Greek Cooking Workshop in Southern Peloponnese June 22-29th, 2014Nov 1st, 2013 | By Peter Minakis | Category: Best of Greece, Cooking Tour of Greece, Culinary Experiences in Greece, Culinary Tour of Greece, Featured, Fish, Hotel, How To, Laconia, Meze, Neapoli, Olive Oil, Peloponnese, Phyllo, Sausage, Sweets, Travel, Vegetables, Wine
I am delighted, excited to announce that I will be co-hosting a cooking workshop in the southern Peloponnese. Specifically, we will be based in Neapoli, a port town that’s about 90 minutes southeast of Sparti. Earlier this summer, my tour partners Barbara and Connie introduced me to all the artisans, cooks and participants in the workshop.
The folks involved in the workshop are excited to be a part of this workshop, anticipating the arrival of next summer when this workshop will take place from June 22-29th. The tour begins with all of us meeting in Athens for a casual meet-up and briefing then we head down to Neapoli the next morning.
We will cross the ancient Strait of Corinth and into the Peloponnese and south to Neapoli. What awaits you is a workshop that will take you to a bee keeper, a family where three generations all partake in making various goat cheeses, we’ll visit tavernas that will serve you local and Greek specialties like you haven’t seen in Greektown.
We will be introduced to the local wines from the Batistas family, sample some Greek mezedes, we’ll take a boat to the nearby island Elafonisos and visit swim in the stunning blue waters at Simos Beach then we’ll be hosted by the Menti Bros. who will treat us to one Greece’s best versions of lobster pasta.
We’ll receive instruction on Greek grilling techniques and visit the ancient caves of Kastania. No trip to the region would be complete without visiting Monemvassia, Greece’s own Gibraltar. Later, I’ll show some techniques for making and hand stretching your own phyllo dough.
We will visit the local farmer’s markets, show you how to select, prepare and cook fish and seafood, including octopus. Life is sweet and Greeks like to indulge in syrupy sweets and we’ll instruct you on how to make Loukoumades and Pasteli (sesame snaps).
Barbara, Connie and myself have taken the time to meet each artisan hotelier, taxi driver, cook and restaurant owner leaving nothing to chance. We’re very proud of this workshop and we look forward to seeing you join us next June in Greece.
Greek Cooking Workshop in the Southern Peloponnese – June 22-29, 2014
Greek Cooking Workshop in the Southern Peloponnese – June 22-29, 2014
Greek cuisine is renowned for its fresh, healthy ingredients and simple preparation. Learn to prepare dozens of Greek dishes during a week filled with cooking classes, visits to cheese and honey producers, local wine tasting, olive oil tasting and more.
Greek-Canadian chef Peter Minaki, author of newly-released The Everything Mediterranean Cookbook and much-visited blogsite Kalofagas: Greek Food & Beyond, will be our head chef during the course of the week. Local chefs will assist Peter and divulge some of their favorite recipes.
8:30 am: Departure from Athens by taxi to Neapolis. En route stop in Sparta for lunch and a visit to the Museum of Olive Oil, a recently constructed interactive museum.
3:30 pm: Arrival at Limira Mare Hotel, Neapolis. Check in, rest, swim or walk into charming town.
7:30 pm: Meet at conference room of Limira Mare Hotel to review week’s itinerary and introduce organizers Connie Burke and Barbara Euser and workshop’s head chef, Peter Minaki. Connie will give a short power point presentation on the importance of food in Greek culture, beginning in ancient times. Buffet dinner in the garden of the Limira Mare Hotel.
9:00 am: Departure by taxi to Paraskeva’s honey production facility where we will talk about honey products: gyri (pollen), mead, honey/olive oil creams. We will purchase honey to use in Tuesday’s class on sweets. From there we will go to Baktis goat farm and cheese factory. Tour premises with owner, select cheeses to use in dishes we will prepare for lunch. Taxi to the Neraida taverna, meet Pandelis, the owner/chef. Peter will present class on cooking with goat cheese. We will eat what we have prepared for lunch. Taxi back to Limira Mare for afternoon rest, swim.
9:00 a.m. departure for Elafonisos Island from the Neapolis pier. We will be taking Bobby’s caique – a traditional wooden Greek boat – for the day. In the morning, we will go for a morning swim at Simos Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Greece. From there, Bobby will take us to the small harbor where we will eat lunch at a fish taverna: the local specialty of lobster with spaghetti. After lunch, Bobby will bring us back to Neapolis.
8:00 pm: Evening cooking class at the Limira Mare on sweets. We will make loukamadas and pasteli.
9:00 am: Departure by bus for the Cave at Kastania. The scenic drive takes us over a mountain pass from Neapolis. We will have a guided tour of the cave, then return to Neapolis, stopping briefly to visit the typical mountain village of Faraklo and sample water from its local spring. Lunch on your own.
8:15 pm: Departure from hotel by taxi for home of Tassos and Sylvia Gavrilis in Pasaki near the church and fortress of Aghia Paraskevi. Our host, Tasso, will demonstrate his grilling techniques for local sausage, lamb chops, pancetta and bifteki. He will also teach us how to prepare his “special” barbeque sauce and other dishes that accompany the popular Greek barbeque: grilled vegetables, tzatziki, toasted pita and more.
9:00 am: Walk from the Limira Mare to the weekly farmers’ market – laiki – where we will purchase the vegetable ingredients for today’s class and meal. We will return to the Limira Mare for a class on classic vegetable dishes: papoutsakia, moussaka and others. Evening free.
9:00 am: Taxi departure for Monemvasia. We will explore the ancient fortified town and have lunch on our own at local tavernas.
1:30 pm: Return to Limira Mare.
10:00 am: Walk to Mone Mone for cooking class on preparing octopus: Peter’s octopus mosaic and local specialities: octopus in red wine sauce and octopus with green olives. Eat what we have prepared for lunch, with popular Greek salads and for those who dare, a bit of ouzo.
8:45 pm: Taxi pick-up for Aghia Nikolas and the Neraida for dinner. Live music and Greek dancing. Opa!
10:00 am: Meeting in the conference room at the Limira Mare. Overview of workshop, review of recipes we have learned and presentation to each participant of Peter Minaki’s new cookbook The Everything Mediterranean Cookbook.
11:30 am: Taxi departure for Athens.
Workshop Cost Includes:
Double occupancy rooms at the Limira Mare Hotel. (Single room supplement is $230.)
Meals: dinners on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday; lunches Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday; all including local wines, beer or soda.
Taxi Athens/Neapolis round trip (pick-up from your hotel)
Taxi rides during workshop to our various destinations
All cooking supplies and classes with several local chefs
Excursions to goat farm, Aghio Nikolas, honey facility, Cave at Kastania, Monemvasia, Elafonisos Island.
Cost: U.S. $2475 or 1833 euros or 1540 British pounds
Deposit/Cancellation Policy: A deposit of $750 U.S. must be paid at the time of registration to hold your reservation. $375 is non-refundable. A balance of $1725 must be paid in full six weeks prior to the start of the workshop. Do not make travel reservations until workshop is confirmed. The minimum number of participants is 5 and the maximum is 12.
Transportation to and from Greece and any additional expenses are the participant’s responsibility.
Information and Payment Options: Contact Barbara Euser at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your deposit check made out to Writers’ Workshops International to Barbara Euser, 3465 County Road 23, Fort Lupton, CO, USA 80621.
Further Reading: Venturing in Southern Greece: The Vatika Odysseys, available through www.amazon.com in soft cover or e-book.
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© 2013, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.