Seline is a self-taught home chef and a gastronomically inquisitive person. She has organized many hands-on Turkish cooking classes and food tours for visitors from 30 different countries. Seline is a member of Slow Food, Chaine des Rotisseurs, Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Degustateurs, World Food Travel Association, and Mutfak Dostlari Dernegi (Turkish Kitchen Friends Ass). She fluently speaks English, Turkish, French, and some Spanish, Italian, Greek, and German. She has coordinated many tours and events for Abercrombie and Kent, API, Virtuoso, YPO, CEO, and WPO travelers in Turkey.
Met in front of the Markets, couldn't have asked for a more knowable foodie! Renan knew all the right places and was a pleasure to met! Would definitely recommend to anyone planning on going to Turkey!
Turkey is a beautiful country with lovely people. Selin and her ladies do a wonderful job of filling you with local knowledge and leave you with a feeling that you've been blessed with true Turkish hospitality. We are a family of six that visited in early July right after the Ramadan holiday. We spent two days with Turkish Flavors. One day in a cooking class/ spice tour and the other touring the Kadikoy Market and having an exceptional lunch. The first day we had Renan guiding us through the Spice Bazaar and then off to the cooking class, where we met Daria (another exceptionally sweet woman) who helped with our class. On the second day we met Taciser who guided us through the Kadikoy Market where we tasted many foods and learned a lot of interesting things about shops and ingredients. We ended that day with a wonderful lunch filled with many options! At the end of each day we felt like they all went above and beyond to make sure we had a memorable day! They took their time, we never felt rushed, and everything was planned out very well. This is something you must do if you are visiting Istanbul!
Neibi V. Australia
I am an Australian woman travelling alone in Istanbul and as is usual in a new city, struggling a little with the language and the etiquette. I thought I would try a little day tour to make myself feel more at home and Turkish Flavours is so highly regarded it seemed like the obvious choice. And I love the way food and fresh seasonal produce are so much a part of the culture in Europe. Booking the tour was super easy and the directions to the meeting place very easy to follow as well! I arrived a little early to look around Eminönü and Renan spotted me straight away and immediately put me at ease with a friendly Merhaba!. As it was still early, the markets weren't too crowded yet as we had a short stroll to the spice shop but It was great to have a local to lead me through the labyrinthine market stalls! I was so in awe of all the colors and smells and sounds I know I would have gotten lost otherwise! I must admit, when I chose this tour, I was skeptical about how interesting spices could be but within about 45 seconds my mind was blown!
These are seriously amazing flavors! Both familiar and exotic, rich, complex and fresh. And as I am discovering- Turkish people will talk to you like an old friend within minutes, we had lots of fun! We spent half an hour at the spice shop with the lovely people there to answer all my questions and make recommendations of things to try.
After this Renan lead me around the busy local laneways and as we walked, At each point of interest Renan had some relevant trivia which she wove into the conversation naturally. And We laughed as we saw many cats emerging from stalls, tripping over the shoppers and sitting in seemingly uncomfortable places - like a tiny orange kitten sleeping peacefully on a pile of sharp agricultural blades for sale! We of course stopped regularly to sample some local foods - börek, ayran, and pide, hand rolled dough and baked before my eyes! (After nearly 3 weeks in Istanbul - it is still the best I've had, so I can assure you if Renan says its her favorite - it must be good!) it was only an hour into the tour and it was becoming apparent I was going to eat a lot of delicious food so I had better pace myself! We took a ferry to Kadiköy and wandered carefree through the markets there, and the boutique stores selling incredible Turkish treats! We sampled the most amazing produce and street foods on the planet as we wove through the streets before having a leisurely lunch with yet more amazing and culturally rich foods! And of course Renan accompanies each course with a story too! Anyway this review is very long winded but I wanted to tell you about the experience as a whole - you will see in the reviews below that the food is absolute perfection! But it's more about getting the loving attention of a local to give you a real sense of life in Istanbul, both past (as the history is very rich) and present (as it is continually evolving). It was the little touches like recommending local galleries/museums and places of interest and making sure I knew where the loo was (often a rather inconvenient mystery in Europe!) that made it all the more special. At the end of the tour I did indeed feel better equipped to get around this magical city! have signed up for the cooking class which I am looking forward to as well!