4 Days Market Visit & Cookery Holiday in Bodrum, Turkey

  • Erenler Sofrasi Restaurant, Cumhuriyet Cad. Armutalan Sok 9/a Ortakent, Bodrum, Turkey

Overview

Cooking Holidays in Turkey

Turkish food is one of the best and healthiest cuisines of the world. Bodrum area is very special since we can get fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs all year round; making it the place for a school of Aegean Turkish Cuisine which is based mainly on olive oil and vegetables. We offer recreational cookery experiences in a wonderful setting in a olive garden. Being in the heart of very fertile lands and cultures, our Turkish cuisine became a melting pot of many traditions. There are endless varieties of recipes.

Highlights

  • 2 market visits
  • 3 cooking classes, baking class
  • Welcome dinner at Erenler Sofrasi
  • Farewell dinner at a famous fish restaurant
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • 3 days with instruction
  • English
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Day 1: Arrival, welcome dinner

Tuesday

When you arrive in Bodrum, we will either meet you at the Airport or the Cruise Port or take you to our house in the country side. You will be our guest for the next 3 nights.

Tonight, a welcome dinner will be awaiting you at our Erenler Sofrasi which is our well-known restaurant in Bodrum, where you will be introduced to Southwestern cuisine of Turkey.

Dinner provided

Day 2: Cooking class, market visit

Wednesday

Cookery workshop classical Turkish cuisine & farmers market

After breakfast a small lecture about the local produce and cuisine will be given by our Chef, followed by a market trip to one of the local markets where you will be buying the ingredients for the afternoons hands-on cooking session.

Today you will start cooking meze mainly cooked with olive oil, fresh vegetables and fruits. Five different courses will be cooked and tasted today.

Bodrum is very well-known with its restaurants, bars and nightlife. Tonight we will be taking you out into central Bodrum, 30 minutes from our home.

Breakfast and lunch provided.

Day 3: Baking class, cooking class, farewell dinner

Thursday

Traditional Bread Making and Mant (Turkish Ravioli) Rolling Class

Today we start with a morning trip to take you to rural Kizilagac, about 15 minutes drive, to learn to make local bread over a wood fire.

With your own freshly cooked bread, breakfast will be served including homemade jam, family-harvested olives, free range chicken eggs and more.

During the afternoon cooking session you will learn to make Turkish pasta- Manti served with yoghurt or Piruhi served with basil and pine nuts. You will also taste these at a late lunch.

For the evening we take our farewell dinner at a famous Fish Restaurant by the sea.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.

Day 4: Cooking class, market visit, departure

Friday

Last cooking session and market visit of the week.

After breakfast at, you will be going to Bodrums largest food market on a guided tour, aiming to return to our kitchen with our chosen produce for a full menu cooking class.

The meal will be served with our usual glass of chosen Turkish wine.

Our class and meal will be completed by 3 pm.

We can take you to the airport for your onward flights, or you are very welcome to extend your stay for a couple of days of quiet relaxation. Or travel on.

Turkish cuisine

Aegean and Turkish cuisine

Asli finds that Fodors travel guide sums it up perfectly: Aegean cuisine is in many ways different from Turkish food elsewhere in the country. The shared Turkish and Greek culture of the region's past, the climate and soil suitable for growing a wide range of vegetables, and the prevalence of olive trees and olive-oil production have helped the region develop a much more varied and probably healthier way of eating than elsewhere in Turkey.

Turkey is an olive country, there many orchards along the long coastline starting from the Marmara Sea, all the way down to the Eastern Mediterranean. Olive oil replaces butter and fish replaces meat on most menus. The class of dishes generally called zeytinyagl (literally "with olive oil") mostly comes from this region; it means vegetables cooked in olive oil, mostly with tomatoes and onions, and served cold. Vegetarians will be in heaven.

She says This explains very well our cuisine in this part of our country. I would also add that we take particular care to use the many herbs and vegetables that are grow wild, such as the nettles, mallows, coltsfoot, chicory, mushrooms, wild asparagus, and from the seashore- wild samphire.

