http://www.dianekochilas.com/ Diane Kochilas discusses the Blue Zone Ikaria, where the local longevity rates are unusually high. People live well into their 90s on a healthy Mediterranean-Greek diet of vegetables, grains, greens, red wine and little meat. They also live without stress in slow-paced villages and farming communities.
Diane Kochilas is an internationally known food writer, cookbook author, culinary teacher and food consultant. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Gourmet, Saveur, Food & Wine, Eating Well and in other food and general-interest publications.
In Greece, she is the weekly food columnist and restaurant critic for the country's largest newspaper, Ta Nea. She has written 17 books in both English and Greek on Greek and Mediterrranean cuisine, including the award-winning The Glorious Foods of Greece. She is the owner of the Glorious Greek Kitchen cooking school on the island of Ikaria and she is consulting chef and partner at New York's Pylos restaurant, one of the top-rated Greek restaurants in the city as well as consulting chef at Avli Restaurant in Chicago.
She is also a consultant for Hellenic Gourmet, the duty free food shops at the Venizelos International Airport and around Greece, to help upgrade the store's selection and source product. Her knowledge of Greek regional foods, wines, and culinary lore is extensive.
* The Country Cooking of Greece, Chronicle Books. Scheduled for Spring 2012
* Aegean Cuisine. ΚΕΤΑ, Syros 2009
* The Dictionary of Greek Food, (in Greek) Τα Νέα, Athens, 2007-2008 (12 volumes)
* The Northern Greek Wine Roads Cookbook (in Eng. And Greek), ENOABE pub., Spring 2008 Mastiha Cuisine—More than 50 Recipes with the World's Most Seductive Spice, MastihaShop Publishers. Athens. Dec. 2007
* Mediterranean Grilling. William Morrow Publishers, New York, Spring 2007
* Varoulko: Aromas and Flavors. This is a chef's book I authored. Ell. Grammata Publishers, Athens, 2007
* Classic-Iconoclastic (editor) Hellenic Foreign Trade Board, Athens. 2006
* Hortomania (in Greek), Ell. Grammata pub., Athens 2005
* Against the Grain: 150 Good Carb Mediterranean Recipes. William Morrow Publishers, New York, August 2005.
* Street Food. Motivo Publishers, Athens, Greece, 2004.
* Meze: Small Plates to Savor and Share from the Mediterranean Table. William Morrow Publishers, 2003
* Μεζές (transl. of above). Minoas Publishers. 2003
* The Glorious Foods of Greece, William Morrow Publishers, New York, March 2001
* H Ellada tis Gefseis (transl. of above). Εκδ. Ελληνικά Γράμματα, 2003
* Four Seasons of Delicious Food (in Greek). Livanis Publishers, Athens, 1998
* Τhe Greek Vegetarian. St. Martin's Press, New York, Nov. 1996
* The Food and Wine of Greece, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1990
As a journalist, having an op ed piece published in the Washington Post was a feather in the proverbial cap. Here's the link to my essay on the Greek economy and how it is reflected in the country's recent food history. ATHENS
The largest-circulation daily paper in Greece, Ta Nea, recently did away with its restaurant reviews, which had been assiduously written week after week for almost 20 years by this professional diner. Athenians are feeling the crisis acutely -- and many have lost their appetite for spending on what, until recently, was a favorite pastime: eating out (in largely overpriced restaurants).
It occurred to me upon hearing the news that I, like the rest of the country, would be going on a much-needed diet and that the Athens food scene has reflected Greek society and its changes over the past two decades.
When I moved to Athens in 1992, I arrived on the cusp of a culinary and social revolution. The Athens I knew in the 1970s and '80s was a provincial city of bougainvillea-draped neighborhood tavernas, mostly family-run, that were cheap enough to visit almost nightly. The wine was rough and the service rougher, but the real reason for going was social. The dining scene was commendably egalitarian; even Aristotle Onassis mixed with the hoi polloi.
But Greece evolved. With tourism bringing the enticements of affluence and with the return of a generation of Greeks who had studied abroad and become more sophisticated in their tastes, the classless taverna was eclipsed by high-design restaurants where people could show off their ease with chopsticks and discuss whether a risotto was sufficiently al dente. By the mid-1990s, foreign cuisines were reaping the top prizes in nascent restaurant awards. Beyond the few lingering neighborhood tavernas, souvlaki joints and tourist traps in the Plaka area, there were few notable Greek restaurants in the capital. In retrospect, the country was wholeheartedly forsaking its traditional cuisine and, by extension, its traditional values.