About Me

My name is Banu and I am a natural-born eater with a keen interest in food history.  I live in Istanbul, Turkey but I have also lived in Tsukuba, Japan, and in Boston, U.S.A. My professional life started in Boston in a well established casual dining Italian restaurant. After spending a little over six years working there as the kitchen manager, I’ve decided to return to my roots in Istanbul to re-connect with my own food culture. That was back in 2007.

Upon my return, I’ve continued to work in the food industry but mostly on the educational side. I have established culinary education programs, developed recipes, taught cooking classes, and gave lectures on Turkish cuisine at a private culinary school. I have also started to lead unique food walks in 2009, for avid eaters like me, who are interested in learning and tasting what Istanbul has to offer. Currently, I am still leading the culinary walks and I work as a part-time instructor of Turkish food history and culture at a local university. I also write about food-related matters for a nation-wide food magazine.

I love to cook and eat. Although classical Turkish cuisine and regional cuisines of Turkey are my favorites, I also have a deep affection for Japanese, Korean and Indian cuisines. When I am cooking, I follow a no-waste policy and always use whatever I have on hand. If I am following a recipe that I’ve read or seen, I take it as a guide but there is a great chance that I might steer away from it based on my mood, ingredients, and personal taste. I like to own the recipe if you will 🙂

About Spoon

I guess that you might be wondering about the spoon….Well, the spoon is the oldest eating utensil and happens to be my favorite. The Ottomans used to carry their spoons in their cummerbund type belts and I carry mine in my pocket, in case I need to take it out and taste something. I think I can pretty much eat anything with a spoon.

As a Food Experience Designer…

I have over thirteen years of professional experience in the culinary scene as a restaurant manager and culinary school director. I am also available to provide the following services:

  • Designing culinary experiences
  • Culinary editing
  • Recipe development
  • Private tours in Istanbul for individuals and food professionals
  • Bespoke culinary itineraries in Istanbul for individuals and food professionals
  • Cooking classes on Turkish cuisine
  • Lectures on the history of Turkish cuisine

I am more than happy to assist with your food-related projects. Please contact me for further details.

My Blog

Now that I am in the summertime of my life, I have decided to take action and do something for myself. I started this blog some time ago but neglected to write in it for a while. Here I am attempting to start again, as writing about food is what I will do from now on. I am also writing a book (it will be in Turkish for the time-being), which will be a foodoir (food+memoir) with recipes with lots of spoonilicious tastes.

Thank you for reading and take care,

Banu Özden