I started to cook when I left home for the UK. It was necessity. It developed into an obsession and now it’s a passion. Food and drink in Greece is the essence of your being, it’s the social life and the manna of all interaction.
During my first year in the UK, I remember sitting on a bus with the driver more lost than me. He was as new to the area as I was. And so the conversation went:
- So, you are Greek, eh? You must be cooking very well.
- Well, I try my best, it’s not exactly my strong point. ( I could just about fry an egg back then)
- But, you know, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know now. All these years at home, around the kitchen of your mother and grandmother you have been watching them and smelling and feeling the food.
- Yes, that’s true, but it’s not exactly straight forward you know.
- Don’t worry, you will see, it will come to you. He was sniggering to himself.
And he was damn right, because I started to cook more. When you are away from home, the food connects you to the place you came from. I was really lucky to work in an office with 45 translators from around the world. We all missed home and food was our ultimate connection. We bonded over each taste of home and would go out of our way to prepare dishes for each other, sharing them in the little 30 minute breaks we could spare for lunch. It was one of the richest and tastiest experiences I have had.
Now I am back in Athens, after 8 years of wandering. As I delve into the mysteries of the Greek kitchen a little deeper, and discover what’s on in this city that, when I left it, would never sleep, I promise to share my adventures with you.