November was a busy month for celebrity chef and author Diane Kochilas following the October launch of her PBS 13-part series, My Greek Table. The series is also co-sponsored by the National Hellenic Society.
Diane was the featured guest at four NHS chapter-hosted events along with NHS Executive Director Art Dimopoulos in Salt Lake City, UT, hosted by member John Saltas, in Seattle, WA, hosted by co-chair Elizabeth Grillos, in San Diego, CA, hosted by co-chair Gerry Ranglas, and concluded in Los Angeles, CA, hosted by member Thelma Nickols Waxman. Guests were treated to Diane's wealth of Greek cooking historical tips along with a Greek cheese tasting and wine from the Padis Vineyards in Seattle and Los Angeles.
"People have a really close tie to land, even to this day. That's one of the beauties of Greece," she shared in Los Angeles. "Cheese was not always consumed in these vast quantities. Shepherds to survive used to have to sell their milk so cheese was something you ate sparingly up until maybe 50 or 60 years ago. Certainly in places like Ikaria that were dirt poor, cheese was almost a treat. It wasn't something you were eating every day."
A born teacher, every summer since 2003, Diane together with her husband, Vasilis Stenos, has run the Glorious Greek Cooking School on her native island, Ikaria, a Blue Zone, renowned for the longevity of its inhabitants. She is an award-winning author of 18 books on Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. Her next book, the companion book to My Greek Table, will be published in fall 2018. Currently, she is at work on a healthy Greek Quick Service Restaurant concept and is expanding her travel and teaching business to include other parts of Greece. Diane divides her time between New York City, Ikaria, and Athens.
For more information, please visit www.dianekochilas.com. Tune in on PBS to watch My Greek Table, or online at http://www.pbs.org/show/my-greek-table/.