Turkish cuisine is a true gastronomic crossroads, astonishingly rich and varied, with Far Eastern, Central Asian, Iranian, Anatolian, and Mediterranean layers. Award-winning chef Ana Sortun, who uses all these flavors in her cooking, served as our guide as we enjoyed cooking demonstrations, a cruise down the Bosphorus, visits to markets, bakers and cheesemongers, a tour of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, talks with local culinary experts, and more.
Click on any photo below to view a photo album of the trip.
Itinerary at a Glance
Travelers arrive at Hotel Seven Hills in Istanbul. Orientation reception. Welcome dinner at Hamdi, a classic kebab and meze restaurant.
Cooking demo with Musa Dagdeviren and Ana Sortun at Çiya Restaurant on the Asia side of the Bosphorus. Explore the nearby market and visit a bakery. Early evening cruise down the Bosphorus. Dinner on your own.
Visit Taksim Flower Passage with Ana to learn about – and shop for – spices. Lunch and afternoon free to explore. Dinner at Giritli Restaurant.
Tour of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Lunch at Sultanahmet Kôftecisi, including a visit to the kitchen. Ayfer Unsal will explain the custom of reading fortunes in coffee grounds. Dinner at Korfez, a seafood restaurant on the Asia side.
Free morning. Cooking demo at Feriye restaurant with Ana, centered on Turkish spices, followed by lunch. Tour of Topkapi Palace. Dinner on your own.
Lunch with Engin Akin who will explain Turkish food from “Pastoral to Palace” while we taste dishes. Explore Istanbul. Gala Dinner at Feriye.
Tour one of Ana’s favorite markets in the Besiktas neighborhood, and visit a cheese shop. Wine and cheese tasting. Dinner on your own.
Say our farewells and leave for home.
Istanbul, Turkey: Gastronomic Crossroads Program
This program provides a day-by-day itinerary of the trip and information about the culture and foods of Turkey.