class

Cookery Classes

I teach Turkish cooking classes in England,Turkey & USA, hope you can join us!,
Find Out More
recipes

Recipes    

Turkish cuisine provides healthy, hearty, delicious food for family and friends.
Find out more

Travels

Our Turkish Cookery Course in Amman, Jordan; A Very Special Trip

Making Sarma, Stuffed vine leaves with participants in Amman, Jordan

Making Sarma, Stuffed vine leaves with participants in Amman, Jordan

Merhaba All,

I have just returned from Amman, Jordan, where we had our 3 day Turkish cookery course; it was a very special trip from the start to beginning and I wanted share some highlights here with you.

JA University students helping out at our Turkish cookery course.

JA University students helping out at our Turkish cookery course.

Preparing for our Turkish cookery course in Jordan, love the fresh produce

Preparing for our Turkish cookery course in Jordan, love the fresh produce

My huge thanks first of all to dear Mrs Suhair Kilani and Panthera Jordan for organising our Turkish Cookery Course in Amman; Mrs Kilani has done so much for spreading the word on Turkish cuisine and make our course happen 2nd time in Jordan, my heartfelt thanks to her. It was very special to return to JA University to teach and I love being with the students there. They have been very enthusiastic and hard working; always a very happy feeling being inspired by them and be able to inspire. I was very touched by all the kindness and generous hospitality of our Jordanian friends , it really has been a very special trip.

Turkish Jordanian Friendship Association Opening

Turkish Jordanian Friendship Association Opening

With dear Suhair Kilani and Manar Bilbesi at the Turkish Jordanian Friendship Association

With dear Suhair Kilani and Manar Bilbeisi at the Turkish Jordanian Friendship Association

I had the honor to be the guest speaker at the opening of the new premises of the Turkish Jordanian Friendship Association. It was an honor to be able to meet Turkish food lovers and have a chance to talk about Turkish cuisine. I have been so touched by dear Jordanians’ love and interest for Turkish cuisine and Turkey.

Potato and bulgur patties at our course in Jordan, it was a huge hit!

Potato and bulgur patties at our course in Jordan, it was a huge hit!

Gozleme, Anatolian flat breads with spinach and cheese, another very popular dish from our Turkich cookery course

Gozleme, Anatolian flat breads with spinach and cheese, another very popular dish from our Turkish cookery course

Zeytinyagli Sarma, Stuffed vine leaves with aromatic rice from our class, big hit

Zeytinyagli Sarma, Stuffed vine leaves with aromatic rice from our class, big hit

We had over 14 classic Turkish recipes we made during our Turkish cookery course. It was wonderful to see the keen interest from the participants and their enjoyment; some of the highlights have been Potato and bulgur rolls with pomegranate molasses, stuffed vine leaves with aromatic rice,  Gozleme, Anatolian flat breads with cheese and spinach and many more.

Islim Kebabi, eggplant slices wrapped around marinated chicken

Islim Kebabi, eggplant slices wrapped around marinated chicken

Making Sekerpare with the participants

Making Sekerpare with the participants

IMG_2609

Cezerye, caramalised carrot paste with walnuts from our class, delicious and healthy

We also made other classics such as Iskender Kebab, Stuffed peppers and tomatoes, Dolma, this delightful, gluten-free Islim Kebabi, marinated chicken wrapped around eggplant slices,  Manti, Turkish dumplings and many more. Desserts we made included Sekerpare, Semolina cookies in syrup, Cezerye, caramalised carrot paste with walnuts, Semolina Halva and the very special Tavuk Gogsu; Ottoman milk pudding with finely shredded chicken. I will share the recipe of this unusual but delicious dessert in a separate post.

Our visit to the Turkish Embassy in Amman

Our visit to the Turkish Embassy in Amman

Our Turkish cookery course in Amman has been very generously supported by the Turkish Embassy in Amman; it was a great honor to be able to visit our Turkish Ambassador, Mr Onal, to give our thanks for their support. Also very humbled by his kind words for our contribution to Turkish cuisine, we hope to organise many more of these courses in the near future.

A delightful pomegranate tree at TIKA office in Amman

A delightful pomegranate tree at the TIKA office in Amman

Turkish tea, cay, very kindly offered at the TIKA office

Turkish tea, cay, very kindly offered at the TIKA office

More kindness and hospitality followed, we felt home at the wonderful TIKA office in Amman and seeing their garden, I was transported to my grandmother’s 450 year old stone home in  old Antakya. She used to have pomegranate, fig and walnut trees in her garden and we would wake up with the doves singing, seeing these beautiful trees and hearing the doves were a very magical reminiscence.

TV interview during our Turkish cookery course in Amman.

TV interview during our Turkish cookery course in Amman.

