Istanbul Cooking School is Oguz! He is a character. His English is amazing, and he also speaks German (he studied abroad in Switzerland). I cannot say enough good things about him. You just have to go meet him yourself and you will understand. Just to give you a glimpse into his personality, Oguz’s apron in camouflage with a red peace sign.
Overall, I highly recommend the Istanbul Cooking school. I suggest signing up for the 10:30 class and plan on spending the day. After your class and a full belly, walk down Istiklal Street and enjoy the hustle and bustle and some shopping. Then make your way and cross over the Galata Bridge (the upper part is nice views and down below is a great place to get a drink) to the Spice Market. At the Spice market you can buy all the spices needed to make all the recipes you just learned to make. These are all the ingredients you need for a perfect Istanbul day!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.