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The mission of YESAM is to help preserve and enhance knowledge of Turkey’s past and present culinary traditions through research and education.

Accordingly, YESAM works to record tangible and intangible foods and food-related traditions in Turkey and adjacent regions with which Turkey shares cultural and historical ties; develops educational models through theoretical and applied methods to pass Turkey’s culinary heritage to future generations; and promotes Turkish cuisine to the general public and international gastronomical circles.

A year-round lecture series on Turkish cuisine was launched at YESAM in 2012 featuring prominent Turkish culinary experts, accompanied by food tastings prepared by NAR Restaurant. The lectures are also recorded for viewing on the YESAM portal.

In 2013, TCF-YESAM began to organize cultural tours with a view to promote Turkish culinary heritage while supporting local production and sustainability.

Some of the ongoing and future projects of YESAM include documenting and archiving Ottoman and Anatolian cooking techniques, recipes, and traditional kitchen utensils, rediscovering and promoting forgotten dishes of Anatolia, and collaborating with international educational and cultural organizations in advancing knowledge on Turkey’s traditional and contemporary culinary culture.


Every community and society has its own food and culinary culture; though only some have been able to filter nature’s bounty through aesthetics to transform food into an art form.

Shaped through history by a vast geography, countless cultural interactions, a keen awareness of ecological dynamics, Turkey’s rich cuisine continues to be transformed by social and political influences.

As a result, Turkey’s cultural traditions are undergoing changes that mimic broader societal shifts, often bringing aspects of this great culinary heritage to the brink of disappearance. Created by TCF, the Turkish Cuisine Portal aims to document these vanishing traditions. The Portal is the product of comprehensive research and contains different aspects of Turkish culinary culture, including its basic elements, history, social structure, ingredients, cooking techniques and applications, as well as a selection of recipes. The work of YESAM will further enhance the Turkish Cuisine Portal as an online depository of knowledge on Turkey’s rich culinary heritage.


YESAM operates on the fourth floor of the ARMAGGAN Nuruosmaniye building and houses three conference rooms, a demonstration kitchen and a library dedicated to culinary publications.

Thanks to the YESAM-NAR Restaurant partnership, visitors can watch expert chefs prepare traditional dishes, desserts, and confectioneries in the demonstration kitchen. YESAM is also equipped to host cultural and culinary tours for private events at its facilities.


The Culinary Arts Center (YESAM) was established in Istanbul in 2011 by the Turkish Cultural Foundation (TCF). Dedicated to preserving and promoting Turkish culture, art and heritage, TCF is U.S. tax-exempt, public charitable organization supported entirely by private donations with offices in Boston, Istanbul and Washington, DC.

The mission of YESAM is to help preserve and enhance knowledge of Turkey’s past and present culinary traditions through research and education.