Tza-tzi-kee. Cooking is a way of communicating with others, and this is exactly what Paula Toro from Chile and Giorgos Katsaounis from the Peloponnese had in mind when they created a cool cooking lesson for visitors who want to know more about the cuisine and food culture of Greece.
Paula had been working in a wedding planning agency on the island and Giorgos was a catamaran captain when they decided on this radical career shift and restored a traditional 1950s house dug out of the rock in Megalochori to house their new endeavor.
“We invite people over to the house to cook,” says Paula as she explains that this isn’t just another run-of-the-mill seminar, but a four-hour, hands-on cooking and socializing session that culminates in a meal. It’s like a gathering of friends or extended family members who have come together to prepare food, and eat and drink around a table.
Participants are invited to one of two time slots (lunch or dinner) and welcomed with a glass of wine and a meze. Then it’s time to get their hands dirty, learning to make five traditional recipes such as tzatziki (the iconic yogurt, cucumber and garlic sauce), Greek salad, tomato fritters, shrimp saganaki (cooked in a tomato sauce) and moussaka.
With the main dish safely in the oven, the chefs relax on the veranda, sipping wine and perusing their gift copies of the Petra Kouzina recipe book before heading to the table. A complimentary dessert and some coffee wrap up the meal they’ve shared with their new Santorini friends.