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Turkish Culinary Tour

We love our food in Turkey. We believe it is one of the best and healthiest cuisines of the world. 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. 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.


  • 2 market visits, farm visit
  • Wine tasting, cheese tasting
  • 5 cooking classes, baking class
  • Learn about ancient wine making
  • Farewell dinner with beautiful music
  • 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Culinary cruise on gulet yacht
  • 6 nights accommodation


5 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
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All guest rooms have private facilities, air-conditioning and a private balcony where you can relax take a sip of wine and watch the sun going down through the lagoon into the Aegean Sea.

Cooking Classes Bodrum Turkish Culinary Tour Itinerary

Day 1, Saturday

  • When you arrive at the Bodrum Milas Airport, which is 10-minute drive from the home, Cooking Class Bodrum will be picking you up and try to make your week a very memorable foodie holiday.
  • Cooking Class Bodrum will be serving your first Turkish dinner, introducing you to the regional cuisine of South Western Turkey where the essentials are olive oil, herbs, vegetables and seafood.
  • Meal: dinner.

Day 2, Sunday

  • Turkish breakfasts are famous, with the variety that is put on the table. Your host will try to impress you on your first morning with eggs, fresh milk, all kinds of jams, cheeses, bagels and others at breakfast.
  • Bodrum is the capital of the famous “Blue Cruises” or “Blue Voyage.” Gulet’s are traditional wooden yachts that would cruise to small bays of the area where guests will enjoy wonderful blue waters of the Mediterranean. These Gulet’s are also very famous with their chefs and the Blue Voyage Cuisine is unique. You will be taken today on a Gulet yacht, to cruise along the bays of Bodrum for a daily blue cruise, where the captain will be cooking a colorful menu for our guests, and you will be enjoying a great day on the water.
  • In the evening you will be visiting a local vineyard that has won the best “Shiraz” of the year with their 2015 wines in Turkey. There you will have a fancy wine and food pairing dinner.
  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 3, Monday

  • You will be off to visit a local market at a small fishermen wharf after your Turkish Breakfast, where local small farmers bring their produce and you will choose what to buy there for your cookery class.
  • With all the ingredients bought from the market you will be cooking five recipes of meze which are starters, a borek and a main course, at your Turkish home cooking class.
  • At a late lunch you will be tasting all of what you have cooked.
  • After your late lunch you will drive to a small village where local ladies will be rolling dough for your dessert, show you how to roll dough with a rolling pin and how to make flat bread and milk their cows for you to make your yoghurt in the evening.
  • On your way back you will be visiting and tasting wines at another local vineyard, and taste snacks and finger food.
  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 4, Tuesday

  • Although there are farmers markets almost everyday in the vicinity, Tuesday is “The Market” day. The most vibrant market of the area is in Milas, ancient Mylasa is where you will go today.
  • After spending time shopping at the farmers area, visiting the various cheese stalls, fishermen and butchers, you will be tasting some street food for lunch.
  • It would be a shame if we do not visit the ancient town of Mylasa, its recently renovated archaeological museum and the castle of Beçin on your way back home.
  • At your evening class you will be cooking Turkish Rice Pilaf with with different variations of vegetables, lamb and fish. You will realize that this tradition is very much like the Spanish Paella.
  • At dinner you will be tasting more of the local wines of Bodrum.
  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 5, Wednesday

  • On your morning cooking session you will be making “Dolma,” which is stuffed vegetables either with rice or meat. You will be making all variations and tasting them at lunch.
  • In the late afternoon Cooking Class Bodrum will be showing you around the Bodrum Peninsula, visiting some of the museums and at the end of the day you will be going to Gumusluk, which is a charming little town on the water lined up with many fishermen restaurants, and there always is a live music event. So, depending on your day of travel, you will either be visiting a Jazz Bar or attending a classical music concert at the Gumusluk Festival.
  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 6, Thursday

  • After your relaxing breakfast, you will be visiting a local goat farm where you will meet the farmers, listen to their story taste their cheese and wine.
  • On your way back you will visit a small lady farmer and pick up some salad, herbs and vegetables from her garden for your salad lunch today.
  • Topic of the Turkish cooking class today is Turkish desserts, baklava and milk deserts.
  • For dinner, Cooking Class Bodrum will leave you on your own. You can either go out and dine at many options in Bodrum or around. Or stay at home and do something for yourself at the kitchen - totally up to you.
  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch.

Day 7, Friday

  • Time to say good bye. You will have free time before trip back.
  • You will be taken to the airport.
  • Cooking Class Bodrum will say their goodbyes and will hope that you will never forget your foodie trip to “The Ancient Karia.“

In the summer season many cultural events like concerts and exhibitions take place. Your host will let you know of them at the time of booking.


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 flavors 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.

Things to do (optional)

  • 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.

What's included

  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Meals as mentioned above
  • Roundtrip transfers to/from Bodrum Airport and all mentioned transportation on the itinerary
  • All cookery courses as stated
  • A full-day Gulet Cruise
  • Wine and cheese tastings

What's not included

  • Flight tickets to and from Bodrum (For international guests Cooking Class Bodrum suggests direct flights from European cities during the season from May until end of October)
  • Any extra drinks that are not offered at tastings
  • Concert tickets

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
7 days / 6 nights
from --

This holiday is available from March to January with arrival on Saturdays.

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