We also add the flavours of the many citrus orchards around the Bodrum area to some of our dishes, adding a zest and balance to the olive oil. Most of the vegetables found in farmers markets are naturally organic, brought direct from the farmers and village men and women who rise so early to harvest before taking up their spot in the marketplace. I take care to try and use their produce, and would like to introduce our guests to them.

Olive oil in Turkish cuisine

Olives always had an important role in our lives when I was growing up. It was one of the most liked items on our Turkish Breakfast menu. Where the other musts were feta cheese made from sheeps milk called Ezine and Cay (chai) Turkish Tea and ofcourse bread that was bought from our local bakery (frn) still luke warm when it was brought to our table.

From time to time Turkish Bagels covered with sesame seeds (simit) would accompany our traditional daily breakfast. If it was a holiday, the breakfast in our house would take longer and would include home made jams, preserves, sun dried fruits, tomatos and cucumbers.

Coming back to olives, it was always important where they came from and how they were treated. Everybody in the family had different favorites, my father would always ask for sele which are black olives from the Marmara Region majorly from Gemlik close to Bursa, treated with salt in baskets and it takes almost a year until you can eat them.

This kind of olives would be brought from Gemlik, in the later years my father followed his love for olives and bought land near Gemlik and started making his own sele zeytin. Zeytin means olives in Turkish. They are totaly different than what you can call olives in the western world, very delicious and mature.

My mother would go for her own fathers way, an emigrant from Northern Greece who was forced to leave his mother land after the first World War, the Greek and Turkish governments exchanged peoples lands and his family was given olive lands in Pergamon (Bergama). Bergama is western Turkey, two hours drive to the North of zmir.

For many years he neglected this land maybe because he did not want to remember what had happened in those years which were very painful. But later when it came close to his retirement with the search of his roots he remembered these Olive Orchards he owned.

It was a major treat for us kids, we loved going there picking the olives, taking them to the classical olive press and experiencing the whole procedure. There treating the olives is a different story.

First of all olives are picked just before they turn black, the color is like turning from olive green to olive Brown. Once you pick them you make three cuts and you soak them into water to take out the bitterness.

You have to keep changing the water at start every day, than every week, than every two weeks and about 3 months later the becomes edible than you either put salt in it or lemon salt. In our house it was lemon salt since my mother loved the soury taste of these olives. I have to confess here that I was the one who would finish the jar at nights.

Coming from a western Turkish family, I thought for a long time that olives were just for our Turkish Breakfast. Than when going to school in the U.S I realised that pizzas had olives on them but the olives on the pizza did not taste as olives to me, our understanding of olives are totaly different than they are in Italy.

I love the Italian food and wine very much and feel we have so much in common but I can not say that for olives! Anyways in the later years when I first met my in laws from Southern Turkey, Adana I was surprised to see the olives in the salad, I mean in olive salad not a green salad, with walnuts and pomogranate syrup.

And these olives were treated different again. First they were picked up when they were very green, they had a very small seed where as we are used to larger seeds in green olives in the west, and they were not cut but cracked. They tasted more like the Italian olives and went very well in the salad.

Now in Cooking Classes Bodrum, at our Olive Harvesting courses we try to teach all these methods and sometimes show our mixed methods. Olive Harvesting starts from November and goes on to January. We have great time picking the olives, cutting them, cracking them, getting olive oil out of them, its our fun time.

Bodrum Jazz Festival (usually in May every year): Bodrum Jazz Festival is organized at the Marina Yacht Club every year by Karsanat, Karia Arts & Culture Foundation.

Turgutreis International Classical Music Festival (usually in July every year): The D-Marin Turgutreis International Classical Music Festival is staged every year since 2005 at the D-Marin in Bodrum Turgutreis under the founding sponsorship of the Dou Group to help promote classical music in Turkey and bring it to greater audiences as one of the primary channels of the universal legacy of art and to pave the way for Turkish artists to sign their names under world-class achievements. The only festival taking place in a marina, the festival retains its distinctive character in Turkey for featuring nothing but classical music, offering a total seven concerts in four days at sunset and by night.

