• Classic Ottoman cuisine at Asitane in Istanbul

Walk Description

Today's Turkish cuisine has its roots in the 17th century, when the Ottoman Empire introduced new dishes, new recipes, and finely-wrought ways of eating. In the same way that the aristocracy surrounding the court of the king of France put into motion the next 200 years of French cuisine, so it is here in Istanbul with the Ottomans.

In the company of an expert chef, we will sit down to a multi-course meal at the famous Asitane restaurant. As our host takes us through the history of the Ottoman court and its lavish parties and the role of food, the chefs at Asitane will tempt our palates with a series of traditional dishes. Depending on the season, we may enjoy such dishes as fish kabob, a rich variety of pilafs, borek, or stuffed eggplants. While we eat, our host will discuss the origins of Ottoman cuisine and the significance of each dish through history.

By the time we depart, we'll have journeyed through time, both in atmosphere and taste.

Duration: 3 hours
Category: Cuisine
Venues: Asitane Restaurant
Incidentals: meal at Asitane- $58
  • Aylin_tan_thumb

    Aylin Oney Tan

    An architect by training, Aylin studied the conservation of historic structures in Turkey, Italy, and the UK. She practiced architectural conservation for thirteen years in her own office, and later became the manager of the Turkey Cultural Heritage Project conducted by The Ministry of Culture and World Bank. Eventually, her passion for travel and food led her to write on the latter, and since 2003 she has written a weekly food column at Cumhuriyet, a prestigious national daily. She contributes to various food magazines and was a jury member of the Slow Food Award 2000-2003. Aylin contributes to Terra Madre and Presidia projects as the leader of the Ankara Convivium. Additionally, she consults for Channel 4 and appeared in the Istanbul episode of ‘Food Lover's Guide to the Planet,' a documentary by Gourmet and broadcast by National Geographic TV. She won the Sophie Coe award on food history in 2008 for her article "Poppy: Potent yet Frail," presented previously at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery where she has become a regular presenter. Lately she contributed to the Food Cultures of the Word Encyclopedia entry on Turkey and is the curator of the Culinary Culture Section of Princess Islands’ City Museum. She is happy to unite her expertise in archaeology and art history from her previous career with her unbounded interest in food culture.