17 October Thursday

A Tasteful Journey from Hong Kong to Istanbul, via ISMEK

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s ISMEK (Vocational and Arts Training Center) is attracting foreign students as well as local ones. Noble Lee-Fitz from Hong Kong has signed up for Ottoman Cooking classes at ISMEK, and hopes to open a Turkish restaurant in her native Hong Kong one day.

Mrs. Lee-Fitz, a native of Hong Kong, moved to Istanbul three years ago due to his German husband’s work. She first heard about ISMEK through a friend, and later signed up for Turkish classes to learn the language. Soon after her language training, Mrs. Lee-Fitz enrolled in the painting course at ISMEK and started making beautiful oil paintings, each one more beautiful than the other.

Mrs. Lee-Fitz’s skills, however, are not limited to these areas. After finishing the painting course at ISMEK, she returned to sign up for another course – this time Ottoman Palace Cooking.

Most recently, the guest trainee, who is still developing her skills and knowledge in this area, learned the delicious secrets of Turkish cuisine in a short time. Mrs. Lee-Fitz reports that her Ottoman Palace cooking has gained the admiration of her husband as well as her friends.

Some of her favourite dishes include “Şıhıl Mahşi” (Shah of Dolmas) from the Antakya region of Turkey, “Börek with Onion”, “Stuffed Grape Leaves”, “Baklava” and “Hibiscus Sherbet” – a traditional sweet beverage from the Ottoman Imperial Palace.

Emphasising her deep love for Istanbul, Lee-Fitz says that she really enjoys ISMEK, and her dream is to open a Turkish restaurant one day when she returns to Hong Kong. She is confident that her dream will become a reality.

Dubbed one of the world’s biggest public education institutions, ISMEK offers free vocational and arts training courses for all Istanbulites on 540 subjects and in 235 training centers.

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