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Tag Archives | : Istanbul Culinary Institute

Hellos from Istanbul – Istanbul'dan Merhaba!

Entrance of the Istanbul Culinary Institute, Istanbul

A very warm welcome to you all from Istanbul! It’s been a few days since we have been here, and it feels fantastic to be back home:) There are so many special moments to share, and I will try to give you a little glimpse of the few days in this fascinating city.

I visited the wonderful Istanbul Culinary Institute, we are all set for my Turkish cooking class at the Institute on Tuesday, 7th August! They are still taking enrollment for the class, so if you are in Istanbul and like to join us, please sign up for your spot at Istanbul Culinary – Classes

Istanbul Culinary's cafe and our friendly host

Istanbul Culinary has also a wonderful cafe, with seasonal fresh produce – a great spot in Beyoglu for a delicious lunch or drink.

Anyone for a freshly squeezed orange juice?

And this has been my daily, freshly squeezed orange juice – can’t get enough!

Cheesy toast - peynirli tost with salad

And this has been a favorite lunch – peynirli tost; cheesy toast with a salad of tomato, cucumber, greens and olives. Coban Salata, Shepherd’s Salata is a wonderful traditional salad of sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, green (pointy or bell) peppers, dressed with lemon juice and olive oil; so refreshing.

Pera Museum, well worth visiting

If you are in Beyoglu area, Pera Museum so well worth visiting; they now have the “Intersecting Worlds; Ambassadors and Painters” Exhibition.

Tram is a great way transport in Beyoglu

Once you are in Beyoglu, Istiklal Street, you can go all the way up or down the long Istiklal Street with the traditional tram – fun too!

it was wonderful to meet with Joy from My Turkish Joys

I was delighted to meet up the fellow blogger Joy  from the wonderful blog My Turkish Joys at Galata Kiva, sampling delicious, regional Turkish dishes.

Delicious spread of local dishes, sini oruk (ground meat and spices between layers of this bulgur mixture), stuffed onions and many more Galata Kiva

Galata Tower, worth visiting for a panoramic view of Istanbul

While you are in Beyoglu, you can easily walk to Galata, and visit the Galata Tower for a  spectacular view of Istanbul.

Irresistable Turkish Breakfast spread

One thing I can’t get enough is our traditional Turkish breakfast consisting of white cheese, kasar – Turkish cheddar cheese, delicious olives, slices of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, fried egg with Turkish sausages – sucuk, local honey, sesame seeded simit – bread rings. We met with friends by the Bosphorus and enjoyed this feast!

Here we are with happy smiles after the wonderful Turkish breakfast 🙂


Cafe with a view; I am grateful to be here and taking all these precious sights in

I loved this painting of the Vapur, local ferry with passangers on

The Rumeli Fortress by the Bosphorus

If you can, take the local ferries – vapur – along the Bosphorus, wonderful way to see and appreciate both sides of Istanbul.

I hope you enjoy the photos, and one day, have a chance to visit Fascinating Istanbul.

Best wishes for happy travels from Istanbul : )






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Delicious and Easy Turkish Delights for Summer – Join us at the Istanbul Culinary Institute for a Turkish Feast

Bosphorus is calling; former Egyptian Consulate and boats by the Bosphorus, Istanbul

I will be traveling to Turkey, my homeland in early August, the travel bug in me already ready to go. Going home is always special, with family and friends to see, glorious country and food to enjoy. This time, I am even more excited, as I will be the guest chef at the wonderful Istanbul Culinary Institute and will be teaching a Southern Turkish style Turkish cooking class on 7th August, Tuesday. If you are in Istanbul that day, and would like to join our class to learn more about Turkish cuisine, history and culinary traditions, please book your spot at Istanbul Culinary Institute – Classes. It would be a pleasure to cook and enjoy Turkish food together.

So what do we have in the menu, you may ask. Going back to my roots, Antioch (Antakya), we have a delightful, refreshing and easy to prepare menu, Southern Turkish style. Below are the courses we will be doing and you can also easily create them in your home:

Walnut, red pepper paste and olive oil dip

This is one of my favorite mezes of all time; it is very easy to make and very, very more-ish, you just can’t stop eating them. It is one of my mother’s recipes from her historic hometown Antakya (Antioch) and whenever I make it, I feel like I am home. Pita bread or crackers would go really well with this delicious dip/spread. You can keep the dip covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Walnuts, red pepper paste and olive oil dip is a wonderful appetizer and great on crackers

Smoked Eggplant Salad with Garlic Yoghurt – Patlicanli Yogurtlama

Here is a wonderful, refreshing salad from Southern Turkey, Antakya, and one of my favorites, featuring Turkey’s beloved eggplant “patlican”. Traditionally, the eggplant here is cooked over an open fire. This dish can be served as part of a “mezze” – appetizer- or can accompany grilled meats. It is packed with flavor and a very welcoming mezze for warm summer days. The dried mint really adds a wonderful, refreshing flavor to this salad.

Smoked eggplant salad with garlic yoghurt and dried mint; a refreshing taste for hot summer days

Tepsi Kebabi – Tray Kebab with Vegetables

This is a wonderful kebab prepared in the Southern Turkey. In Antakya, I remember my grandmother preparing the meat mixture at home, and then we would take the meat to the local bakery to be baked, delicious memories.

Tray Kebab with vegetables; so easy, yet delicious and wonderful for entertaining

Traditionally, locals wouldn’t put slices of potato and vegetables around the kebab, though that’s the way my mother did and we enjoy having vegetables in it. My mother cleverly divides the kebab into wedges and inserts the potatoes along these edges. This not only helps the meat cook evenly in less time, but also the potatoes soak up all the delicious juice, just wonderful. You can cook this kebab ahead of time and the leftovers can also be kept in freezer successfully.

Dried Apricots stuffed with walnuts – Cevizli Kayisi Tatlisi


Baked dried apricots go so well with a dollop of vanilla ice cream by the side

One of Turkey’s most prolific fruits is the apricot. Because of their abundance, some of the yearly harvest is allowed to dry in the hot summer sun in order to be enjoyed all year round. Malatya, a city in southeast Turkey, is particularly famous for excellent dried apricots which are exported throughout the world. Apricots are great snacks; they are packed with fiber, antioxidants as well as their naturally rich flavor. This easy dessert is great for parties, sharing with friends or family or just indulging yourself.

All these dishes are easy to prepare,  refreshing and packed with flavor. If you are in Istanbul on 7th August, and would like to have a go making them with us, please do join us and book your spot thru here at Istanbul Culinary Institute. If you can’t, I do hope that these recipes may inspire and  you can have a go at making them at home. Please let me know if you have any questions, I would be very happy to help.

If you would like some more information on Antioch with more  Southern Turkish recipes, please also check my previous post on Antioch style stuffed vegetables with bulgur, ground meat and spices. Here are a few more photos from Antakya – Antioch;

Friendly local selling handmade olive soaps at outskirts of Antakya, Antioch


Fascinating, wall size mozaic depicting marine life at the Antakya Mozaic Museum

I will be traveling to Turkey as of early August, and will be in touch from Istanbul  with  wonderful delights and sights to share. I wish you all a happy, healthy summer, with precious time spent with family and friends.

Happy and delicious travels to you all,



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