Cretan Creative Cuisine

“Pulses, greens, vegetables, cereal, honey, wine, herbs and naturally the use of olive oil have characterized Cretan Diet since antiquity” George Makris the President of the Chefs’ Club of Crete underlined in an interview to “In-On” magazine regarding the contribution of ancient Cretan Diet to tourism.
Question: To what extend has ancient Cretan cuisine helped the tourist development of Crete?
Answer: Nowadays, Cretan Diet is widely-known. Cretan cuisine can become a pole that attracts tourists and for that reason there is a coordinated effort to integrate Cretan breakfast in the hotel network and promote it as much as possible. Tourists have the opportunity to taste Cretan products, which are preferable due to their good quality, they recognize and choose them wherever they see them. This can significantly help the promotion of Cretan products abroad with reasonable benefits for economic growth and tourism.
Question: What are the differences between ancient Cretan cuisine and today’s?
Answer: Cretan Diet has its roots deep in antiquity and shows us the way to a better quality of life as well as wellbeing. Recent archaeological excavations and study of written material have revealed new data that prove that ancient Cretan Diet has a lot in common with the contemporary one.
Regarding the differences it can be noted that although Crete is an island, Ancient Cretans did not particularly prefer seafood and they were not regular meat eaters.
However, the similarities are certainly more than the differences. Pulses, greens, vegetables, cereal, honey, wine, herbs and naturally the use of olive oil have “sealed” Cretan Diet since antiquity.
Question: Tell us about the new dishes that have been created after the discovery of the benefits of the ancient Cretan Diet
Answer: There are many new dishes based on ancient Cretan Diet, but over time they have been evolved according to modern data related to taste.
Dishes like: Dried beans with artichokes, bulbs vinaigrette, beans with onion, lamp with avronies plant and kid in the oven with honey and thyme which continue to be cooked since ancient times.
Also, the development of ancient Cretan Diet is evident in the following dishes: Kalitsounia with spinach, fennel or weed, sfakian pies, meat pie, snails cooked with various recipes, bourek from Chani, apaki or syglino (smoked pork), local sausage, dakos (Cretan Rusk with tomato, oregano, feta cheese and olive oil) and dairy products such as Cretan gruyere, cream cheese and staka butter.
Curriculum Vitae
George Makris was born on January 14th 1977, in Chania.  He studied in the School of Tourism in Rhodes from which he graduated in 1999. There are many milestones in his professional career such as: Grand Hotel, the Casino of Rhodes, Catering Moderno, Asterion Hotel. At the age of 30, he started to give his knowledge to people who wanted to become chefs, teaching at IEK XINIS, for state vocational schools in Chania and also in the Employment Agency in Chania. Today, he is a teacher in a private school of culinary art in Chania and he finds the role of the teacher very significant. He mentions “A teacher that respects his students should devote time to read and also constantly monitor the new trends in the profession”. Moreover, he is an advocate of the Cretan Creative cuisine and stresses «What I am trying to do in my dishes is to highlight the clarity of the raw materials and combine them harmoniously with the uniqueness of the herbs and aromas of Crete”.
Today he works as an Executive Chef in Galini Sea View and Galini Beach &Eden Hotels.

Source of publication 22th issue In-On

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