view of water and sky in Antalya turkey

During this tour, travellers  explored two beautiful and very different areas of Turkey—coastal Antalya on the Mediterranean Sea, and bustling, exciting Istanbul. 

Chefs Ana Sortun and her team helped lead our tour, introducing us to delicious traditions of Turkish cuisine. 

The Turkey Culinary Tour Included:

  • 7 nights hotel accomodation
  • Fabulous meals in restaurants both rustic and world-renowned
  • A cooking demo led by Chef Ana Sortun and her team, plus a presentation on the Essential Turkish Ingredients from Ana
  • Visit to a producer of tahini, a guided market tour, a guided spice bazaar tour, and more incredible food experiences
  • A special, private cooking demonstration from Chef Musa Dagdeverin of Ciya Restaurant and Netflix fame
  • Archaeological tours of the ancient sites of Perge and Aspendos
  • Free time to shop, relax, and explore on our own

CPEU credits were available for RDs.

Day-By-Day in Turkey


Sunday, March 20

Arrive in Antalya and check in at the Alp Pasa Hotel. Take time to unpack and wander around Kaleci, the old section of the city. In the evening, meet Chef Ana Sortun, along with Chefs Paige and Pri, our food guide, Banu, and tourguide Oguz, the Oldways staff, and your fellow travelers at a welcome reception, wine tasting, and dinner.


Photo courtesy Suleyman Uguz on Unsplash
Photo courtesy Nas Mato on Unsplash



Turkish breakfast

Monday, MARCH 21

After a wonderful Turkish breakfast, we’ll head out for a city and market tour with Banu and Oguz, followed by our first cooking class and lunch with Chef Ana. You’ll have time in the afternoon for free time or an optional tour, before dinner at the well known restaurant, 7 Mehmet.

Tuesday, MARCH 22

This is our day for exploring in the countryside, learning about traditional ingredients, and seeing them produced. We’ll have a country lunch and then return to Antalya for a night on your own—time to explore Antalya and share a meal with new and old friends.


Turkish countryside





Wednesday, MARCH 23

Today our focus will be the history and archaeological treasures of the city and region.  We’ll learn from one of Turkey’s most famous guides, along with Oguz. You’ll be free for a late lunch or shopping, and we’ll end our time in Antalya with a fabulous meze dinner.  

Thursday, MARCH 24

We’ll fly from Antalya to Istanbul in the morning, and head immediately to Sultanahmet, the Old City, for a guided tour of the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi.  We’ll then check in at the Novotel in Karakoy, and rest and relax before dinner at one of Ana’s most favorite restaurants on Istanbul’s European side, Yeni Lokanta. 


Turkish waterfront




Turkish boats


Friday, MARCH 25

The day will start with a boat cruise on the Bosphorus, ending on the Asia side, in Kadikoy. We’ll have a market tour and free time before a cooking class with Chef Ana and Chef Musa Dagdeverin of Ciya Restaurant and Netflix fame. After lunch at Ciya, we’ll take the ferry from Kadikoy (Asia side) to Karakoy (European side) and our hotel.  You’ll be very full from lunch, so dinner is on your own.

Saturday, MARCH 26

We’ll spend the morning with Banu and Chef Ana, exploring markets and food shops in Istanbul. You’ll be free in the afternoon to explore on your own, shop, relax, or pack before our final Gala dinner at Murver Restaurant. 


Pomegranates in Turkey



Sunset in Turkey
Photo courtesy Osman Koycu on Unsplash


Sunday, MARCH 27

This is a day of departures—for home or for more travel!

See the Luxury Accommodations

Alp Pasa Hotel Turkey
Photo courtesy Alp Pasa Hotel

Alp Pasa Hotel, Antalya

Set in a historical Ottoman mansion dating back to the 18th century, this modernly decorated hotel also features lush gardens. The Alp Pasa Hotel is in the center of the old district of Antalya-Kaleici. It is also minutes away from historic Hadrian’s Gate.

Alp Pasa Hotel Turkey
Photo courtesy Alp Pasa Hotel

The Oldways rooms are Deluxe rooms. Upgrades are possible at the Alp Pasa Hotel, and we are waiting to receive prices.  


Novotel Istanbul Bosphorus

Seaside Meal Novotel
Photo courtesy Novotel Istanbul Bosphorus

Located on the Bosphorus in the Karakoy district, the 5-star Novotel is modern and comfortable, and in a great location (Ana’s favorite area to stay in!). It is easy to walk to Istiklal Street, the ferry ports, Galata Tower and Sultanahmet, the old city. Our final dinner will be held in the hotel’s Mürver Restaurant, a modern take on traditional Turkish cuisine.

The hotel has an indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam bath, Turkish bath, massage services. The breakfast buffet has one of the most beautiful views of Istanbul.

Our rooms at the Novotel Istanbul Bosphorus are Executive Superior Rooms. Upgrades are available as follows:

4 Executive Sea View Superior Rooms (an additional $20/night)

2 Executive Sea View Junior Suites (an additional $40/night)

4 Executive Bosphorus Suites (an additional $80/night)


More About Chef Ana Sortun


Chef Ana Sortun

Our tour is led with Chef Ana Sortun of Oleana Restaurant and Sofra Bakery & Café. Hailed as one of the country’s “most creative fusion practitioners,” Chef Ana Sortun was named the Best Chef Northeast by the James Beard Foundation in 2005 and has been lauded as “deeply inventive” by the New York Times, and “a culinary genius” by Boston Magazine and in Saveur. In 2016 and 2017 she was a James Beard semi finalist for Best Chef, general excellence.

Trained at La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine de Paris, Sortun opened Moncef Medebs Aigo Bistro in Concord, and then honed her skills at 8 Holyoke and Casablanca in Harvard Square. She opened Oleana in 2001 where her creative take on the rustic-traditional cuisines of the Middle East and her interpretation of the flavors of Turkey continue to receive rave reviews.

Ana and her business partner, Executive Pastry Chef Maura Kilpatrick, opened Sofra Bakery & Café in 2008. Then, in 2013, Ana, with chef Cassie Piuma, opened Sarma, a Turkish-style meze tavern. 

Siena Farms, owned by Ana’s husband, Chris Kurth and named for their daughter, provides produce to the restaurants and underscores her commitment to fresh ingredients and healthy food. Ana is also involved with Oldways Preservation Trust which fosters good health by supporting the cultural food traditions of the Middle East and Mediterranean.