Workshop in Turkish Home Cooking + Food and Travel Photography
Led by Olga Tikhonova Irez and David Hagerman
Zeliş Çifliği, Sapanca, Turkey
September, 2-7 2013
Please, get in touch with Olga via olga(dot)irez(at)gmail(dot)com
if you’d like to be the first to know the dates of the upcoming workshops in 2014.
Join us for five days of cooking and food and travel photography in a bucolic countryside setting just two hours by car from Istanbul. Cooking instructor and culinary tour leader Olga will share her extensive knowledge of Turkish food and food culture in her Turkish family’s kitchen; imagine transforming the seasonal vegetables you’ve purchased at a village market into a meze feast, cooking kebabs made with meat you’ve sourced from a local butcher on a traditional Turkish mangal (BBQ), sitting down to warm börek and wood fired oven-baked bread that you’ve baked yourself and getting up close and personal with farmers and artisan cheese producers. In between bites master the art of photographing ingredients, food, people, markets, architecture and landscapes with personal coaching from David, a professional photographer who shoots for publications like Saveur, the New York Times Travel Section and Food & Wine.
Day 1: Arrival
We’ll meet in Sirkeci (Istanbul) and board a shuttle to Zeliş Çifliği. After tea and time to settle in we’ll meet for dinner and talk about the week ahead.
Day 2: Village market visit and on-site photography, followed by an introduction to the Turkish home kitchen.
We’ll visit a small market where vendors from nearby villages sell fruits, vegetables and dairy products to shop for local, seasonal ingredients for dinner, and stop at a family-run butcher shop to order our meat and watch the butcher work right in front of us. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to work on photographing food in its cultural context; you’ll hone your techniques for photographing markets, people, action and details, with an emphasis on using light to your advantage. After lunch at a local fish restaurant we’ll return to the lodge, and in the evening you’ll cook your own dinner and, if you like, photograph food preparation and learn how to style and photograph finished dishes. From mid-afternoon on feel free to liase with David, who will be available to meet one-on-one to talk about your goals for the week and to go over your favorite shots.
Day 3: Discovering Turkish home cooking: Producer to Plate
Visits to a small producer and a local farm followed by more hands-on cooking will provide fodder for you photo essay on an ingredient of your choice producer-to-plate, and deepen your knowledge of the primary place of local and seasonal in the Turkish home kitchen. The photographic focus today is on story-telling; you’ll work on overall shots, medium-range shots and details during our producer visits and in the kitchen, to tell the story of a dish from origin to finish.
Day 4: Turkish baking secrets revealed and photography on the road
Today you’ll start the morning with an intensive hands-on session on Turkish breads, sweet and savory pastry. At noon we’ll hit the road with our cameras. First we’ll head out to a picturesque Anatolian town with a brick-paved historic center and well-preserved Ottoman houses to photograph street life and architecture, try local specialties and see how local women preserve foods for winter. In the afternoon we’ll switch to 4×4 transport for a drive to a gorgeous mountain valley, where you’ll have tea with its residents and take advantage of golden late afternoon and evening light to make beautiful landscape and nature photographs. No cooking this evening; after the long day you’ll be glad to see dinner waiting for us when we return to the lodge.
Day 5: Marketing and photography, and cooking a feast
This is our last full day together; time to draw on the cooking insights and photography skills you’ve mastered this week. We’ll hit a large once-a-week market to shop and photograph. Then we’ll convene in the kitchen to cook up a feast! Throughout the afternoon you’ll have an opportunity to schedule individual review sessions with David to go over your work from the week.
Day 6: Good-byes and departure
After a leisurely breakfast we’ll depart for Istanbul at noon.
Note: Breakfast will be served each day from 9 am to 10am except for Day 4, when tea, coffee and light bites will be served as you work on your breads, sweets and pastries. Recipes will be provided. David is available throughout the week to meet with you to talk about your goals and review your work. Depending on the weather, David may organize optional early-morning photography hikes/walks before breakast.
Who is this workshop for? Cooks and food lovers keen to know Turkish food beyond what is usually served in restaurants. Adventurous travelers — first-time and experienced visitors to Turkey eager to see a side of the country beyond its popular tourist destinations. Photographers beginning to advanced; individual instruction is tailored to your skill level and individual photography goals. Food and travel bloggers; improve your photography skill while collecting material for attention-getting posts. This workshop is limited to 9 participants.
Who are the instructors? To learn more about Olga and David please see their pages.
Cost: Workshop cost depends on the choice of accommodation.
- US$2,200 per person for single occupancy (double bed, individual bathroom, tea and coffee-making facilities) – 3 spots available
- US$2,000 per person for shared accommodation (one room with twin beds, shared bathroom, tea and coffee-making facilities) – 6 spots available
- US$ 1,400 for non-participating companions. Participants opting for single occupancy have the option to bring a non-participating companion, who may join meals and excursions but not cooking classes or photography instruction.
The cost includes: return transfer from/to Istanbul, 5-night lodging, all meals and beverages, cooking instruction and group/one-on-one photography instruction, wifi at the lodge, all ground transport and day tours.
The cost excludes: travel insurance, airfare to/from Istanbul, alcohol (available to order at the lodge), incidentals (purchases at markets, laundry, etc.)
Booking: Please get in touch with Olga via olga(dot)irez(at)gmail(dot)com to secure your spot: 9 available spots will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.
Payment: We require a 25% deposit to secure your spot. Final payment is due two months prior to the workshop (July, 2). Payment can be done via bank transfer: incurring administration fees will be added to the total.
Cancellation policy: Your deposit is refundable up to two months prior to the workshop, when the balance of the fee is due. Once you’ve made your payment in full we cannot offer a refund. In the event of circumstances beyond our control we reserve the right to cancel the workshop at any time; in this case any payments you have made will be fully refunded. Excursions are subject to change.
Food allergies: If you have any dietary restrictions do let us know when booking – we will be happy to accommodate you.
What to bring: Your SLR camera and a laptop for downloading images. We will email you a full packing list after we receive your deposit. Aprons, knifes and other kitchen equipment will be provided.
If you have any additional questions please feel free to get in touch with Olga via olga(dot)irez(at)gmail(dot)com or with David at drhagerman(at)gmail(dot)com.