It’s a frosty Saturday morning, but instead of being wrapped up in bed, customers are already lining up at Prahran Market for Kathy Tsaples’ avgolemono soup.
But it’s not just her comforting chicken soup people are after, with mouth-watering moussaka, lemon-roasted potatoes and chicken, spanakopita fresh out of the oven, and galaktoboureko and baklava for those seeking to satiate their sweet tooth.
“Those things really sell, we almost can’t keep up,” the Sweet Greek owner tells Neos Kosmos.
Five years since opening her store, Kathy says the chance to share her love of the Greek cuisine has only reaffirmed her passion.
“If anything the passion is deeper. Greek food is so much more than just a souvlaki and chips in pita bread, and people now understand that and come in and enjoy the concept,” which she says has grown in popularity since the release of her cookbooks Sweet Greek and Sweet Greek Life.
“People have been buying the books and they come in and talk about cooking the food at home themselves and how they enjoyed it and enjoyed the flavour.”
Now the cook has introduced a new element to her business – catering – giving customers the chance to experience and share the Sweet Greek experience stress-free at home with their guests.
“We specialise in beautiful grazing tables, or as I call them trapezia. It could be afternoon teas, bridal parties, baby showers, anything that requires a beautiful spread of food,” she says.
The Sweet Greek team caters for up to 60 people, with options including everything from beautifully assembled cheese and meat platters with pastourma and house-made loukanika (sausages), open sandwiches, and mini rolls and spanakopites (spinach pies).
There’s also a host of skewers to choose from, little drumettes, lemon-roasted potatoes, dolmades, bamies (okra), and freshly baked village-style breads perfectly paired with condiments including Kathy’s popular feta dip and sweet take on manouri (a semi-soft white cheese).
“What I do sometimes is I get manouri and I grill it and then make a ntomata glyko (tomato spoon sweet) and pour it over the cheese. People can take that as it is and eat it over crusty bread. It all depends on what they’re looking for. But there’s a lot on offer,” Kathy says.
Customers have the option of picking up food on the day or, for convenience can have the Sweet Greek herself bring her rustic aesthetic to the table, complete with beautiful wooden boards and pewter jugs filled with fresh and dried herbs.
“When you look at it, you just want to dive into it, and it’s rustic because it’s how I eat; it’s how we eat as a family. I find it comfortable and easy, and that’s how I want to give it to others as well. You put it all out there and people line up, get their plate and fill it up. Full and abundant,” Kathy says, for whom food truly is all about family, and a celebration of life.
“When I get the opportunity to put together a table like this in all its glory with beautiful colours, textures, flavours, and aromas and look at the smiles on people’s faces it gives you an immense pleasure that very few things can. It’s just glorious.”
To organise catering for your next event, visit The Sweet Greek stall at the Prahran Market or call (03) 9826 0608. Sweet Greek and Sweet Greek Life available for purchase in store or from all good bookstores. For more, visit sweetgreek.com.au/home/