I come from a long line of chefs, at least three generations. And the family chefs include my father, grandfather and aunt on one side of the family and my mother’s mother on the other side. I learned to cook while in the kitchen, watching closely and taking in our culinary history.
My grandfather was the head chef on the Greek ocean liner, the Queen Frederica. He passed his vast knowledge on to my father and his sister, Koula, both career chefs and restauranteurs. And the rest is history.
My mother’s mother, my Yiayia Chronis, cooked the food of the Greek island, Karpathos. While that cooking tradition was very different than Athens cuisine, it was delicious in its earthy simplicity.
I am very proud to say that I have carried on my family’s cooking tradition and have perfected the many Greek recipes handed down to me. On occasion, my brother or my cousin will say, “Yours is even better than Yiayia’s was.” What a high compliment!
If you try one of my recipes, you may well say that it’s different from other versions you have tasted before. That’s because techniques, seasonings and spices are unique in every Greek family based on what part of Greece they are from.
You may also say, “This is the best I have ever had.” The credit goes to my families, the Maniatakis family and the Chronis family.
I hope you enjoy our recipes that feature the flavors of Athens and Karpathos.
Kalliope Kathryne Manis (Maniatakis) Findley