The New York Times’ Globespotters blog recently ran a post (written by Istanbul Eats’ Yigal Schleifer) about cooking classes for amateurs at the Istanbul Culinary Institute. Located in the heart of Istanbul’s Pera neighborhood, the ICI also has a very pleasant restaurant/café that features the cooking of the institute’s advanced-level students and a rotating menu that offers a combination of contemporary and Turkish classics. From the Globespotters post:
For visitors who don’t have room left in their suitcases for more souvenirs, the Istanbul Culinary Institute offers a very portable -– and useful -– memento: a quickie course in some of the basics of Turkish cooking.
The Culinary Institute (59 Tepebasi; 21-225-122-1415), which opened in early 2008, is the first cooking school in Turkey to be run along the lines of the French Culinary Institute in New York or the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., training future chefs in both European and Turkish cooking techniques. But the school has also started to offer courses for amateurs, usually only lasting a few hours, but which offer hands-on experience in the kitchen. Some of these courses cover basic cooking techniques, but others deal with cooking classics of the Turkish kitchen. Recent courses included “Cooking with Artichokes,” “Mezes” and “Seasonal Cooking with Olive Oil.”
“Our focus in on the professional side, but it’s good to have variety,” said Hande Bozdogan, the institute’s founder, who earned her chef’s diploma at New York’s FCI. “People enjoy learning some dishes and cooking for their friends. We have an influx of tourists who are interested in Turkish cooking. We’ve had more demand for these amateur courses than we expected.”
You can read the full blog post here .