Fall-Winter 2017 Cooking Classes: Turkey and the Levant

To be “a crossroads” is both boon and burden, and surely no other part of the planet bears that label more securely than the Middle East. Clashes of religion and military force, and the possession of fruitful land astride crucial trade routes, gave rise to war and cultural conflict measured in millennia, not centuries – conflict that continues to tear at the region. It also has created astonishing cultural riches – including cuisines – that spark our imaginations and draw our admiration even in the context of brutal discord and upheaval.

Turkey straddles Europe and Asia, and during six centuries of Ottoman rule, it controlled much of both – Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, the Levant, North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The culture of the fierce and formerly nomadic tribesmen who formed and ruled this multi-continental, multilingual, multiethnic empire was, as is always the case,





subsumed by the sophistication of those they conquered. Their simple herdsmen’s diet absorbed influences from the Persian Empire, the Golden Age of Islam, new ingredients from the New World via Europe, spices from China and Southeast Asia… and became the exultant cuisine of the Sultanate court.

The Levant is that crescent of coastal countries extending from Turkey to Egypt, but, in terms of cuisine, its heartland is Lebanon, a tiny country (less than a third of the size of Vancouver Island and little more than1% the size of Turkey) that definitely punches above its culinary weight.

Where Turkey amassed it’s culinary richness and diversity from the lands it ruled, Levantine cuisine was enriched by conquerors. As Salma Hage, Author of The Lebanese Kitchen puts it: “Lebanon’s diverse and fertile landscape has always been in high demand.” Most recently that demand was from the French, whose decades-long twentieth century occupation added a little Gallic flair, at least in Beirut, to what was already a pretty exuberant cuisine.

Location: South China Seas at 1502 Victoria Drive, Vancouver
Time: 7:00 – 10:00 PM
Seating: Attendance is limited to 10 – 12 persons, depending on the complexity of the menu.
Fees: $95.00 + gst

Your participation is considered confirmed upon receipt of the class fee. If for any reason, you cannot attend a class that you have booked and confirmed, we strongly suggest that you transfer your booking to a friend or a family member. If the class is sold out and if we have a waiting list, we will do our best to re-book your spot(s) from the waiting list. If we are able to re-book, we will refund your fee, but we cannot refund class fees under any other circumstances. (Please note that class bookings are NOT included in the calculation to determine the $100 minimum required to receive a 10% discount on MERCHANDISE orders.)
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