Cooking class in Istanbul with Turkish Flavours

As soon as we decided to go to Turkey I knew I could not miss out on taking a cooking class. Incredibly after all the months we spent in Thailand we never got around to doing it and I wasn’t going to make the same mistake again. We only had a few days in Istanbul but we knew we’d return so we booked a class with Selin, pictured below with us, who runs Turkish Flavours.

Turkish Flavours Cooking Class 

As we were going to be living in Turkey for the next 3 months I wanted to have a base of recipes to work from and we loved the idea of taking a class with Selin. The best part was we’d be cooking in her 1930’s classic home in Istanbul- where she was born. Obviously there is a lot of history in that house!

Turkish Flavours Cooking Class-1

We got to work on several recipes- lamb in a casserole, a salad, some cheese rolls, green beans, and a sweet dessert.

Turkish Flavours Cooking Class-4

Selin delegated jobs to us after offering some wine and cheese to taste-some of my favorite things! 

Turkish Flavours Cooking Class-2

As our group was so large, we quickly prepared our dishes and soon had many things cooking in the TWO kitchens Selin had in the house-the smells were wonderful. We got a little explanation of some of the ingredients for the dishes and we were eager to try everything out.

Turkish Flavours Cooking Class-3

Turkish Flavours Cooking Class-8

I had so many questions I wanted to ask but it was hard due to the large number of people in the group. Selin was kept busy showing us how to prepare the dishes and trying to shush people that kept talking while she was trying to explain things to us. 

Turkish Flavours Cooking Class-5

Selin’s home was absolutely gorgeous. The antique furniture, the bookshelves that almost reached the ceiling- the vibe of the place was authentic and cozy. I could only imagine all of the cooking that had gone on here. She did tell us that we were the last class she would be hosting in her home- she had made the hard decision of selling her home and would soon be moving to a location over on the Asian side of Turkey. So we were a little part of history as the last class to be hosted! 

Turkish Flavours Cooking Class-6

As we sat down to eat I felt lucky that we were able to enjoy this class in Selin’s home, a place she had so many lovely memories in. I felt that the new place would have a different character and feel all its own & we were happy to be able to see the place where the cooking class was first established.

The experience was wonderful, and of course do I have to tell you how good the food was? You can just imagine. Although I do recommend this cooking class to anyone, I want to point out that the large number of people in the class made it hard to ask the things that I wanted to about the dishes, and the regions they came from. I am sure if you booked into a smaller group the experience would be slightly different. This is no fault of Selin’s as it was a large family and a few couples who had booked so I am sure it’s harder to arrange, but if you are a Chef or serious foodie trying to really learn about what you are cooking I suggest asking what size your group will be and making sure you get a smaller party to learn with. Selin was an excellent hostess, as was her assistant who always had a smile on her face as she set up our stations to create the dishes. I especially appreciated the cookbooks she gave us to take home. I have made a few recipes from the cookbook already and this is my favorite memento from the class (besides her delicious pomegranate molasses that she presented us with, which we use at least 3 times a week here in Dalyan).

If you go to Istanbul don’t miss out on learning a bit about the culture through the food, as her new space in the Kadikoy district is now open!

Cooking Class Info: Turkish Flavours Website

Turkish Flavours on Facebook

Turkish Recipes on our site so far:

Deniz börülcesi- Sea Bean Salad Recipe

Yesil Mercimek Çorbasi, or Green Lentil soup

Summer Salad with mint pomegranate dressing

*We were hosted by Selin for this cooking class but as always our review is all our own.

 

6 Comments

  • JC Gibbs says:

    The photos are outstanding and the experience I bet will remain in your memories for quite a while.

    I love food and I can see myself taking a class with a smaller group asking tons of questions on background of dishes so I appreciate your commentary on the classes and what to expect from it.

    Besides the pomegranate molasses what was there a recipe you guys can see yourself cooking as a staple home dish now?

    I can’t wait to visit Turkey someday! Peace.

    • Mica says:

      Hola!

      You know that is a good question, we got the recipe book and it had so many things but different- Turkish style. For example, we always have lentil soup but the recipe was a Turkish lentil recipe so we added a Spanish twist to it. And there are a bunch of eggplant recipes- the only thing I have ever done with eggplant is Moussaka so we did kind of like the recipe from the class- a Lamb stew with eggplant and tomatoes and peppers. Also the cheese rolls are made with this special pastry but with herbs, you can probably use the sheets like to make Baclava and prepare it. So yes, we’ve gotten a bunch of new ideas from the recipe book and the class itself. Was a fun afternoon! That pomegranate molasses I use it for the mint cucumber tomato onion salad and its the best thing. Turkey has so really good food!

  • Anu says:

    I am not a cooking fanatic, but I do love turkish cuisine! Being a vegetarian, I simply couldn’t stop relishing their baklavas, and dolmas, and of course the lenthil soup. The pictures looks lovely, and I’m sure you had a great experience. Would love to take up a class like this someday!

    • Mica says:

      Hi Anu,

      It was a great time and I should have done it while we were living in Thailand, the vegetarian cuisine there is YUM! I’m glad you liked the pictures, and I definitely agree its worth it to take a cooking class when visiting a new country. I hope to get the chance in Greece as well :-)

  • Jennifer says:

    I love cooking classes, I did one whilst in India, I love getting to know a culture through its food! Yum.

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