Diane Kochilas, Greek-American celebrity chef and award-winning cookbook author and teacher, will once again be teaching her popular “Ikaria — Cooking for Life” course on the Greek island of Ikaria. Ikaria is not only known for its natural beauty, but also for the longevity of its residents. Ikarians routinely live into their 100’s, healthy and fit; and because of this — Ikaria is named a Blue Zone by researchers, (one of 5 areas in the world).
Kochilas believes that taking a culinary class is one of the best ways to stop being a tourist and start being someone who experiences the local culture first-hand. Diane and her husband Vasili Stenos, open their country home, kitchen and garden in the ancient village of Aghios Dimitris to a limited number of guests. They offer a very personalized experience cooking and learning about life and longevity on Ikaria; in fact, it’s been reported that it is a place where it seems that “people forget to die.”
Sign up today for one of the 2016 dates for My Glorious Greek Kitchen Cooking School:
- May 2-8
- June 19-25
- July 3-9
- July 10-16
- Aug 28-Sept 3
The stay on Ikaria is a submersion into the magic of the island — during the visit, participants receive much more than recipes and cooking tips. Kochilas teaches about food, life, and longevity in a way that is both practical and intuitive. As Ikaria natives, Kochilas and her husband help students experience the secrets of longevity and create unforgettable memories on their beautiful island.
The popular week-long program includes plenty of hands-on cooking sessions where students prepare amazing meals with fresh seasonal ingredients including fruits and vegetables straight from the garden. Additionally, they drink the wine recommended by Odysseus, hero of Homer’s Odyssey; learn about the culinary and medicinal value of herbs and other wild plants; make cheese with milk produced by neighbor goats; dip in the therapeutic hot springs favored by Hippocrates; visit traditional beekeepers and harvest local wild honey; and enjoy the cuisine of the island’s local chefs. As a special treat, participants at the cooking school also interact with local villagers and dance to the riffs of Ikarian violins.
Each class is hands-on and organized around a classic Greek meal and menu accompanied by Greek wines and spirits. The recipes are delicious, healthy and authentic, and they are all dishes that can be replicated in a home kitchen. Emphasis is placed on the techniques of Ikaria’s longevity cuisine, learning about the rich and varied use of vegetables, greens and other plant-based foods; making phyllo pastry for savory wild greens pies; mastering avgolemono (egg-lemon sauce); working with Greek yogurt and much more.
For more information and to sign up for the classes: Ikaria Cooking Classes. Guests stay in first-class accommodations in Armenistis overlooking Ikaria’s best beaches. Cost is $3,250 for the week that includes all cooking lessons, other activities, meals, hotel accommodations and travel on the island. Airfare is not included.
Diane Kochilas will be in Berkeley, Ca on November 18, 2015 for a special Ikarian dinner at Pathos restaurant. Additionally, she’ll be teaching classes there on November 18th and 19th. For more information and tickets: pathosrestaurant.com/#!events/c10rs