“Who is that?” the lovely grocery store’s clerk asked me, sensing something familiar about the woman that was with me. “Diane Kochilas,” I replied. His face lit up. “Oh!”
It was not surprising that the Athenian clerk recognized the charming woman in her forties. The chef, who lives between the Greek capital, Ikaria Island, and New York (where she was born), has made multiple international television appearances, notably alongside Martha Stewart and Anderson Cooper.
Author of 18 recipe books and consultant for North American restaurants such as Boukiès and Pylos in New York, Avil in Chicago, and Valos in Toronto, she is passionate about her ancestors’ cuisine. “Greek food can be both nutritional and gourmet,” she claims.
Diane Kochilas also gives cooking classes at her home in Athens, as well as on Ikaria Island, where she started the school Glorious Greek Food with her husband, Vassilis Stenos. “I invite people over,” she says, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. She additionally offers guided tours that focus on the food in her corner of the world.
During their trip to Greece, Oikos’ Canadian Ambassadors, chefs Martin Juneau and Anthony Sedlak, were able to concoct some typical recipes in the warm Kochilas-Stenos home. Classics like tzatziki sauce were on the menu, but also a version with a personal touch, apricots. Traditional cuisine, perhaps, but definitely not conventional.
Moreover, for those interested: she shares many recipes on her website, some of which are yogurt-based. Hours and hours of pleasure…