Gastronomy Days 2013
Photo and text by Mirella Kaloglou & Panos Diotis.
On May 25th, Little Cooking Tips was at Benaki Museum - Pireos 138 for the 1st "Gastronomy Days" festival: An event, designed for exchanging ideas and views on Greek Gastronomy and Greek products, spanning 3 days, from 24 to 26 May 2013. The "honoured destination" for this year was the island of Limnos(Lemnos). This aims at promoting a specific region of Greece each year, its products and unique characteristics.
Journalists, chefs, food bloggers along with Greek farmers/producers with amazing new products, were all present. Three days full of presentations, live cooking sessions and interesting discussions on the present and future of Greek Gastronomy.
For the first time, some many chefs, food editors, people from design, marketing and new media, and the Greek State (Ministry of Tourism), came together united in the common goal of promoting Greek Gastronomy. The event was breaking ground in the exchange of views among all parties engaged.
Of course, Little Cooking Tips couldn't be absent in such an event. We discovered many new local farmers/producers and their innovative products and discussed with them on the issues such businesses are facing. What was common among all producers/exhibitors was the excellent quality of their products, the innovative thinking, and the optimism, which was refreshing!
Photo: Courtesy of www.imeres-gastronomias.gr
We watched ms. Tina Webb in a 'art de la table' presentation, were she showed as a glimpse of her talent; how someone can use simple everyday materials -she used existing materials on the event - to create an impressive table, as long as uses his/hers creativity. Of course such a presentation drew a large excited crowd which appreciated ms. Webb work.
Next, we moved to the Lecture Hall, were most of the visitors were present, for a discussion of the role of Media in shaping the modern Gastronomy in Greece. In the discussion the particpants were: Eleni Psyhouli (food editor/tv food show hostess), Thalia Tsihlaki (food editor), Ioanna Stamatopoulou ("olive" magazine's editor in chief), Dimitris Maheridis (journalist), Panagiotis Beltzinitis (photographer) and Christos Sokolis (coordinator).
The discussion was vibrant and kept the audience interested throughout its duration. Many different views were expressed, accoring to each speaker's profession/angle of view. So, we heard the journalist's view, the food editor's view, the photographer's view and at the end, with the participation of the audience, we heard the views of restaurateurs and food bloggers.
Once the discussion was completed, we went to the Atrium, where chef Alexandros Papandreou had just started the preparation of summer ouzo appetizers ('meze'), based on products existing in the exhibition. Always friendly with the audience, and willing to respond to any questions set, he welcomed the people who had gathered in mass.
We had the honour to see mr. Papandreou creating imaginative exceptional appetizers, which we also tasted. During each dish's preparation, the chef was calling next to him the producer of each ingredient, who was explaining the product's details.
Having gathered so many beautiful experiences, we departed from the event, hoping that next year it will be repeated, with an even greater success. That, is in our opinion guaranteed, after such an amazing, well-designed event this year.