Tally and Christos are providing a home hospitality and cooking tuition venture which aims to give guests and students a taste of authentic Cretan cuisine and hospitality. They have a comfy double room and a twin room in a beautiful traditional Cretan village, and access to other local accommodation for larger groups. Their cooking programme is flexible and can be adapted to meet any particular needs.
Before deciding on our cooking programme for the week we started with a warm evening walk around the village to pick seasonal herbs - thyme, oregano, sage and capers all of which grow in abundance in the wild. Planning then commenced with a large glass of very good Cretan white while food was discussed, fantasized over and finally agreed on.
Our hosts are very knowledgeable about all aspects of local food and ingredients, how it made and where to find the best. Tuition is friendly and unassuming, suitable for novice chefs or those wishing to expand their knowledge. It’s as hands on and as much fun as you want it to be. We even picked capers which we prepared and pickled.
We spent one whole session planning, preparing and then eating a tester vegetarian celebration dinner for our daughter who was still at home, including local delicacies, dips, and sampling local cheeses.
The sea is warm (21c in June) and beaches are clean and safe, however they are 10 minutes drive away so you might want to take advantage of some of the low cost air conditioned cars that Tally can arrange. There are also plenty of excellent local tavernas, Minoan ruins and other things to occupy yourself when it’s too hot even to think about food.
Christos and Tally have well established careers in hospitality and academia and business respectively. During our stay we met some other connections of theirs who are involved in Cretan archaeology, forensic archaeology of food and re creating the ancient diet of the island, along with wide experience of the Middle East. Everyone in Greece has at least three opinions on Greek politics and the various ineptitudes of their government so conversation flows freely.
Things you need to know. Take a notebook to write down recipes. Christos has a wide fund of tips and ideas which it’s easy to forget by next day. A car is pretty much a must, days start late and end late. It’s too hot to cook or eat much before 9 pm, so plan in a swim or siesta, and possibly a late start. The local custom is that every drink is accompanied by a little snack ‘ for the drink’ and possibly a glass of local excellent Raki. While Cretan food is very low in saturated fat and red meat, don’t expect to lose weight. The village is steep, cars park outside the village and steps are everywhere so it’s probably not best suited to Zimmer frames or buggies.
Would I do this again? Yes. Will I do this again? Yes. When will I do this again? As Soon as my waistline has recovered.
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