Giving certificates to the participants of our Turkish cookery course

Giving certificates to the participants of our Turkish cookery course

Last day of our Turkish cookery course was filmed and I was interviewed on Turkish cuisine and its perception in Amman, to be aired on national TV. We also made it to Jordanian Times apparently! So good to see all this interest for Turkish cuisine. Another highlight was giving certificates to the participants of our 3 day Turkish cookery course, they have been all so enthusiastic and wonderful.

Turkish coffee, enjoyed by everyone at our Turkish cookery course.

Turkish coffee, enjoyed by everyone at our Turkish cookery course.

We made everyone Turkish coffee at the end; many thanks to Ozerlat Coffee for providing our Turkish coffee, everyone greatly enjoyed the aromatic taste and the traditions, rituals behind this special drink, it really is more than a drink for us.

Our Turkish Cookery Course in Jordan has been a very special trip from start to the end, my heartfelt thanks to everyone for their warm hospitality, can’t wait to come back again!

Brief but very Special Stop in Istanbul

Hello from Istanbul; a very precious stop at the Bosphorus

Hello from Istanbul; a very precious stop at the Bosphorus

Icing on the cake of this trip has been a brief but very special stop in Istanbul afterwards; the city I adore. As soon as I landed, I was by the Bosphorus in Bebek, a very special, memorable moment!

Dear Claudia Turgut's photo exhibition at PositivIST, Arnavutkoy, Istanbul

Dear Claudia Turgut’s photo exhibition at PositivIST, Arnavutkoy, Istanbul

Mum, my lovely sister Oznur and me together, a very precious moment

Mum, my lovely sister Oznur and me together, a very precious moment

Dear friend and ex-fellow blogger, owner of the wonderful A Seasonal Cook in Turkey blog Claudia Turgut has now a wonderful new passion, photography. She and some other photographers opened this lovely photo exhibition called PositivIST, sharing Istanbul they love through their photographs. Thanks to my lovely sister, we managed to make it to the Exhibition and met lovely Claudia. The exhibition continues until October 13th, located in Arnavutkoy Istanbul and highly recommended; gorgeous photos of Istanbul from these wonderful artists.

Fascinating Bosphorus and Istanbul

Fascinating Bosphorus and Istanbul

Glass of Cay by the Bosphorus, heavenly

Glass of Cay by the Bosphorus, heavenly

 Time to say farewell to this fascinating city, Istanbul, until next time; it was a huge dose of home, seeing loved ones being at home, treasured every minute.

Continue Reading

Ozlem's Turkish Table at the Hurriyet Daily News! – 7th August, 2012 –

UK-based Turkish chef returns home to teach in Istanbul

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

Turkish cook and blogger Özlem Warren has been giving workshops on Ottoman cuisine. Warren is visiting Istanbul to conduct a class at the Istanbul Culinary Institute

Warren is not only a cook but also an admirer of Ottoman cuisine. She is conscious of the fact that it owes much to diversity of cultures that nurtured it through the centuries.

“Warren is not only a cook but also an admirer of Ottoman cuisine. She is conscious of the fact that it owes much to diversity of cultures that nurtured it through the centuries.

It may sound a little exaggerated when an expatriate says she has become a cook just because she could no longer do without her national dishes, but this is the story behind the longing that brought Özlem Warren back to her homeland to teach a workshop at an Istanbul’s culinary arts institutes…..”

Hellos and Merhabas again from Istanbul! I am delighted to share that we had an interview with the Hurriyet Daily News. It was wonderful to be able to talk about Turkish cuisine, express the great interest abroad and what can be done furthermore to promote Turkish cuisine. You can read the rest of the article at UK based Turkish chef returns home to teach in Istanbul

Today is my Turkish cooking class at the Istanbul Culinary Institute, and we have a full house : ) I very much look forward to sharing an evening of Turkish cuisine with Turkish and foreign participants, many thanks for all your support and interest.

Fasulye piyazi; a delicious, substantial salad for warm summer days

And here is a refreshing salad idea for the hot summer days; Fasulye Piyazi – Beans with red onion, tomato, boiled egg, olives . This salad is ready within minutes, it is substantial as well as delicious and healthy.

Below are a few photos about our time in Istanbul, hope you enjoy them:

I am getting the dried peppers and aubergines ready for the class tonight!

 

Dried peppers and aubergines not only make great decoration, they are very tasty too. You need to soak them for a few minuted at boiling water to soften up. Then you can stuff then witrh rice, herbs and ground meat, if you like. They are wonderful when baked with a dollop of yoghurt by the side.

As always, I can't keep my eyes off the wonderful fruit and vegetable stalls, packed with seasonal produce.

Midye Dolma - Stuffed mussels is one of the most popular street food in Turkey

 

Stuffed mussles with aromatic rice; a favorite street food, you just need a squeeze of lemon over them, delicious.

 

Another, very famous treat; Maras style ice cream, Maras dondurma. This wonderful ice cream is so thick, that you can slice with knife, a must try!

And this is my share of the wonderful Maras ice cream!

