Together with your Bon Appétit Culinary Center Chef and a local culinary guide, stroll through the Spice Market with stops for tastings, visit the famous Istanbul fish market and then dine in the spectacular NAR restaurant near the Grand Bazaar.
Join your Bon Appétit Culinary Center Chef in the cooking school for a brief overview of your excursion and an introduction to Turkish cuisine. You'll learn why the dishes of this region are amongst the most revered by chefs for the unparalleled synthesis of spices and ingredients. Making your way to the pier, you will depart by coach for your first stop at the Egyptian Market, commonly referred to as the Spice Market. Built in 1664 as part of the Yeni Cami complex, this bustling convergence of shopkeepers selling spices, caviar, scarves and basketwork is unlike anywhere else in the world. Your chef and guide will orient you to the market, where you will have free time to explore, buy spices and meet some of the chef's favorite specialty vendors. Before re-boarding your coach, the group will gather for a stroll down one of the side streets of the Spice Market for a tasting of Turkish olives, olive oil and cheese.
Then it's off to the fish market, open seven days a week, 9 months a year - and not to be missed when in Istanbul. The fish are fresh caught or cultured in Turkish waters, or flown in daily for the various restaurants in the city. Bluefish is a favorite and sea bass and sea bream are popular with the locals. Your chef and local guide will identify the various types of fish and you will be able to observe first -hand the sophistication that surrounds the sale of fish to a local chef or home cook.
Next, you will drive to the white-cloth tabled NAR Restaurant, a favorite of the Bon Appétit Culinary Center Chef team. You will be served traditional Turkish dishes, which will be explained as they arrive at the table. The range of dishes selected for you range from Ottoman palace dishes to the humble village fare. No doubt your experience here will result in a greater appreciation for the elegance and flavors that chefs around the world associate with Turkish cuisine. In Turkish tradition, you will enjoy hot, sweet tea with your meal - just like a local.
At the conclusion of lunch, you'll have approximately one hour of free time to wander through the Grand Bazaar in which to shop for jewelry, a backgammon board, colorful scarves or other clothing items before rejoining your coach and transferring back to the ship.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 3-hours of easy to moderate walking. There may be some uneven surfaces and steps to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Tour sequence may vary based upon the ship's arrival and/or to avoid congestion.