A taste of Greece comes to Kenya

By Victor Adar Diaskédasi, the Greek word for fun, is the best description for the Greek Food Festival that happened last month and sponsored by the upscale DusitD2 hotel (Nairobi) and Qatar Airways. The week-long festival was a great experience aimed at promoting Greek culture to Kenyans who came in numbers to have a taste of fine dishes. In the kitchen were two chefs from Greece who are masters on Greek cuisines; they always leave their customers wanting more and more, something which has been attributed to their tradition of practicing culinary arts for a period of over 4000 years. Papadopoulos Giorgos, the head chef prepared the traditional Greek food, which not only entailed calamari and souvlaki, spanakopita and fassolada soup, but also chicken gyros. The chef whipped out mouth watering dishes from the hot kitchen where visitors sampled not only beef meatballs with tomato sauce and Greek cheese, slow-cooked lamb and chicken leg stew, but also red snapper fillet with lemon butter sauce and basil, and roasted zucchini with feta cheese from “Hpeiros”. The festivals’ cold kitchen too did not disappoint. Labelled “Greek Meze Corner, visitors got first hand experience from the taste of Ewe’s milk feta marinated in olive oil and rosemary, spicy feta cheese dip, spicy eggplant, variety of pickles, smoked kingfish and beef, as well as marinated octopus. Delicacies from the bakery included freshly baked bread rolls with “kalamata” olives, “santorini” capers and oregano from Mount Olympus, bread crisps as well as olive grissini. As if that was not enough for dessert, the chef also prepared several pastries that complimented well with the main dishes. Mr Giorgos who is currently the Executive Chef of Domotel Hotels and Resorts (with over two decades of experience in the culinary arts business) has travelled all over the globe preparing his fine delicacies for several dignitaries including the ambassadors from Greece, Netherlands and Kuwait. This was his first visit to Kenya where he said he was happy to have such a lovely crowd. He looks to showcase the beauty of the yet unexplored Greek cuisine to not only the East Africa region but also the entire world. In addition to Greek delicacies, the people were also entertained to live Greek music by the international talented musician, Angelos Christopolos. He played lively music using a music instrument known as a Bouzouki, which is very common in the Greek culture. Having played since he was a young child, the jolly Christopolos has become a master of the instrument that was appreciated and loved by many during the festival. Michael Metaxas, general manager DusitD2 Nairobi said it is high time we took notice and learnt a few lessons from the Greek on how to promote our Kenyan culture all over the world. “Food is an important part of Greek culture. They put their heart, soul and favourite Greek seasoning into many of their delicious delicacies,” he said.

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