Turkish cuisine provides healthy, hearty, delicious food for family and friends.
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Cookery Classes

I teach Turkish cooking classes in England,Turkey & USA, hope you can join us!,
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Fresh, Delicious and Fun Cooking; Turkish Food Made Easy

I guess the teaching bug instilled in me, while watching my mum teaching and then while I was doing my degree on English Language and Literature at the University of Marmara, Istanbul (anyone from Marmara University? 🙂 I used to teach English language privately to secondary school pupils. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to make a little difference to their learning and infuse love of languages to the children.

Turkish cooking classes are a wonderful opportunity to learn about Turkish cuisine, culture and delicious recipes

I have been living abroad now almost 10 years (gosh, that is a revelation, haven’t realized that up to this very moment!!). For the last 6 years or so, I have been doing another, a very delicious kind of teaching, Turkish cooking. One of the best parts of living abroad for me has been realization and appreciation of the richness of my homeland, and a desperate need to share all wonderful things Turkey offers. (A very special thanks here to the Central Market Cooking School in Austin,Texas, for believing in me and giving me the chance to teach Turkish cooking, a real turning point).
Tahta Saray Ocakbasi Kebab House in Istanbul; it is a joy to indulge in those amazing kebabs, though we love our vegetables and salads too

Now living in England, it is a joy to carry on the classes. Many folks still think Turkish cuisine is based on mostly kebabs, and they are pleasantly surprised to see the many wonderful vegetable courses, like vegetables cooked in olive oil, refreshing salads and mezes we have too.

A vibrant fruit stall at the Sali Pazari (Tuesday Market), in Levent, Istanbul

A special aspect of the cooking classes is a chance to talk about the freshness of ingredients and importance of seasonality in Turkish cuisine. In Turkey food is bought fresh daily, and each meal of the day would be taken into account, with as much attention paid to breakfast, lunch and dinner. As well as having a balance of nutrients, the food should also be appealing to the eye, and of course tasty. Turkish cuisine is healthy and nutritious and the Turks are purist in their culinary taste; their dishes bring out the flavor of the main ingredient rather than hiding it behind sauces.

Another aspect of the class worth noting is a chance for the folks to “taste” Turkish hospitality and culture. Today in Turkey food and mealtimes is still the hub of everyday life. Always time is taken to share meals with family members or friends, to relax and enjoy conversation. Everyone wishes each other “afiyet olsun”, literally meaning “may you be healthy.” This is followed by a tribute to the creator of the meal, “elinize saglik”, meaning “health to your hands”. Guests are always received with the highest cordial hospitality and it is believed that no one should ever leave a Turkish table without feeling satisfied and happy! And I must say, the classes are such a special time for me to connect with home, and I am grateful for these  moments, I so look forward to them!:)

A genuine Turkish hospitality by Sultan Sofrasi, Antakya; they showered us with wonderful regional delicacies

Well, my next Turkish cooking class on Saturday, June 16th is almost sold out -many thanks to all the folks signed up!- There are only few spots left; if you are in the area and would like to join in, do please let me know. You will be showered with Turkish hospitality, delicious food blended with history and stories from my homeland.

If you can’t, here are some of the courses and recipe links from the class menu, for you to have a go at home. They are so easy to make, healthy, delicious and fun to share:

Spinach and Cheese fillo pastry – Ispanakli, peynirli borek (a wonderful appetizer, great for healthy lunches too; freezes very well)

Spinach and cheese fillo pastry; so easy to make and very delicious

Baked Turkish meatballs with summer vegetables (a real crowd pleaser one pot dish, freezes well too) – Firinda Sebzeli Izmir Kofte

Baked Turkish meatballs with peppers, tomatoes and potatoes

Yoghurt and cucumber dip with dried mint A wonderful accompaniment to any grilled meat, roasted vegetables and casseroles. It is also a great party food, for dipping veg like carrots.

Turkish Coffee – Our ultimate, fragrant coffee, a great experience. A little sip of Turkish coffee is enough to transport you to that quaint café in Turkey!

The wonderful Turkish Coffee

I do hope you enjoy the recipes and have a chance to go at them sometime. I would love to hear your experience with Turkish food (or your travels inTurkey), so please drop a line if you can.

Afiyet Olsun!

And Here Comes the Awards; One Lovely Blog and Versatile Blogger

Peri’s Spice Ladle has again been very kind to nominate Ozlem’s Turkish Table with Versatile Blogger and One Lovely Blog Awards. Thank you very much Peri! Peri’s Spice Ladle is a wonderful gateway to the fascinating India and Indian cuisine, I look forward to her posts every week. Please check out this great blog.


The Rules of Acceptance:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award
  • Include a link to their blog
  • Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  • Nominate those bloggers for the Awards
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
  • In the same post, include this set of rules.
  • Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

I’d like to nominate the following blogs (some of which I am delighted to discover recently) for the Versatile Blogger Award and One Lovely Blog Award, I very much enjoy reading their posts, travels, recipes, photos…Please check them out :

Turkish Travel Blog

 As Strong As Soup

Nadia Swindell Photography

 Back to Bodrum

A Seasonal Cook in Turkey

Create Amazing Meals

Cuisine de Provence

Inside A British Mum’s Kitchen


Istanbul Eats

My Italian Kitchen

My Turkish Joys

Turkey’s For Life

Turquoise Diaries

 Adventures in Ankara

Tuesday Recipe

I wouldn’t like to bore you about 7 interesting things about me again, though here is the link if you’d like to refresh your memory 🙂 One more thing I forgot to add on about myself in that list is that, my love for music. I was a (proud!) radio DJ in the late 1990s in Istanbul (can you believe??) The private radio stations just started by then, and I was thrilled to have a chance to host two radio programs for Kent FM with my dear friend, uber music guru Eralp (great memories, Eralp!!:) We did Friday Night Fever Show on Friday nights and Golden Oldies on Sunday morning, happy days!!




