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Gourmet Holidays Cooking Classes
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Cooking classes introducing Turkey's regional and historic cuisines: Royal Ottoman and Authentic Anatolian. Instructed in English, German.
Reviewed June 29, 2013

I attended the Royal Ottoman class, the only one of its kind in Istanbul. It was so educational and savoury. Our chef Hakan made the experience very entertaining and took the time to share stories and make the recipes easy to understand. He keeps your attention with humor and stories.Throughout the lesson, he explained to us the Royal Ottoman cuisine and its origins, whilst demonstrating how to cook the best lunch I have tasted.

After cooking, we all sat down and enjoyed the foods of our labor in the lovely surroundings of "Y" brasserie, where we were also served a great choice of local red wine. The food was delicious and definitely one of my favorite experiences ever. I did later go back and buy the spices and their cookbook - Chef Hakan also wrote the first e-book on Ottoman Cuisine in English which is still selling on Amazon.

All in all it was a very entertaining class and a unique lunch. The tastes and smells were so different from other Turkish dishes that I was really taken by surprise. And the ingredients had been selected in such a way that you can easily find them wherever you are in the world.

If you want to taste and learn how to make a proper Ottoman feast, then this is the place to go!

Thank guidaturca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5 - 9 of 16 reviews

Reviewed June 27, 2013

The Black Sea Cooking class was fantastic! The cuisine of Turkey is so amazing that it will be one of the things I miss most when I leave to go home. Going to this class not only gave an opportunity to focus on and learn about one specific type of country’s famous food, but it also allowed me to hold onto one of the things I’ve loved most about living here, the food. And if the lifelong benefit of having a few spectacular recipes isn’t enough, this class also did a great job of making it feel like a truly VIP experience. The class was small, so it felt very personalized and questions are encouraged. If you aren’t an expert chef or fluent in Turkish it is no problem; I am neither one. These people are great at explaining and demonstrating so that anyone can understand, and their English is excellent. Oh, and after the food is finished you are able to then partake in the experience of a lavish multicourse meal that you yourself had a hand in making. I loved taking this class and definitely recommend it to all who are interested in cooking and are in love with the food of the region, but how could you not be?

1  Thank Hunter S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2013

I had always been interested in Ottoman cuisine but it is not readily available in Istanbul. This tour was exactly what I had hoped it would be. Full of information about the cuisine with unique dishes not on any menu in Istanbul I have ever seen. On the intro tour with Gökçen we got a great intro to Turkish ingredients and had the best Turkish coffee ever! Then we arrived at the kitchen, met the very personable chef Hakan, and we got right down to cooking. It was a lot of fun to smell, taste, and cook all the food in a very hands on way. It was wonderful to sit down with chef and guide and the rest of the small group to eat all the food we prepared together with a nice selection of Turkish wine. Highly recommended for everyone from experienced foodies to new comers to Ottoman/Turkish food.

Thank charbar137
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2013

The experience started with a quick tour of some of the most exciting side streets around Istiklal Cadessi where I saw some amazing ingredients. The guide, Gokcen, told us all about the history of Turkish cooking, the main point being that nobody can cooks better than their mother. We then went for a delicious Turkish coffee with yet more stories before we headed to the kitchen to begin the cooking.

In the kitchen the ingredients were all ready and we each took turns in preparing different parts of the dish, always under the watchful eye of the 'master Chef' Hakan. Hakan was great, offering simple tips and making me feel that I was doing a great job. The kitchen itself was spotless and is in fact the kitchen used for the restaurant we would eat our dinner in later. Each of us had a print out of the recipes meaning that we could follow what the others were doing. When we were finished we headed up to the restaurant to eat.

We had prepared a four course meal starting with a soup, followed by chicken, then beef before finishing with desert. The dishes definitely felt like a traditional Ottoman meal and were served with a small tipple. The food tasted even better knowing that it was the fruits of my own labour.

I left having had a fantastic day and with a real idea of Ottoman cooking, i'll definitely cook these dishes again at home.

1  Thank MichaelRoxborough
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 25, 2013

I had a delightful time at the Ottoman Cooking Class hosted by Gökçen and Hakan. It was in 2 parts. First Gökçen took us on a walk to the kitchen- as we walked, he explained about Turkish cuisine- its origins, history and interesting anecdotes. He was extremely knowledgeable about the subject and it was a joy to listen to him as we walked along. At one point in the walk, which took us through the back street labyrinths of Taksim, we stopped at a small Turkish coffee shop called Mandabatmaz (the buffalo doesn’t sink); everybody agreed that they had just drunk the best Turkish coffee they had ever had.

From there it was onto the kitchen where we met the outgoing, fun chef named Hakan. After quick introductions and suiting up in our aprons and hairnets (and affixing our name tags), we set off to work straightaway.

We made 4 dishes- a soup, two main meals and a dessert. To describe them wouldn’t give them merit- they were each exquisite in their own way. My favorite was the soup- I tend to shy away from yogurt soups, but this was truly incredible.

I should say that this cooking class is not for the picky eater or for one who has severe dietary restrictions- one of the recipes called for 200 grams of butter, for example. While the food did not taste greasy, but rather it created a creamy sauce, there was still 200 grams of butter in there.

I would highly recommend this cooking class to others. The leaders of the class were informative, friendly and fun and after the meal was cooked, and we participants broke bread, it was great to sit down and get to know the other people in the class better; each person had their own fascinating story to tell.

1  Thank Bluesky718
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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