Gumusluk International Classical Music Festival (usually in July and August every year): The Gmlk International Classical Music Festival and Eklisia summer school is held in the small fishing village of Gmlk on the south west coast of Turkey. It began in 2004 as a series of concerts and has grown to be a meeting place for internationally renowned musicians and up-and-coming performers. It was the brainchild of Mesut Pekergin and is now run by Eren Levendolu, a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Glsin Onay, one of Turkey's most famous living pianists is the artistic advisor. The concerts are held in the 250 year old church, in nearby hotels and restaurants and various venues around the Bodrum peninsula.The organisers seek to maintain a relaxed atmosphere to counterbalance the often stressful environment of music conservatoires; teachers and students are encouraged to interact as much as possible, both musically and socially.

International Bodrum Ballet Festival (usually in August every year): The General Directorate of State Opera and Ballet, has been bringing together topnotch artistic quality events and artlovers from various countries at exceptional historic sites, and Bodrum is one of them. The festival bearing the quality of being the first and only ballet festival of Turkey since 10 years, has overtaken a position of earning the attention and acclaim from not only the art organizations but also from public with its international level it reached today.

Bodrum Baroc Music Festival (usually in September every year): Bodrum Baroc Music Festival is organized at a historic location every year by Karsanat, Karia Arts & Culture Foundation.

International Bodrum Carnival (usually in September every year): Bodrum is home to many civilizations and the carnival reflects the multi cultures of the area. For a week many concerts, exhibitions, performances take place in public areas at Bodrum down town.

Bodrum Yacht Festival (3rd week of October every year): The Bodrum Cup is an annual yacht regatta organized by ERA Bodrum Sailing Club. The primary intention is to promote interest and skill in sailing among the captains and crews of Bodrum's charter fleet. It is also a celebration of the ending of each year's cruising season, a means to bring together in a friendly encounter charter yachts that normally cruise on their own. This is a fun event organized since 1989, held every third week in October.

  • 3 nights accommodation
  • Cookery courses as mentioned above
  • Meals as mentioned above
  • Transfers from and to Bodrum airport
For information about the booking conditions, please send Cooking Classes Bodrum an inquiry.

Testimonials

  • Review by a traveler from Belfast, UK

    "We had been considering a holiday cooking day for a while, and booked after reading the positive reviews on TripAdvisor. Booking was easy, although we couldn't pay the deposit online as PayPal's services were suspended for Turkey at that time, however the online site was well laid out and user friendly. Correspondence with Asli was by email and her English is excellent (having studied in the US). On the day we were met by her husband, Haluk (who also speaks excellent English after time spent in the US), and visited several markets to learn about the products we were to use. There were plenty of samples to try and a lot of photos taken (including several with Elvis!). The class itself was at their home in Karova and was informal but very informative. Under a relaxed instruction we prepared barbunya pilaki (cranberry beans in tomato sauce), börek (cheese stuffed filo triangles), biber dolma (rice stuffed peppers), yoğurtlu kabak cacığı (zucchinis in yoghurt), rumeli mantısı (filo roses served with garlic yoghurt), and biber ekşileme (roasted bell peppers in garlic vinegrette) aided by fresh, home-made iced tea. We all then ate together (along with their son Omer) in the garden area in the shade but with a spectacular view. The atmosphere was so relaxed, friendly and homely that we did feel a little guilty leaving the washing up to be done after we had left! We are all 'foodies', but this trip would be suitable for anyone who appreciates good food and was a memorable and enjoyable experience. Many thanks to Asli, Haluk and Omer for a day we will still be talking about for years to come (and for the details of the food we prepared)!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Richard N.

    "This was my second class cooking with Asli, this time returning with a friend. As always it was a great opportunity to see the best of local produce in the market, as Asli guided us through the market to the more unique and smaller producers. Back in her kitchen we learned not only the techniques for preparation, but also gained insight into the food stories associated with the ingredients and the cuisine of Turkey. We finished off by tasting our handy-work with a number of dishes, while sitting in the sunshine and looking over the countryside. Overall, a very enjoyable afternoon!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Raifa M.