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Kreativ Blogger Award

I have been very much flattered for the Kreativ Blogger Award nomination by one of my favorite blogs, Peri’s Spice Ladle; thank you very much Peri, your blog is truly inspirational for me and I have been very much touched by this special honor : )

So, in accordance with the “Rules of Conduct” for bloggers who win this award, I will now do the following:

  1.  Thank the blogger who gave me the award and provide a link (as above).
  2.  List 7 interesting things about myself that my readers might find interesting.
  3.  Nominate 7 other bloggers, provide links, and let them know.

Here are 7 interesting things about myself:

  1. Share food. One of the biggest pleasures of life for me is to share a delicious bite with family and friends – in Turkish we say “food tastes better when shared;” and I very much believe that. I am thankful to my parents for teaching us the value of good food and importance of sharing; which I hope to pass on through my blog.
  2. Teaching. I always loved food but the teaching part came much later in my life. Central Market Cooking School in Austin, Texas believed in me and gave me the chance and confidence to have a go on teaching Turkish cooking classes with them in 2006. Since then, I taught Turkish cooking classes with Central Market Cooking School in Austin, San Antonio and Houston for over 5 years. This has been such a milestone in my life, I can never thank them and all the wonderful foodie folks in Texas enough to help me find what I truly love – thank you !! I can’t wait to come back toTexas to teach more, hopefully in 2013!!
  3. Istanbul.. I am very passionate about my homeland, Turkey, and I am very much in love with the fascinating city of Istanbul. I have been lucky enough to live in Istanbul over 15 years; it is one of those places you feel alive 24 hours. It’s old but not tired, ancient yet alive; a vibrant, breathtaking, cosmopolitan city. One of my favorite parts of Istanbul is the Bosphorus strait (river) that flows through the city; a stroll and a glass of tea by the Bosphorus may just make the perfect day.

    Boats by the Bosphorus, Istanbul

    4. Travel. When I was a little girl, I always had a little bag (of my few favorite toys and a piece of clothing) ready by the door. I always loved going to places and visiting, and whenever a visitor to our home would say “Wouldn’t be nice to have Ozlem around to us?” I would wear my most charming smile and grab my bag to go – and truly hope they meant what they say! : )- I absolutely love traveling, seeing places old and new, and still have a bag ready to go, anytime.

    5. Patlican (Aubergine/Eggplant). Between us, my nickname, given by my husband is patlican (aubergine or eggplant in English). Patlican, eggplant, is our national vegetable (actually fruit, as it has seeds in it). I cooked Angus, my then boyfriend, now husband, my first Turkish dinner, the stuffed eggplant, Karniyarik,  about 15 years ago. He loved the dish and more than that, the name of it so much that he decided to call me “Patlican” or as short Patli! Though a little strange it sounds when we go back home, I thought it’s very cute and love it : )

    6.  Pilates & smelling the flowers. When I am not thinking of food, family or traveling, I would love to do pilates. A wonderful exercise for body and soul and a great reason to pause. The same way, I find being outdoors in the nature very uplifting, especially at the moment, when the earth is waking up, great excuse to be out and about and smell the flowers!

    7. Last but not least, importance of my family. My husband and our two beautiful children; my most precious treasures in the world. I am ever grateful for their unconditional love, support and the positive energy they give, a reason to smile every day 🙂

    The 7 blogs I am nominating for this award are:

    1. A Seasonal Cook in Turkey. Claudia is a fantastic foodie, who lives inIstanbul and writes about wonderful seasonal produce in Turkey and Turkish & International recipes. She also shares wonderful eateries and markets from Turkey, which I always look forward to. We are determined to meet up next time I am inIstanbul!!

    2. Cuisine de Provence. Barbara’s wonderful blog of Provence cuisine is always inspiring and delicious. One of the joys of  blogging is to meet wonderful bloggers like Barbara to share love of food. I have my eyes on her wonderful cooking classes Provencal style in Provence,  a dream to work in progress!

    3.  Tuesday Recipe by Tori Richie. I have been grateful to be connected toSan Francisco based award winning  cook/author/teacher Tori (thank you Gillian for this!). Her recipes are delicious, simple, and inspirational; I turn to them very often.

    4. Café Fernando.  Café Fernando’s Turkish food blogger Cenk  is a serious foodie, novice photographer, seasoned home baker and a shameless chocoholic from Istanbul, Turkey. His multiple award winning photography and recipes are truly amazing, so proud of him!

    5. As Strong As Soup. I really like Phil’s straight forward and easy to cook at home recipes. Try his Carbonade Flamande; just what I fancy at the end of a long day.

    6.  La Tavola Marche. American expats Jason and Ashley’s wonderful blog is all about local seasonal Italian recipes, organic gardening, food festivals & markets, day trips in LeMarche,Tuscany, Umbria & beyond. This blog takes me to the wonderful Italian countryside and the recipes are delightful.

    7. Istanbul Eats is a serious eater’s guide to Istanbul, aiming to bring you into the best undiscovered local eateries you might not always find on your own, and they do it so well, a great source of information, well worth checking out.

    I hope you enjoy strolling through these wonderful sites.





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