The tales of a Greek kitchen
Whether it be showcasing traditional recipes, or demonstrating a modern twist on the old classics, Chobani Greek Kitchen - at this year's Lonsdale Street Glendi - will be showing the best of both worlds in modern and classic Greek cooking
Nothing beats fresh pita the way yiayia used to make, and soon there will be plenty coming out of the Chobani Greek Kitchen as part of the Antipodes Festival.
Whether it be showcasing traditional recipes handed down from any generations, or demonstrating a modern twist on the old classics, the food-centric marquee will be showing the best of both worlds in modern and classic Greek cooking. The culinary event will draw a wide range of gourmet restaurant chefs, cooking demonstrators, as well as home cooks under one roof at the Lonsdale St Glendi.
Chatting to Neos Kosmos, event coordinator Victoria Kyprianou talks about what we can expect from the event.
“Food have been an integral part of the festival for a long time. I think showcasing Greek cuisine and Greek products has become a highlight of the festival,” she said. Victoria added that while the traditional home cooks have been set up in a separate marquee in previous years, this year the festival plans to give them as much exposure as the professionals to “display a wide range of cooking skills that might be different to what is done in a restaurant kitchen”.
“We’ve also got home cooks from Philhellene, Angela Nicolettou who has been teaching at the CAE (Centre for Adult Education) and the PanEpirotic Federation making their traditional regional dishes, and some of them are first-generation Greek-Australians so they will have different cooking styles to showcase.”
Philhellene restaurant co-owner Susie Rekakis is one of the cooks who will be showcasing traditional dishes “our mothers and grandmothers used to make” during the event. Alongside business partners Katina Rerakis and Eleni Gerassimou, the women up will be cooking and plating up some classic Cretan dishes, including stuffed zucchini flowers and cheese and mince kalitsounias, little pies whose name quaintly means ‘little socks’.
“At Philhellene and when we cook at the festival, we make things just as our mothers have made them. This is exactly how we cook at home, nothing more, nothing less!”
Traditional cooking methods will also demonstrated by Hellenic Republic head chef Travis McAuley, who has worked alongside George Calombaris for many years before. Meanwhile, the event will also showcase what Victoria calls “haute Greek cuisine”.
Modern Greek chefs such as Philip Vakos from Philhellene Provincial Greek Cuisine and reigning pasta master Vas Donoudis will be whipping up Greek culinary delights with a unique twist.
“This year’s program will plate up a lot of diverse dishes, from what you eat at home, at restaurants and everything in between,” Victoria Kyprianou said.
"It seems it doesn’t matter whether the dishes are traditional or modern, Susie Rerakis sums it up neatly when she says, “Food can be very emotional, people have an emotional connection to the foods their mothers and grandmothers used to make and it is important that Greeks embrace these foods and appreciate the culinary heritage.” And not all of the action will be left for the experts, with punters encouraged to join the Greek coffee competition happening on Sunday 26th February and show off their brewing skills to make the perfect pot of coffee.
Chobani Greek Kitchen will take place on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 February as part of the Lonsdale St Glendi. For more information go to www.antipodesfestival.com.au
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