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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Nouvelle Greek cuisine (Νέα ελληνική κουζίνα)

I'm in the kitchen, cooking my frozen garden-grown fasolakia...

... when husband calls out to me: "Come and see!" So I rush into the living room to see what he's watching on TV, which happens to be an ad for a new food programme (the man's-heart-stomach thing is not just a cliche). Dr Cook does leg of lamb, roasted floury potatoes, and other very pretty looking food that reminds us of nothing to do with traditional Greek food, but something from the web pages of the slick fashionable food-based webzines.

Post by Organically Cooked.
Nevertheless, Dr Cook (Yiannis Loukakos) represents the trend that Greek cooks are moving towards - international cuisine with pretty plating. This is also the way that Greeks want to cook.

Right after the Dr Cook ad comes along another ad featuring yet another new-TV-season food programme on the same channel: I've just come from the Polis - Από την Πόλη έρχομαι (as Greeks, we all know that 'Polis' refers to Istanbul when it was still known as Constantinople), which has been filmed entirely in Turkey.

Post by Organically Cooked.
Now, this cook (Μαρία Εκμεκτσίογλου) seems to be doing things along traditional lines, piling mountains of traditional food on platters, a bit like the way I present my own food in my kitchen. Although plating is also important in 'poLItiki kouZIna', the ingredients in combination with the spices and cooking techniques are what arouse the senses. And this is also the way urban Greeks like to think we cook, using an Asia Minor granny's secret recipes.

Both these two new shows, which are to start being screened on the same weekend, give us a hint of the dilemma most Greeks are facing these days - should I stay (traditional) or should I go (global)?

On the same channel yet again, another food show has already started screening: it's called No Recipe and it features the Greek celebrity chef Dimitris Skarmoutzos, often nick-named 'the chef with the tattoos'. he's teamed up with FAGE yoghurt, which uses his recipes on their packaging.


He uses a mixture of travel and food (a bit like Ilias Mamalakis used to do) to present his own recipes using unusual Greek ingredients.

Not everyone will be able to watch these Greek food shows, as they are only being streamlined in Greece. (If you do not live in Greece or you don't have a Greek IP address, you will need the help of a hacker.) This group of Greeks will be waiting to see what their local food markets will offer them in terms of Greek products.

Click here to see what's being sold abroad as Greek food - and take part in the giveaway, if you like, of a Greek product that is being specifically targeted for the foreign market.

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