A few months ago I crashed a cooking lesson with my friend Lisa, who was out visiting Sarajevo during the early Autumn months. While on a bus to Mostar, she overheard a couple people raving about a new cooking class in Sarajevo. One of the owners, it turned out, was also a tour guide in Mostar, and he and his wife had decided to open their home for cooking lessons after repeated inquiries from tourists.
I had no idea what to expect, so I went open for whatever the day threw at me. But as soon as we walked through the door – greeted by the cozy living room, incredible views of the valley, warm smiles and easy conversation – we both knew we had booked one of the best experiences in Sarajevo.
Both Mustafa and his talented wife, Mersiha, are quick to laugh, fluent in English, and completely in love their new business and the people it brings into their lives. Lessons last four to six hours, and kick off with an amazing appetizer spread and followed by plenty of wine, homemade rakija and easy conversation. Oh – and lots cooking!
We made piles of japrak (stuffed leaf wraps) and dolma (stuffed peppers and onions), and miles of Bosnian pie, including burek (beef) and krompirusha (potato). They also offer vegetarian options, and would be happy to work with you in advance of class on special menu requests.
All fresh ingredients hail from Mustafa’s family farm, with homegrown organic produce and beef from the family cows. Mersiha will proudly show off her stuffed freezer, packed to the gills with loads of colorful, whole produce just waiting to be shared and enjoyed with her students.
The couple lives up in the hills northwest of the embassy. Mustafa will happily pick you up, or caravan with you up to their home, and secure a taxi for the return trip (roughly 8km to get back to downtown Sarajevo). Lessons last four to six hours, and is hands down of the best ways to spend a day this winter – with delicious food, sharing stories and a lovely couple. If you find yourself in BiH, this is a definite must-do!