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“Good experience, needs improvement”
Review of Cooking Alaturka

Cooking Alaturka
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Cooking Alaturka offers daily Turkish cooking classes, either from 10:30 to 14:30 or from 16:30 to 20:30, to groups ranging from 2 to 11 persons. You cook five authentic Turkish dishes together with other travellers, under supervision of Rocco and his Turkish chef. Our classes are hands-on and fun, as well as informative. They are suitable for both professional chefs and kitchen novices. Afterwards, enjoy your cooking efforts over lunch or dinner with some local wine. We also function as a regular lunch and dinner restaurant, offering a daily-changing four-course menu. Reservations are recommended due to limited space.
Reviewed September 16, 2012

Pros: good fun experience
Tasty food
Lovely instructor
Lovely location, small and intimate
Clean
2 alcoholic drinks included
Good company.

Cons: you don't actually make the whole meal, you only make parts of it. The food is cooked in one pot, there is no individual hobs and pots so you just cook the food in a group.

The chef flavours the food and cooks it, for example he made the sugar syrup for the desert and flavoured the main dish. It's supposed to be a cooking class not a demonstration.

A bit disappointed only to do some parts of the cooking preparation rather make my own dish.
Dishes were also too easy to make, for example simple soup for a starter- chef has cooked and flavoured most of it
Figs in syrup for dessert- our only involvement was to stuff the fig with walnut- would have been nice to make some proper pastry etc...

1  Thank Jess78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cookingalaturka, Owner at Cooking Alaturka, responded to this reviewResponded October 11, 2012

Thanks for your feedback. Having done several classes myself in the past when travelling, where they had individual cooking stations, I never found that concept particularly beneficial to the experience (unless one were to provide one instructor per student perhaps...)

Nothing in our website promises individual cooking stations either. Turkish cooking is generally a family affair, a social event, a group effort, and that's what we're all about.

We assume our students can mix one cup of sugar with two cups of water to make a syrup, hence we prefer to concentrate on those steps vital to reproducing the dishes back at home.

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154 - 158 of 313 reviews

Reviewed September 9, 2012

This was a fun way to spend the morning and the meal we prepared in the group was delicious and enjoyable. Chef Feysi was funny and helpful and Eveline made sure that we all stayed on task and got things done. It was a bit more of a 'first day working in a Turkish kitchen' experience than taking a Turkish cooking class experience since we were actually preparing the lunch menu for the restaurant as well as learning the recipes.

While I feel like the food, menus, and people involved were worthy of a higher than average rating, I can't actually go higher because I was looking for a cooking school experience and just didn't really feel like I found it. Since we were working on everything at once, the individual recipes became muddled in my head in terms of the steps. The printed recipes that Eveline provided help to sort that out, but in other cooking classes, I've enjoyed the process of starting one recipe, working through it, completing it and moving on. Also, I was hoping for a bit more in terms of history and specific technique - when one participant asked about the history she was told that there were many books on that. True, and I understand that since we were cooking for the lunch time restaurant patrons that there wasn't a lot of time for getting sidetracked by history and information. Still, it would have been nice to get those tidbits...Eveline pointed out that 96% of food is in the presentation (which was beautiful) but I've leanred that 96% of a tourist experience is in the fun facts and take home tidbits of history, technique, etc. That was the main thing I felt was missing from this course.

While it would have been nice to have individual work stations, it was also pretty cool to get the chance to work as a prep cook under a master chef in a working Turkish kitchen. I recommend this course as a unique, fun, and delicious experience...but don't go in with "Italian cooking school" expectations.

1  Thank Vagobond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cookingalaturka, Owner at Cooking Alaturka, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2012

Thank you for your feedback. As you may remember, I did in fact give ample information on the history and origin of each dish made in the class when presenting the recipes. The lady who asked me to tell her about the history of Turkish cuisine arrived late, hence missed most of this presentation. Since we do need to stick to a time schedule, I then suggested to come back to this later, it being too vast a subject to handle at that moment. My remark "Whole books have been written on this" referred clearly to the complexity of the subject and not to any unwillingness to go into it. During the class we had plenty of time for questions and even more so at the lunch table, where we spent several hours pleasantly chatting away...

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Reviewed August 26, 2012

I came back from Turkey 3 days ago, and this morning I woke up remembering the incredible flavor of the charred eggplant in the Sultan Delight dish I made with Eveline!
I have taken cooking classes in many countries, but Cooking Alaturka has been the most professionally taught and the results were well beyond my expectations.
Eveline included in the menu a dish I requested when I booked the class: Yayla corbasi - Yogurt soup with mint. Delicious!!!
The class was taught in the restaurant's kitchen and Eveline organized the group (we were 5 people) in a way that we all got to try the different techniques. She was very well verse in the history of Turkish cuisine and its traditions. We sat to eat in the restaurant (Yes! it is a restaurant and you should try it!!) The wine offerings were excellent and complemented the dishes very nicely. The atmosphere was very friendly and relaxed although they were very busy with the lunch crowd that got to eat our cooking too!

Don't leave Istanbul without taking this class or at least eating at the restaurant, you'll remember it forever!

Thank Icventure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2012

Having read about Cooking Alaturka on the web and in numerous guidebooks, we were pleasantly surprised to find it located right behind our hotel (Seraglio) in the Sultanahment neighborhood. After three weeks in-country enjoying Turkish food, we decided it was time for us to learn how to make some of the dishes we had been loving. We requested, if it was possible, to include two of these dishes among the five that the group would prepare and they were happy to oblige.

So... we learned how to make Hunkar Begendi (Sultan's Delight) that is essentially a creamy, smoked eggplant puree' with grilled lamb on top. HEAVENLY. And for a sweet treat, Shekepare', a semolina baked dessert which is sold alongside baklava in most shops but is even better and, to our pleasant surprise, VERY easy to make. We made three other dishes over this four-plus hour experience, and all came out well.

The food the group prepares is then served to restaurant patrons the same night, so strangers got to eat the food we made! The friendly atmosphere was wonderful, the wine that we enjoyed was the BEST by far of any throughout Turkey, the chef a pleasure. An experience not to be missed!

1  Thank EngTeacher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2012

Could not have enjoyed cooking alaturka anymore, aside from the food being delicious, evaline, her chef and helpers were great as were the others doing the course. The food was delicious and traditional Turkish that I cannot wait to get home and share with friends. Definately recommend!

Thank teges
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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