Join Culinary Backstreets

Sign up with email

or

Already a member? Log in.

Log in to Culinary Backstreets

Trouble logging in?

Not a member? Sign up!

We are very happy to announce that in May we’ll be offering a springtime edition of “Culinary Secrets of Gaziantep,” our three-day eating and hands-on cooking adventure in Turkey’s gastronomic mecca.

An ancient city not far from Turkey’s southern border, a meeting point between the Arab Middle East and Turkish Anatolia, Gaziantep over the centuries has developed a culinary culture that is deeply rooted in the rhythm of the agricultural lands surrounding it and that is maintained with great pride and honor by the city’s cooks and food makers. Gaziantep is also the source for many of Turkish cuisine’s iconic dishes – the city’s famous baklava is without compare and its kebabs are truly works of art, the standard by which all others are measured.

Making katmer in Gaziantep, photo by Ansel MullinsThe trip is a collection of our experiences and discoveries over many trips to Gaziantep, sometimes for reporting but mostly just for the pleasure of eating. As in Istanbul and our other cities, this experience is designed to intertwine traditional culinary heritage with history and street life and to celebrate local families and purveyors who keep the old traditions alive. Over the three days, we will meet local artisans working in Gaziantep’s old city, from bakers to coffeepot makers; eat with a home cook making some of the most authentic dishes in the city; have interactive workshops where we learn to make some of Gaziantep’s most beloved dishes; and, of course, get an audience with some of the city’s high priests of baklava- and kebab-making. We won’t consider the trip finished until we’ve tasted the best and shaken the hand of the masters who make it. And since it’s spring, we’ll spend a day eating at and observing life on a farm harvesting what’s in season: saffron, almonds, keme (aka “the desert truffle”) and firik (smoked cracked wheat). We’ll also visit some local spots serving up seasonal specialties like kebabs made with fresh garlic or loquats.

Here’s what Michael Costa, head chef at the celebrated José Andrés restaurant Zaytinya in Washington, D.C., had to say about his time on last year’s trip: “Culinary Backstreets delivered above and beyond anything I could have expected. I read Culinary Backstreets because it isn’t about finding the most hyperbolic way to praise or insult a restaurant. It’s about falling in love with a place and its culinary heritage. It’s about people and stories. They curated an experience that is the benchmark by which I will judge all future culinary travel.”

The adventure, which will take Baklava in Gaziantep, photo by Yigal Schleiferplace May 11-13 and 25-27, is designed for groups of up to 10. Lodging will be provided at Anadolu Evleri, a grand traditional Gaziantep home in the old city that has been converted into a charming boutique hotel. The cost is $1100/person (double room) or $1200/person (single) and includes lodging and all meals and activities, though not transportation to Gaziantep. You can read more about the upcoming trip and find booking information here. Also check out this post on The New York Times’ “In Transit” blog about last year’s program.

  • CB’s On the Ground in Lisbon!February 11, 2016 CB’s On the Ground in Lisbon! (0)
    Lisbon seems to be getting its groove back. Or at least, more people are taking notice […] Posted in Lisbon
  • January 2, 2014 Big-Time Baklava (0)
    Turkey’s European Union membership bid may be stuck in the mud, but a different dynamic […] Posted in Istanbul
  • CB Book ClubAugust 31, 2015 CB Book Club (0)
    Editor's note: For the first installment of CB Book Club, in which we'll occasionally […] Posted in Istanbul

Related stories

February 11, 2016

CB’s On the Ground in Lisbon!

Lisbon | By Culinary Backstreets
By Culinary Backstreets
LisbonLisbon seems to be getting its groove back. Or at least, more people are taking notice of this city’s unique character and clearly taking to it. Recently, Vogue and The New York Times profiled the Intendente district, an up-and-coming neighborhood in the city center; Monocle magazine held its first “Quality of Life” conference in Lisbon;…
August 31, 2015

CB Book Club: Aylin Öney Tan’s A Taste of Sun & Fire

Istanbul | By Istanbul Eats
By Istanbul Eats
IstanbulEditor's note: For the first installment of CB Book Club, in which we'll occasionally feature interviews with authors of cookbooks and other food-related books, we spoke to the author of a landmark work on Gaziantep cooking. For many (us here at Culinary Backstreets included), the city of Gaziantep is without a doubt the culinary mecca of Turkey.…
Select your currency
USD United States (US) dollar
EUR Euro