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Foodie events for expats in Turkey this Spring



Coming up in the next month are three food-related events I believe will be of high interest to expats. Not only will there be an opportunity to learn all about Turkish cheese, but two of the most-read authors of Turkish cookbooks published in English will be hosting hands-on cooking courses this spring.

Cheese Festival in Bodrum

The 4th International Cheese Festival Slow Cheese Bodrum will take place from April 7 to 10 at the Oasis Shopping Center as well as in various locations throughout the Bodrum peninsula. Organized by the Slow Food organization Bodrum Yavaş Gari and held annually, starting this Thursday and running through Sunday, the “IV Uluslararası Peynir Festivali,” as titled in Turkish, is a festive event with tastings, workshops, seminars, book signings, exhibitions and performances such as a folkloric dance show as part of the opening ceremony. The Oasis Shopping Center is an open-spaced complex and the main management square will serve as an exhibition space throughout the festival with a showing of Traditional Turkish Kitchen Appliances.

Starting on Thursday and throughout the duration of the festival, there will be tastings of local cheeses produced in Bodrum and Muğla held on the premises from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Throughout the festival, the Kismet Esnaf Lokantası in Konacık will be serving a menu incorporating local cheeses and then in the afternoon, there will be the opportunity to visit the Sinan Bey Çiftliği, which is a farm in Bahçeyakası Village, where a cheese-making workshop will take place.

On Friday, those curious will have the opportunity to learn how to make Hellim in a special workshop taught by cheese producers hailing from Cyprus to be held at the Bodrum Hotel & Spa. In the evening, there will be a presentation of Cretan homestyle cooking and folkloric dances followed by a dinner, which will take place in Bodrum’s beloved Kumbahçe aka “Giritli” (Cretan) neighborhood.

Saturday, children will have the opportunity to learn how to make cheese at a free workshop held by Bodrum Cocukça Işler on the mall’s bottom floor. This time, participants will have the opportunity to make mozzarella in a workshop taught by an Italian cheese expert held at the Bodrum Hotel & Spa. In the afternoon, there will be a tasting of traditional dishes served at Turkish weddings, which will take place at Emina Koca’s garden in Sazköy.

On Sunday, there will be a tour of Mazı Village and what was lost in this past summer’s wildfires. The tour will be followed with a lunch at Kuzey Gözleme and a tasting of regional dishes. The four-day festival will then conclude with a closing ceremony and live musical performance held at the Trafo Municipality Café from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Keep in mind that many of the workshops, excursions and meals may require registration and a fee to participate. Meanwhile, if you can’t make it out to Bodrum for this appetizing event, you can always witness it unfold live from the Slow Food Bodrum Yavaş Gari Bodrum YouTube channel.


Cookery author’s classes in Fethiye

Many an expat will be familiar with the name Özlem Warren, as she is the author of the award-winning cookery book “Özlem’s Turkish Table” and the blog of the same name. Warren’s resources have become the go-to for English-speakers seeking to learn more about Turkish regional cuisine. Many of Warren’s recipes are derived from her hometown and culinary gem of Antakya, which lies in Turkey’s southeast. Normally based in London, Warren regularly teaches Turkish cooking courses throughout the United Kingdom and the United States, where she also resided for many years. However, once every year or so, Warren pays a visit to Turkey to offer a series of cooking demonstrations for the local expat community residing in towns along Turkey’s southern coast.

Luckily, this year the plan resumes and Warren will be returning to the Fethiye region to teach a series of cooking classes held in English from May 1 to 3. The schedule is as follows: On Sunday, May 1, Warren will be at Guru’s Place in Kalkan. On Monday, May 2, Warren will be at Sumak Café in Yeşilüzümlü and on Tuesday, May 3, Warren will be in Ovacık at Yakamoz Hotel.

There will be a set menu taught at each of these events followed by a feast of the foods prepared. The menu is as follows: Participants will prepare the traditional stuffed eggplant dish karnıyarık, however this time with lentils, the triangle-shaped muska böreği, the cucumber-yogurt dip cacık, and as a special treat, participants will learn how to make the cheese-oozing dessert künefe.

Warren will also have signed copies of her book, “Özlem’s Turkish Table: Recipes from My Homeland,” which won the prestigious Gourmand World Cookery Book Award in the Food Heritage Category for Turkey.

Turkish cooking tips from expat author

Starting April 14 and continuing every Thursday until June, the Manzara Turkish Cooking School, which is housed at the Manzara Restaurant in Bodrum’s Turgutreis, will be hosting a special Turkish cooking course series from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., which will be led by resident chef Makbule Hanım and Angie Mitchell Sunkur, the author of the Turkish cook book “Secrets of the Turkish Kitchen.”

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Source: Daily Sabah


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