Renowned local chef John Bishop is leading a culinary tour of one the world’s historic crossroads.

The tour, which supports research into juvenile diabetes, offers participants a chance to explore local cuisine and the markets of Istanbul during a 16-day journey through Turkey, part of a growing demand for food tourism.

“It’s sharing my passion for food and seeking out what that culture is about through the eyes of food,” said Bishop, who led a similar tour in India two years ago.

The tour begins Sept. 23 in Istanbul and includes visits to the historic sites, dinners with local families and cooking demonstrations.

It concludes Oct. 8.

Bishop said some of his favourite memories of the India tour were meeting the local farmers and watching the locals bake bread, learning the essence of cooking in the region.

“Until you’ve been to these countries, you’ve lived your life in black and white. Turkey is just about as colourful as you can get.”

Each trip will see $500 donated to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Bishop, whose friend’s child has juvenile diabetes, has done the food for the past seven years at the annual “Rockin’ for Research” diabetes fundraiser in Vancouver.

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