 

Some fine examples of Turkish pottery with an Ottoman design touch, loved them all.

 

 

Until next time, happy travels to you all!

Ozlem

 

 

Continue Reading

Inspirations from Trilye; Baked Sea Bass with Vegetables in Olive Oil & Lemon Sauce; Sebzeli Levrek Pilaki ve Trilye Restaurant

I had the pleasure  of meeting  Mr Sureyya Uzmez, the food writer and owner of Ankara’s Trilye Fish Restaurant; undoubtedly one of the best fish restaurants in Turkey. I greatly admired Sureyya Bey’s (Mr Sureyya’s) passion for seafood and efforts to source the freshest possible fish and shellfish at home, and preparing them in a way to bring the best out of them. This is also the essence of Turkish cooking; we aim to bring out the freshness, the actual flavor of the produce, rather than hiding it behind sauces.  I very much look forward to the Trilye experience in Ankara, and I hope you can too.

Trilye Restaurant’s Mr Sureyya Uzmez and myself at Covent Garden, London, before our interview

My dear cousin, Ahmet Sabuncu is an accomplished photographer (please check out Ahmet’s award winning pinhole photography) and a TV producer for TRT (Turkish Radio and Television). Teaming up with Mr Uzmez and the wonderful Sofra Restaurant’s ambassador of Turkish food, Mr Huseyin Ozer, they have been shooting a TV program in London about how Turkish and British cuisines have been shaped throughout the history, the ethnic influences that has contributed to Turkish and other food cultures. They kindly included an interview with me for the program, which is planned to go on air in Turkey – very exciting! It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience – my sincere thanks to them.  I will keep you posted on the air time of the program :)

Southeast coast of Turkey, bountiful with fish, just as at the Agean and Black Sea

Regarded as a symbol of fertility, fish is very much enjoyed at home, especially at the coastal regions. Turkey is bounded by the sea on three sides – the Mediterranean, Aegean and the Black Sea. With the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and Dardanelles at northwest, Turkey has over 7,000km (4,350 miles) of coastline. The plentiful fishing waters provide daily catches of bluefish, red and grey mullet, swordfish, sea bass, tuna, bonito, turbot, plaice, mackerel, sardines, anchovies and many more. In most of the coastal regions, fish is bought very fresh, straight off the boats at the daily fish market, still swimming around in the buckets or beautifully arranged on ice.

One of the many fisherman by the Bosphorus, Istanbul, getting ready for his daily catch

Inspired by Sureyya Bey’s passion for seafood, I adapted one of the recipes at Trilye’s wonderful book “Trilye’s Passion for Sea Food” (Trilye’nin Balik Sevdasi). This delicious baked sea bass makes a complete meal with all the fresh vegetables in it, and so easy to make. I poached the sea bass and the vegetables in olive oil, lemon juice and a little water, just as the same way we cook ‘Vegetables cooked in olive oil’, Zeytinyaglis. This delicious and healthy way of cooking retains all the wonderful juices of the fish and vegetables. The result has been a refreshing, utterly delicious supper that disappeared very quickly.

Baked Sea bass with vegetables in olive oil

Baked Sea bass with vegetables in olive oil

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes                               Cooking time:  about 35-40 minutes*

4 fillets of sea bass – or any fresh white fish-

1 onion, cut in half and sliced thinly

4-6 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped coarsely

1 small green (bell or pointy) pepper, quartered and sliced thinly

1 small yellow (bell or pointy) pepper, quartered and sliced thinly

3 medium tomatoes, coarsely sliced

2-3 medium potatoes, cut in half and thinly sliced

Juice of 1 lemon

2 bay leaves

8fl oz/1 cup water (or fish stock)

45ml/3 tbsp olive oil

5ml/1 tsp red pepper flakes – optional

Salt and ground pepper to taste

Handful of flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped – to decorate

Lemon wedges to serve

* Please check the recommended cooking time for the fish of your choice on the packaging.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F

Stir in all the prepared vegetables and the bay leaves in a baking dish. Coat them with the olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (if used).

Coat the vegetables with olive oil, seasoning and red pepper flakes; they complement the fish beautifully

Coat the fish fillets with 1 tbsp of olive oil and place them amongst the vegetables. Mix the lemon juice with water or fish stock and spoon this liquid all around the fish and vegetables. Cover the baking dish with foil and put it in the oven for about 35 minutes or until the fish and vegetables are cooked. Once cooked, take the foil out and sprinkle chopped parsley over the fish. Serve immediately with wedges of lemon by the side.

Sea bass baked with vegetables in olive oil; a delicious all in one dish.

Sea bass baked with vegetables in olive oil; a delicious all in one dish.

For a light and delicious finish, you may serve the Baked Apricots with Walnuts as a dessert.

Afiyet Olsun (May you be healthy and happy with the food you eat);

Ozlem

Continue Reading