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Host: Gulsen

Istanbul, Turkey

USD
$24-$74 per person

Turkish cuisine with an international twist

Host offerings
  • Apartment
  • Home cook
  • Pets
  • Vegetarian
  • Alcohol
  • Transportation
  • Cooking class
  • Market visit
  • Food tour

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.

Languages spoken: English

PERSONALLY VETTED REVIEW
A Traveling Spoon ambassador visited this host. Here is their personal review.

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

Traveler reviews

This is a new host who does not yet have any reviews. You can see reviews of our other Istanbul Traveling Spoon experiences on TripAdvisor:
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Gulsen

$24-$74 USD

per person
100% VETTED
Learn more
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back
  • Free cancellation up to 48 hours in advance
  • Credit card is not charged until the host confirms your booking
  • Private experience
Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$74 $34 $24
Alcohol
$8 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$74 $34 $24
Alcohol
$8 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
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.

Languages spoken: English

PERSONALLY VETTED REVIEW
A Traveling Spoon ambassador visited this host. Here is their personal review.

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

Traveler reviews

This is a new host who does not yet have any reviews. You can see reviews of our other Istanbul Traveling Spoon experiences on TripAdvisor:
Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$74 $34 $24
Alcohol
$8 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$74 $34 $24
Alcohol
$8 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
1:00pm-5:00pm 7:00pm-11:00pm
ABOUT TRAVELING SPOON

Traveling Spoon connects you with meaningful culinary experiences, from private cooking lessons to homecooked meals in people's homes. Enjoy an immersive cultural experience that gives you a glimpse into the local way of life.

FAQ

    You can cancel your reservation for free up until 48 hours before your experience. Experiences within 48 hours are not refundable.

    If you have a question for your host, you can include a note in the field "Write a note to your host" during the booking process. Once your booking is confirmed, you will be emailed your host's direct contact information and you will also be able to message the host through your profile. You can always cancel your booking and receive a full refund 48 hours or more before your experience. If you have other questions you can also email us at reservations@travelingspoon.com.

    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.

    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.

    Have a flight or other tour planned and can’t make the timing provided? If the timing listed on the host’s profile doesn’t work for you, our hosts can often accommodate timing changes. Because all of our experiences are private our hosts are happy to tailor experiences to meet your travel needs. Simply note your request in the booking process.

    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 per person prices unless otherwise specified. Transportation is typically charged on a per car basis. Children aged 5-11 are 50% off, and infants aged 0-4 are free. Hosts set their own prices and Traveling Spoon marks up the experiences; on average hosts receive over 70% of the price paid by the traveler.

    100% of Traveling Spoon experiences are private! Just you and your host and host’s family.

    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.

    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.

    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").

    Most of our Traveling Spoon experiences are incredibly family friendly and can accommodate infants and children. If a host is unable to accommodate children that will be noted in the “Notes” section of their profile. Our child pricing policy is children aged 5-11 are 50% off, and infants aged 0-4 are free.