A new show by Greek-American cookbook author Diane Kochilas called “My Greek Table” is coming to US TV screens this fall in a series which sees the celebrity chef traveling around Greece and dishing up a delectable blend of history, recipes and culinary tips.
“It will be a major advertisement for Greece and we hope it will inspire Americans to come to this beautiful country and visit places other than just Mykonos and Santorini,” US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt said at a recent presentation of the show at his Athens residence.
“One of the things I have learned in Greece is never to express your preference for a particular region. You will never manage to make everyone happy,” Pyatt said. Nevertheless, he did admit that the Peloponnese, which features in the first episode of the new show, “combines some of my favorite aspects of Greece.”
The event at the US ambassador’s residence was a relaxed affair attended by people in the tourism, agricultural, food and wine industries who were also treated to a screening of the first episode, in which Kochilas talks about Greek olives and olive oil, traveling to Kalamata and Sparta.
“The reason we chose to start our journey with Kalamata olives is that this is Greece’s most famous product in the United States,” explained Kochilas, who writes, presents and co-produces the show.
Born and raised in New York to a Greek father from the island of Ikaria and an Italian mother, Kochilas has lived in Greece for the past 25 years. Her new show is aimed at presenting the country as she knows it to American viewers, while also hoping to convince them to visit the country and taste its dishes for themselves.
Thirteen episodes have been shot so far, with more expected, and the format is for Kochilas to start each show in the country’s fields, farms and seas, then to look at the manufacturing of local products, before heading to the kitchen to get cooking.
“My Greek Table” is a production of Resolution Pictures Productions in association with Maryland Public Television, distributed by American Public Television. It premieres on PBS channels in the United States on Friday.