Food & Wine magazine refers to her as "Turkey's Julia Child." Not only is Engin a renowned autority on Turkey's foodways, she is a prolific cookbook author, writes a newspaper column and hosts a radio show. She treasures and shares an abundance of recipes from her native Turkey whose cuisine has been interwoven with with ingredients, foods and methods from other ancient cultures and impacted by religions. Then, magnificently defined by the Ottoman Empire's palace cooks, over its 600-year reign. Engin teaches with finely honed skills, passion and a delightful sense of humor. Engin resides in Istanbul and teaches by appointment in her Turkish atelier in the village of Ula.
About Nabiye Konak
Nabiye Konak, in the little village of Ula, was once the Akin family home and Engin lovingly transformed it into an elegant B&B to accommodate her cooking school guests. Six spacious bedrooms have been configured with compact en suite baths; the decor is stylishly minimal with a touch of whimsy and a nod to history with the inclusion of Ottoman-era antiques.
The little boutique-style inn is the centerpiece of a lovely walled compound that includes a sunny garden, a swimming pool and a separate building housing an expansive working kitchen cum dining room where guests, learn, cook and eat. Personally designed by Engin, the striking kitchen with its traditional hearth, beautifully melds old and new. Everything has been carefully chosen from the antique Turkish wok and the old-world Russian samovar to the high-tech food processors that sit on marble counters next to artisanal wooden spoons. Its delightful patio provides an alfresco dining option and a perfect spot to sip chai or take a Turkish coffee break. Outside the compound, the village with its markets, mosques, shops and bakeries waits to be explored at leisure.
About the Cooking School Experience
The typical program is 3 days/2 nights. Set dates are offered twice yearly, spring and fall and arrangements can be made for custom groups and extended stays.
Lessons are hands-on with Engin; guests create traditional Turkish dishes including many enjoyed by the Sultans of long ago. Artisanal methods, handed down over centuries, will be demonstrated by village woman who practice them regularly in their day-to-day-life.
Additional activities will vary seasonally and by session but will include market visits, outings to village butchers, bakers and ice-cream makers and the exploration of Ula and neighboring hamlets.
All meals included: Turkish breakfast daily consisting of fruits, cheeses, olives, tomatoes, eggs and pastries and breads with jam and honey. Lunches and dinners will be the Turkish cuisine created in the lessons and a meal at a special local restaurant will be included. Cost: Custom or private groups will be quoted and are based on the number of people - a minimum of four and a maximum of twelve. Upon request, a culinary experience could be arranged for a larger group with accommodations in a nearby hotel.