Award-winning author, health coach, teacher and chef Maria Benardis from Sydney, Australia is bringing her culinary tour to New York City for a series of classes and dinners. Benardis is the founder of Greekalicious, Sydney’s first exclusively Greek cooking school that expanded into catering services, restaurant consulting, pop-up restaurants, private chef services, an organic line of products, culinary tours to Greece and after completing studies at the Food health coaching. Benardis has brought her classes and dinners to the United States, where she’s hosting a series of cooking classes at CoCoMat on Mercer Street in Soho. The course schedule is as follows and the full calendar is here.
Sunday, August 2nd- 12:00-2:30PM
Greekalicious Cooking Class Series: Ancient Greek Favorites
There are many ancient Greek dishes that have become timeless traditional Greek favorites. Students will discover some of these dishes and how they have metamorphosed from ancient times to the way they are cooked today. Learn how to cook Spicy Lamb souvlaki with fennel, cumin and lemon zest (GF), Greek cheese & Kalamata olive filo pies (Veg), barley, pomegranate and fresh herb salad (Veg/Veg) and loukoumades (Greek doughnuts) with honey, cinnamon and walnuts (Veg/V).
Thursday, August 13th- 6:30-9:00PM
Greekalicious Cooking Class Series: Greekalicious Favorites
This class will have a selection of dishes that are Maria’s favorites from her published books. They will include cherry and feta salad with pastourma (GF), summer squash (zucchini) and haloumi fritters (Veg), kasseri cheese and fresh fig filo pies (Veg) and chocolate loukoumades (Greek doughnuts) (Veg).
Wednesday, August 19th- 6:30-9:00PM
Greekalicious Cooking Class Series: A Grecian Seafood Odyssey – A journey with Archestratus
The ancient Greek poet Archestratus (also known as the Father of Gastronomy) wrote a humorous cookbook in verse entitled “The Life of Luxury” that discussed the many ways to cook seafood and where to buy the best according to the season. This was the first cookbook ever written. Many of the fragments that survived from this book are centered on how to best cook fish and other seafood. In this class students will explore Archestratus’s wisdom on how to best cook seafood. Learn to make some of the recipes Maria has developed using the Archestratus wisdom including crispy cumin calamari, ouzo spiked oysters (GF), mastic infused kataifi prawns, and baked fish parcels with tomatoes, fennel, herbs and capers (GF). The seafood will be accompanied with a Greek lettuce and dill salad with ladolemono (Veg/Veg/GF).
Sunday, August 30th- 12:00-2:30PM
Greekalicious Cooking Class Series: The Art of Meze eating and the meze table
In Greek cooking, the aim of serving meze is to whet the appetite, not to satisfy it—a nibbling session of sorts. The strategy is to tease and prepare the palate before the main course. In this class students will prepare a variety of small plates. Dishes will include tirokafteri (Spicy Feta Dip) (Veg/GF) with pita chips, Rosemary, chili and Garlic Kalamata Olives, Kale and Quinoa Dolmades (Veg/GF/V) with Garlic, Lemon and Cumin Yoghurt Dipping Sauce, spanakopita (spinach and feta filo pies) (Veg) and haloumi cheese dolmades (haloumi cheese wrapped in vine leaves with herbs and lemon) (Veg/GF).
Maria Benardis is also the author of two cookbooks titled “My Family Table”, which won the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Awards – Best Mediterranean Cuisine Book in Australia 2009 and “Cooking & Eating Wisdom for Better Health” (BALBOA). Most recently Maria put out an eBook including 127 pages of recipes passed between generations. “A Greekalicious Feast” is available on Amazon for Kindle, Barnes & Noble for Nook and the Apple iBook store for iPad. In 2014 Benardis moved to New York City to expand the Greekalicious brand and to share her wisdom and passion about Greek cooking across America.