I'm Vidar Bergum, a Norwegian food writer based in Istanbul.

I made Istanbul my home in 2015. Since then, I’ve travelled and eaten my way through the cuisines and food cultures of Turkey, the Middle East and beyond.

On the way, I’ve published three best-selling cookbooks in my native Norway (the first was also translated to German) and have kept a blog for a while at A kitchen in Istanbul. You can read more about my story here.

Join me in exploring the food and cultures of Turkey, the Middle East & beyond:

Photo: Bahar Kitapcı.

What to expect if you subscribe

Meze is my English language home for the stories, kitchen tips and recipes I’ve collected over the years.

I currently send two different kinds of newsletters:

  • Meze features stories from the local food cultures, letters from my travels in the region, ingredient deep dives and updates on life in Istanbul. Most editions features links to a number of seasonal recipes from the archives to try out as well.

  • In the kitchen usually features a brand new and unique recipe.

Most weeks, I send out one edition of each, with occasional breaks.

Please note that this is an ever evolving newsletter, so both frequency and style may change over time.

What you get as a free subscriber

All subscribers get four newsletters per month, usually on Wednesdays:

  • 3 editions of Meze

  • 1 new recipe (In the kitchen)

You’re also welcome to like and comment on each post.

Why get a paid subscription?

I’ve spent years immersing myself in the local food cultures, constantly travelling, researching, tasting, eating and recipe testing. I’ve written several books on the topics I cover and edit all my work relentlessly, whether it’s a short newsletter or a book.

In short: This is my job.

Paid subscriptions enable me to take time away from other projects and dedicate the time necessary to research, write, edit and publish new articles and unique recipes every week.

Becoming a paying subscriber is completely optional, and I fully understand that not everyone can or wants to take one up – or that you simply have too many other subscriptions to add another one to your pile.

If you enjoy my newsletters, however, and can spare a dollar or two a week, I hope you’ll consider a paid subscription. In addition to supporting my work (and helping secure the continuation of the free newsletter), you’ll also get new recipes weekly, as well as access to the full paid recipe archives.

Note: The perks, format and balance of free/paid may change over time. The main thing you're paying for, is to contribute to keeping the newsletters coming. Free and paid ones.

Subscribe to Meze by Vidar Bergum

Join me in exploring the unique food & cultures of Turkey, the Middle East & beyond from my home in Istanbul.


Food writer & author exploring the food cultures of Turkey, the Middle East & beyond