Food & Drink

Istanbul Culinary Institute: inspiration is being served.


There’s something about going to school that I really like these days. Perhaps because it’s because I didn’t properly appreciate the opportunities I had to learn when I was younger, but now I’m really eager to reconnect and engage with people in learning environments.One of my current favorites is the Istanbul Culinary Institute, which certifies chefs to go out into the world with all the requisite practical experience to set them on the road to becoming the next Gordon Ramsay (I just hope they are a tad less hot-headed).


Personally, I admire good chefs the same way I admire good writers, painters or photographers. The talented ones are not simply making you something to eat, they’re preparing an experience that can stay with you for years. Sure it might be more fleeting, but the way we interact with and share food with each other is so integral to the enjoyment of life.

That’s why the restaurant run by the school is one of my top choices when I’m in Beyoglu. Located just up the road from the Pera Palace it has both a daily and a seasonal menu, with interesting choices you won’t find elsewhere, like the miso infused prawns on a bed of hummus. I also had a great organic chicken soup a while back that left me with a craving for weeks. But food isn’t the only ingredient that makes this place work. There’s a wash of energy and promise here that suffuses the place. It’s an inviting place to eat, drink and try new things, while the chefs are hard at work upstairs earning their diplomas. And like the restaurant, the school really works. One of its graduates now owns and operates my favorite Yeniköy local, Molka.

There are also weekend courses for amateur chefs who want to spice up their repertoire to impress loved ones and guests. At Istanbul Culinary Institute there’s more than one way to savor the learning experience.

Mesrutiyet Caddesi No 59
Tepebasi 34437, Istanbul
+90 212 251 2214