Greek Cooking and “Life” with Diane & Vassilis on Ikaria. 2015 Dates: June 21 – 27 / June 28 – July 4 / July 5 – July 11
Visit us on Ikaria, our sleepy backwater and beautiful Aegean island, which was recently catapulted to fame in a New York Times Magazine article which touted its stress-free ways, delicious, healthy diet and the amazing longevity of its denizens. Join us for a taste of this amazing lifestyle!
Savour the warm embrace of an undiscovered Greek island in summer. Learn the secrets of great, healthful, simple dishes in a timeless Greek village. Delight in the treats of a flourishing organic garden. Wine, dine and unwind for an unforgettable week of convivial and cultural pleasures with Diane and Vassilis on the lush, unhurried, “Blue Zone” island of Ikaria.
The week also includes visits to wineries, cheese makers, beekeepers and farmers. A visit on the other side of the island is planned for a dip in at Therma, Ikaria’s completely untrammelled mineral springs, where guests can enjoy the therapeutic waters heralded by the Father of Medicine, Hippocrates.
Classes are hands-on and each session is organized around a full meal and menu, accompanied by tastings of wines and spirits both from Ikaria as well as from all over Greece. Every meal is chock full of delicious and healthy Greek recipes, selected both because they are authentic but also because they are all dishes you can replicate back home in your own kitchen.
We dine outside in our garden, under a trellis where 150-year-old wild vines provide shade, overlooking a rugged, lush valley and the northern coast of Ikaria. We cook five hands-on classes together during the week, during which we go through the techniques of Greek cooking, such as making one’s own phyllo pastry for savory pies, mastering avgolemono (egg-lemon liaison), working with Greek yogurt and much more.
We also take our guests to dine in local tavernas where they savor local Ikarian and Greek-island specialties.
Every meal is chock full of a variety of dishes, and we work hard to create alternatives for guests who might have dietary restrictions.
• Daily 3-4 hour hands-on cooking session and meal with internationally acknowledged Greek cooking expert Diane Kochilas and her husband and partner Vasilis Stenos. Together, they create an environment where guests can really enjoy the laid-back spirit of Ikaria.
• Visit with a local shepherd, Yianis, in the middle of a neighboring pine forest, where we milk goats then make kathoura, Ikaria’s local cheese.
• One of the highlights of the week is our walk along the foot paths and pine forests with Lefteris, a local naturalist, who teaches us about Ikaria’s flora, herbal tea and how to make it (including a tasting), and wild greens.
• Cheese, honey, wine, and olive oil tastings. Throughout the week, we taste a variety of Greek cheeses, different honeys and olive oils from several parts of the country.
• Our visit with one of Ikaria’s most accomplished beekeepers in action, to see the whole process from hive to extraction.
• A dip in the unique, therapeutic waters of Ikaria’s mineral springs at Therma.
• A night (date permitting) to one of the unforgettable local village feasts, to dance, wine, and dine.
• Dancing lesson with Ursula, an excellent and acclaimed local dance teacher.
GUESTS STAY IN FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS RIGHT NEAR IKARIA’S BEST BEACHES.
COST: $2,750 PER PERSON
CLICK HERE TO SEE A SAMPLE OF THE WEEK’S PROGRAM.