my pumpkin soup (in a pumpkin) on this Thanksgiving

Happy turkey day, friends and foes.

My lovely pumpkin recipe for today.

Pulp from 1 big and gorgeous pumpkin that you roast in the oven for 45 minutes in oven at 200 °C (drizzle some olive oil), add it to a big pot with a big knob of butter and swirl of olive oil, pump in there 3 garlic cloves (roughly chopped), 2 white onions (roughly chopped), 2 sage leaves, and one sweet potato (roughly chopped). Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Top off with vegetable broth just to cover the vegetables. Season away with salt, pepper, and cook this beauty off for about 15 minutes over medium heat. Give it a good blitz (purée), let it simmer for another 5 minutes. 

I tend to serve it with a spoonful of Greek yogurt or mascarpone folks.

Give thanks. And smile.


Guardian features Greek food

As a Guardian reader, I have noticed a pleasant trend in the past few months. Greek food is being featured more heavily by our friends in London.

Recent post highlights a food venture called Mazi Mas. Recipes seem to be all kosher (although the tzatziki one does not call for dill when it should). I will get my hands on my mother's melomakarona recipe (that Greek traditional Christmas cookie), tweek it for non-Greeks to make it more versatile, and share with you all.

Slightly crazy that we are starting to talk about Christmas.

Photo credit: Elena Heatherwick for the Guardian


get this blogging started

Looking back at 2008, and 2009, my passion for posting here was much more evident.

Colleague at WHO has just requested a cupcake recipe. Let me think.



But the Instagram and twitter accounts, and our Facebook page are in full swing.

Greece has been in turmoil. And I have failed to provide continent here for our loving readers.

This will change.


I ate lamb's brain at the finest restaurant in Greece

Orange explosion (source: www.funkygourmet.com)

We may be a country in the midst austerity, but Greece's capital still boasts a range of fine dining options. Three weeks ago, I had the pleasure of being exposed to the taste menu at Funky Gourmet, the culinary hot spot in Athens. Nestled in a quiet side street in the Keramikos neighborhood in the city centre, Funky Gourmet proudly harbors two Michelin stars. Yes, folks. Not one, but two big bad-ass stars. In a city riddled with tavernas, Funky is an outlier. And a good outlier. The chefs, Georgianna Hiliadaki and Nick Roussos, are young, hip, and have had training in Manhattan. They also happen to co-own the restaurant with another partner.

The restaurant itself  is housed within a beautifully charming neoclassical building, whose interior is minimalist black and grey. I tend to be critical of lighting in most restaurants, and the . I loved the design, despite the steep staircase where by the end of the evening, I almost lost my footing. Too much lovely wine courtesy of Domaine Gerovasiliou.

The dishes are whimsical, delicious, playful, with careful thought given to taste, texture, presentation, and the use of Greek elements. I keep forgetting we actually have truffles, and very good ones mind you, from the Greek mainland.

The menu procession as follows:

"Salsify in the soil". Greek bottarga with white chocolate, a crispy taco...

"Pastitsio", which felt in fact like a little cannelloni, but was beautifully flavourful and evoked memories of my childhood.

A "picnic", where they set up a red plaid napkin, followed by a BLT sandwich, the most moist meatball I ever tasted, some nuts, and a boiled egg.

Coulouri bread and cretan buttermilk, paired with Fresh Chios Beer

Topinambour ‘a la polita’

"Kakavia" fish soup Shabu, which was splendid.

Langoustine (it's a mini-lobster of sorts for those who are not familiar, which are very common in Greek cuisine) from the island of Chios.

A green risotto of snails entitled "earthy aromas". Brilliant, original, and delicious.

To clean the palate, one imagines some sorbet of lemon and ginger. Not here. We were presented with a sorbet ball of 'xoriatiki' (which translates to 'Greek salad'). The immediate taste was cucumber, followed by tomato, and a residual aftertaste of oregano. A very creative twist.

The Silence of the Lamb. A beautiful piece of lamb. The brain to be precise. Last time I had brain was in Mykonos during the feast of 'hirosfagia' in November of last year, but that was from a 100kg pig. It was

The feta cheese that wished to be a beetroot. It was a truffle of sorts, a ball of feta encapsulated by a gel of beetroot. Earthy and sweet in flavour. Lovely, just lovely.

Some dish I can't recall. I was starting to get light-headed by the copious amount of wine.

Chocolate soup. Enough said.

Orange explosion. This was the final display of culinary drama for the evening, with a bowl filled with real orange leaves, some chocolate truffles Waiters proceeded to fill the bowl with dry ice, after which we were allowed to actually have a hold of the chocolate delights. The sensation of a cold truffle exploding with the wondrous flavour of orange chocolate in one's mouth shall not be forgotten. Never. Ever.


In closing, when you are next in Athens, try to pay a visit if you don't happen to be on a strict budget.

Address: 13 Paramythias St and Salaminos, Keramikos 104 35 Αθηνα / Athína
Phone: +302105242727
Website: www.funkygourmet.com