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Host: Gulsen

Istanbul, Turkey

USD
$50-$84 per person

Turkish cuisine with an international twist

Host offerings
  • Apartment
  • Home cook
  • Pets
  • Vegetarian
  • Alcohol
  • Transportation
  • Cooking experience
  • Market visit

Meet Gulsen

Gülşen grew up in Izmir and studied to be a computer engineer. She later moved to the United States to work and stayed for 11 years. During her time in America she missed the tastes of home and decided to teach herself to cook. Now that she's back home in Turkey, Gülşen prepares traditional Turkish dishes with an international twist. She is learning to perfect the classics of Turkish cuisine by collaborating with her neighbor, Sema, who is a highly-skilled, expert home cook. You will get to taste a few of Sema's specialties, too!

Gülşen is a bubbly, passionate host who is excited to share her culinary heritage, as well as a few tips, with guests. When they are available, her sister and brother-in-law might also join you. They also lived in the U.S. for many years and love the opportunity to share their culture with travelers.

"I LOVE to cook, eat and travel. I also enjoy being in nature and spend time with family and friends."

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

In-home meal: (1-5 guests) Gülşen will make you feel right at home in her modern, tastefully decorated apartment. Like many Turkish cooks, Gülşen prepares vegetable-focused meals with minimal meat. Rather than being the focus of the meal, meat is used sparingly to bring flavor to the dishes. She and her neighbor might prepare a variety of dolma (stuffed vegetables, be they grape leaves, peppers or tomatoes), white or brown rice (pilav), a carrot meze, zucchini fritters, çerkez tavuk (Circassian chicken, a meze of shredded, mashed chicken mixed with yogurt and chopped walnuts), babaganoush (roasted, mashed eggplant), Sema's perfectly balanced fava bean paste, and a fresh green salad. Your meal will start with a soup and end with a cup of Turkish coffee or tea and something sweet.

Notes: Like a true Istanbuller, Gülşen has two cats.

Traveler reviews

From the communication before our meeting all the way until I left, Gülşen was incredibly kind and friendly. The food she prepared was scrumptious! There were some Turkish favorites, but she also prepared dishes that had more of an international flavor. Gülşen is very open to meeting new people and has a strong interest in becoming a Traveling Spoon host.
- Emma, Traveling Spoon Ambassador

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Gulsen

$50-$84 USD

per person
100%
Satisfaction Guaranteed
  • 100% Satisfaction guarantee or your money back
  • Free cancellation up to 48 hours in advance
  • Your credit card will not be charged until your host accepts your booking
Pricing
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$84 $62 $50
Alcohol
$14 per person
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$84 $62 $50
Alcohol
$14 per person
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
1:00pm-5:00pm 7:00pm-11:00pm

Meet Gulsen

Gülşen grew up in Izmir and studied to be a computer engineer. She later moved to the United States to work and stayed for 11 years. During her time in America she missed the tastes of home and decided to teach herself to cook. Now that she's back home in Turkey, Gülşen prepares traditional Turkish dishes with an international twist. She is learning to perfect the classics of Turkish cuisine by collaborating with her neighbor, Sema, who is a highly-skilled, expert home cook. You will get to taste a few of Sema's specialties, too!

Gülşen is a bubbly, passionate host who is excited to share her culinary heritage, as well as a few tips, with guests. When they are available, her sister and brother-in-law might also join you. They also lived in the U.S. for many years and love the opportunity to share their culture with travelers.

"I LOVE to cook, eat and travel. I also enjoy being in nature and spend time with family and friends."

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

In-home meal: (1-5 guests) Gülşen will make you feel right at home in her modern, tastefully decorated apartment. Like many Turkish cooks, Gülşen prepares vegetable-focused meals with minimal meat. Rather than being the focus of the meal, meat is used sparingly to bring flavor to the dishes. She and her neighbor might prepare a variety of dolma (stuffed vegetables, be they grape leaves, peppers or tomatoes), white or brown rice (pilav), a carrot meze, zucchini fritters, çerkez tavuk (Circassian chicken, a meze of shredded, mashed chicken mixed with yogurt and chopped walnuts), babaganoush (roasted, mashed eggplant), Sema's perfectly balanced fava bean paste, and a fresh green salad. Your meal will start with a soup and end with a cup of Turkish coffee or tea and something sweet.

Notes: Like a true Istanbuller, Gülşen has two cats.

Traveler reviews

From the communication before our meeting all the way until I left, Gülşen was incredibly kind and friendly. The food she prepared was scrumptious! There were some Turkish favorites, but she also prepared dishes that had more of an international flavor. Gülşen is very open to meeting new people and has a strong interest in becoming a Traveling Spoon host.
- Emma, Traveling Spoon Ambassador

Pricing
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$84 $62 $50
Alcohol
$14 per person
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$84 $62 $50
Alcohol
$14 per person
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
1:00pm-5:00pm 7:00pm-11:00pm
Host Contact
  • You can message your host directly once you've made your booking
  • Address and phone number will be provided upon booking confirmation
FAQ

    You can cancel your experience 48 hours or more before your experience date and receive a full refund. To request a cancellation once you have made a booking simply log in and click the "Request Cancellation" link from the bottom of your booking. Your refund will be processed immediately (note it can take up to 10 business days for this refund to post to your credit card statement). Please note that for cancellations within 48 hours of your experience we unfortunately cannot offer a refund; this is because our hosts typically purchase food and begin their preparations up to 48 hours before the experience.

    Most of our hosts are able to accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies, including vegetarian and gluten free options. For vegetarian travelers, we have an icon on each host profile to indicate whether that host can also offer a fully vegetarian menu. There is a section in the booking form to note any allergies or dietary restrictions which will be sent directly to your host.

    Once you request a booking you can message your host directly to ask any specific questions. Your messages will be emailed directly to the host and any responses will be forwarded to your email and can also be seen on the Traveling Spoon website.

    Your card will not be charged until your host accepts your booking. Typically hosts respond to bookings within 72 hours. In the event your host is unavailable on your selected date and your host rejects your booking your credit card will not be charged.

    Your host's detailed contact information, including their phone number, address, and direction notes, will all be provided immediately upon successful confirmation of your experience (after your hosts accepts your booking and your credit card is successfully processed). This information will be emailed to you to the email address you used to sign up, and will also be visible on your Traveling Spoon profile.

    All prices are noted as per person prices unless otherwise specified (typically transportation is charged on a per car basis, but otherwise all prices are per person).

    Some hosts offer alcohol as an optional add-on for travelers who are of legal drinking age. Pricing for alcohol is visible on the host profile page and includes one to two glasses of wine, beer or local alcohol.

    Some hosts offer transportation as an optional add-on for travelers. Typically this is round trip transportation with pick up and drop off at your hotel. Pricing is quoted per car. Specific instructions for transportation will be provided in your confirmation details when your booking is confirmed.

    Many of our hosts accommodate solo travelers. You can see if a host accepts solo travelers by looking at the traveler range found next to the experience descriptions on the host profile (indicated by the numbers in parentheses next to "In-home meal", "Cooking experience" and "Market visit").

    Your safety and security are our top priority. To ensure this, Traveling Spoon personally vets 100% of all hosts, including an in-person host visit, to ensure each host and experience meets our strict quality requirements.

    Hosts typically respond to booking inquiries within 72 hours. If for some reason you have not heard from your host or if you have any questions you can always contact us at reservations@travelingspoon.com.