Just finished a week in Istanbul and Cooking Alaturka was the highlight of our trip! We did both, the Cooking Class and the Two Continents One Soul food tour. For both experiences, the communications leading up to our trip (email) and once on the ground in Istanbul (WhatsApp) were great.
First the food tour…Leyla was our guide, and, in my opinion, it was so much more than just food, she is a wealth of knowledge around Istanbul’s history, culture and the day to day life of a local in the bustling and beautiful city of Istanbul. Starting with breakfast at the Spice Bazaar, then working our way through side streets (all the while eating great local food) we met may merchants and shop owners who welcomed us in as if we were locals. From there Leyla gets you comfortably situated on the Ferry across the Bosphorus to the Asia side of Istanbul, and the food kept coming: Iskander Kebab, Gozleme (think Turkish Quesadilla), Pickled Vegetables, etc. Also, as you eat your way through the Kadikoy neighborhood, Leyla makes sure to take you through the local market and points out all sorts of great sights and suggestions, of which we returned to later during our trip…Just when you think it’s over, Leyla tee’s up a few more bites and then of course dessert! Completing this tour with the ferry ride back to the Europe side, Leyla truly exceeded all expectations and needless to say you will not need to eat dinner that night.
The next day we did the Cooking Class with Rocco and Nezle, this too was another highlight of our trip. The location in Rocco’s restaurant is the perfect backdrop for the class, as there is plenty of space and Nezle makes sure everyone gets their hands into the preparation and cooking process. We have taken many cooking classes around the world and this class was the right balance of hands on, watching and learning and of course eating. The menu we did that day was great with a nice lentil soup appetizer, stuffed eggplant main, several sides and a wonder walnut stuffed fig dessert. The meal itself was also very pleasurable with the other attendees, all the while Nezle and Rocco making sure you have what you need (Wine, Beer, Sodas, etc.)
It’s always a pleasure on vacation when you entrust your tours and experiences in the hands of professionals…and Leyla and Rocco are just that. Great Job guys!!!