    "Although the tour was not at all what was described on the website, it was absolutely delightful. We went to the market, then on a driving tour and onto a gourmet shop, then for a Turkish coffee in a small seaside village. We arrived at Asli's for lunch, which we had in the lovely garden. The food was excellent, and although she discovered only one hour before serving the main dish that my daughter was vegetarian, she still managed to present a meatless version of our main course, which was not only very thoughtful of her, but also delicious. We were served real home cooked food that you do not find in main stream restaurant. As I asked her where to find vintage kilims, Asli then went out of her way to drive us to a carpet selling village. Thanks again for a lovely day!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from UK

    "The owner Asli has amazing cooking skills and is excellent at teaching. It was so good that I decided to go back for a second time two days later. She teaches really tasty dishes that are all pretty easy to put together from ingredients in any country, so a real skill to 'take home'. As well as learning to do the multiple dishes she tells you all sorts of useful information about the ingredients like olive oil and vegetables. If I go back to the region I'm sure to go back and try her evening menu at the restaurant as well."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Ryan B from New York, USA

    "I had a great day with Asli. She was very instructive and warm to be with. She is very knowledgeable and a great cook. I learned a wide variety of techniques and recipes equipped to do it on my own at home. Well worth the time and money. The food we cooked was some of the best I had in turkey."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Edinburg

    "Asli's half day Foodie Adventure was the best way to spend my last day in Bodrum... On a usual day you would visit a local market but as there was no market today we went to some local delis, bakeries and butchers... The deli was amazing... Think Wholefoods on organic steroids and add syrup... It was lovely, got to taste some cheeses and pistachio desserts as well as a local sesame pretzel straight from the baker. Then on to Asli's restaurant 'ERENLER SOFRASI' which is a lovely walled garden kitchen setup as a restaurant classroom and art space... No more spoilers but we cooked a lot of lovely items and ate our fill... Do this or one of the longer classes you won't be disappointed!"

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler

    "We had wonderful family outing Struggling to find authentic Turkish Cuisine in town this should be your first stop in Bodrum We visited the Wednesday farmers market in Ortakent What a experience to see all the fresh produce Then on to the workshop area were we where hosted by the sou chef Michelle a lovely friendly lady. We were hands on and prepared a 9 course meal which we had the pleasure to share with Kaluk,husband to the chef Very expensive for South African travelers Will recommend to all that travel to Bodrum"

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Linda from California, USA

    "What a fun day shopping, preparing, cooking and eating a real turkish meal! We were picked up by bus and the day began at the local Farmers' Market with our chef, Asli (Aslihan Mutlu, owner of Erenler Sofrasi restaurant. Aslihan), we tasted olives, Feta cheese, bread, nuts, candies, olive oil with Asli as she purchased all the ingredients for our cooking class!Then on to her restaurant where we began preparation for several dishes while learning about customs of and in the Turkish kitchen. We all gathered around as Asli cooked and instructed us in the hows and whys and we all learned how to make the "Magic Sauce" ( delicious and goes on everything!). I specially admired her big cooking pots and her very large thick wooden spoons that looked like they had been hand carved from a large piece of solid wood! Then outside to enjoy the 'fruits of our labors' in a lovely garden setting! It was truly a fun day."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Christchurch, New Zealand

    "My husband and I had the pleasure of joining Cooking Classes Bodrum with Asli at the Erenier Sofrasi Restaurant in the Bodrum area. We had an absolutely wonderful day which started with a visit to the local produce market to buy ingredients for our cooking. Asli showed us around the market full of beautiful fruit, vege, spices, cheeses, breads, etc. We had many sample tastes of the offerings with great informative dialogue from Asli.We then spent the next couple of hours preparing and cooking delicious Turkish food. Asli talked about growing up and learning cooking from her grandmother. We had a group of 8 lovely people. It is very casual and we chatted away as we learnt to cook together. We then got to sit down for a wonderful lunch of the food we had helped to make and a glass of Turkish wine.My husband and I have been in Bodrum for the last week and we have had some nice food but we have struggled to get the real traditional turkish cuisine we crave. The food Asli made with us is very authentic and we can honestly say the best food we have had in Turkey so far. I would recommend this course for all food lovers and people who enjoy cooking."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

Bodrum, Turkey

Cooking Classes Bodrum offers daily and residential weekend and weekly Turkish home-cooking classes at an artist's home.

Speaks English

from --

4 days / 3 nights

Availability

Available all year round with arrival on Tuesday and departure on Friday.

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