Prevue November/December 2015 - (Page 60)

Istanbul Tradition seeps into the modern, historic city in surprising ways [ON LOCATION] LANE NIESET I t's the first night in Istanbul and we're eating like kings-which is fitting since the recipes all stem from Ottoman Palace cuisine dating back 500 years. Plates of stuffed quince and chicken bourek come one after another filling the table at Asitane, a restaurant positioned near a former Byzantine-era church overlooking the Golden Horn. Part of what makes this cuisine so special is the attention to detail, researched heavily by a team of food historians studying the ancient kitchens of the Topkapi, Edirne and Dolmabahçe palaces, who then recreate it in a modern way. Twists on tradition are what make Istanbul such an attractive city-classic institutions are turned into something contemporary, so everything from a former palace to bank are now a hammam or hotel. "Combined with Istanbul's historic venues, palaces, museums, bazaars, cisterns, design venues and more, [the city] offers meeting planners a variety of remarkable options to create truly outstanding events," explains Istanbul Convention & Visitors Bureau's general manager, Özgül Özkan Yavuz. "Istanbul is also one of the world's top food destinations with eateries offering fabulous quality traditional fare, haute cuisine and fusion, many in [iconic] locations such as being perched on the Bosphorus with views across the historic peninsula and beyond." We quickly learn that food is a cornerstone of Turkish culture, and it's almost impolite to refuse a dish or Turkish coffee at a meeting-not that we'd want to. At PeyDerPey, tucked in the 56 | prevue magazine Beyoglu area on the famous Istiklal walking street next to chain stores, kebap shops and modern art galleries, Turkish Chef Vedat Basaran is a master at recreating forgotten Ottoman dishes by putting his own gourmet spin on cookbook classics. Panoramic windows on the sixth floor also serve up stunning views of the old city, putting the glittering Bosphorus Strait on display. In Istanbul, groups can wine and dine in a number of other ways, from Turkish wine tastings overlooking Istiklal Street to dining on the water in the floating island venue Suada Club. Our group hopped on a mini cruise of the Bosporus on our way to this super chic club, which straddles the border between Asia and Europe. The island can host up to 700 banquet-style, 1,500 al fresco or in a ballroom that opens to the stars. Groups that don't want the party to end can take a boat to Suada's sister club, Reina, located on shore. MODERN-DAY HISTORIC HOTELS Istanbul's up-and-coming neighborhood Karaköy in the northern part of the Golden Horn was once home to banks and electrical shops, and groups can still see evidence of these landmarks today. The new 63-room Vault Karaköy, The House Hotel is perched on the Avenue of Banks just next to the former Imperial Ottoman Bank. Set in a 19th century bank, most of the original structures-like the bank vaults-are still standing. Down below, one of the meeting rooms features one of these original bank vaults.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue November/December 2015

Planner’s Pick: Salt Lake City
Bureau Buzz: Birmingham
Fresh Meets: Melia Hotels International
Good Business: Community Outreach at ASAE
Sea Shores: Crystal Cruises
Ode to Inspiration
On Location: South Korea
On Location: Istanbul
On Location: Panama
On Location: Scottsdale
Checkout: Kalahari Resort & Convention Center

Prevue November/December 2015