My Greek Table with Diane Kochilas

My Greek Table with Diane Kochilas | Weekdays at 6P | Starts May 23

ABOUT

Hosted by chef, award-winning cookbook author and restaurateur Diane Kochilas, this culinary/travel series celebrates Greek history and culture through delicious food. Join Diane as she travels throughout Greece and its islands, where she explores many of the foods that Greece is known for (olive oil, feta, honey, yogurt and more), and discovers the country’s traditions. Then watch Diane create simple home-cooked meals using the featured ingredients in each episode, and learn her tips on how to cook and pair them in a traditional Greek meal. In each episode, Diane takes viewers on a journey that will inspire them to travel to this beautiful country. She visits Greek-island home kitchens, sails in the deepest blue sea on earth, showcases some of the world’s most stunning archeological sites, and explores the food continuum that is Greek cuisine, from prehistory to the present. “Greek cuisine is healthy, delicious and extremely varied. It goes way beyond baklava and gyros,” says Kochilas, a New York native who now resides in Athens. “With My Greek Table, I want to reveal a country and a culinary point of view that feeds my soul and has shaped me into the person and chef that I am today.”

My Greek Table with Diane Kochilas was nominated for a 2019 International Association of Culinary Professionals Award for Independent Video or TV Series.

WATCH

EPISODES

Episode 301: Food Secrets of Mykonos

On a cruise ship to Mykonos, Diane discovers not the dazzling cosmopolitan side of Greece’s most iconic party island, but the quiet life and food of its local farmers. She cooks with a young chef who is breathing new life into the island’s traditional recipes, discovers onion pie, delicious cured pork, and one of the oldest cheeses in the world, called kopanisti, still made by the few remaining farm families on the island. In the kitchen, inspired by Mykonos, she makes a garlicky local pasta recipe, and a Greek island fish soup.

Episode 302: The Athenian Riviera

Who says you need to go to the islands for a bit of sea and sun? One of the most charming aspects of life in Athens, but one often overlooked by the millions of visitors who pass through every year, is the seaside resort area locals like to call the Athenian Riviera. From gorgeous cafes, to bustling nightlife, traditional fish markets right off the boat, yachting and other water sports, and so much more, the area just 20 minutes south of the Greek capital is a world away. Diane visits a fish market where the catch is literally right off the boat, enjoys a sail along the coast, and returns to her own kitchen to transform that urban sea breeze into three delicious, contemporary Greek recipes, inspired by the cosmopolitan bustle and fun-loving spirit of the Athenian coast.

Episode 303: Tinos: Ancient Marble, Timless Flavors

Within almost swimming distance of Mykonos, the small neighboring island of Tinos couldn’t be more different. Renowned for its tradition of marble sculpting and home to some of the most...marvelous...flavors in the Aegean, Tinos is magical. Diane visits a famous local marble sculptor and segues into the island’s own sculpted landscape en route to visit an old friend and great cook, where she learns the secrets of pinched sweet cheese cakes, ancient sesame-honey confections and more. Back in her own kitchen, she creates a luscious Tinos-style artichoke bread pudding and red mullet in caper sauce, both Tinos traditional specialties.

Episode 304: The Navarino Challenge

In this episode, Diane meets up with ultramarathoner and friend Dean Karnazes, who is in Messinia to run the Navarino Challenge. She dares to take a run with him, and on the road he helps Diane hone her technique, sharing healthy eating and running tips as they enjoy a jog through nature. Together they make a simple Greek salad with local ingredients and enjoy surroundings that exemplify perfect Mediterranean living. Back in her kitchen, Diane cooks up a very healthy plant-forward Messinian meal, with lots of olive oil, beans and greens.

Episode 305: Tasty Teardrops and Tomatoes: Chios

Locals like to tell you that Christopher Columbus lived here, on this wealthy yet relatively undiscovered island in the Northeastern Aegean, made rich early on by its role in silk processing, shipping, the production of citrus fruits and as the only source of mastiha, a resinous superfood that is one of the Mediterranean’s oldest, most significant ingredients. Chios also claims a wealth of food lore and Diane explores everything from beguiling mastiha, to the local pasta traditions to unique tomatoes, dangling like garlands of giant rubies against the renowned geometric patterns on medieval houses in the mastiha village of Pyrgi. She learns to make pasta and the island’s tomato sauce from local cooks. The flavors of historic Chios waft into her kitchen inspiring her to cook up a succulent chicken and quince dish and an easy traditional black eyed pea salad with Mastiha vinaigrette.

Episode 306: Naxos: Meat & Potatoes Like You Never Had’Em

Diane takes off for this tasty Cycladic island from the shores of neighboring Paros, with her good friend Alexis, whose family roots are here. Little does Alexis know that he is in for a few surprises, as Diane takes him on a journey of discovery to one of the most vibrant food destinations in Greece. Naxos is famed for the quality of its meats, for its seductive array of cow’s milk and sheep-and-goats’ milk cheeses (some of the most unique in Greece), and for its potatoes. There is even a center for potato research and cultivation on the island. Diane heads from the shore straight to a remote mountain hideaway with Alexis in tow, where two local cooks await them with a feast of stuffed lamb, potatoes, and a unique skillet pumpkin-onion pie.

Episode 307: A Meal in Messinia

Diane visits her good friend Peter, an “expert” in the art of living the ultimate “Mediterranean lifestyle.” They are in his villa in Messinia, on the southwestern tip of the Peloponnese, near the renowned ancient town of Pylos and the historic Bay of Navarino. There, she discovers the good-life secrets of this rich, giving land, blanketed by olive and citrus trees and blessed with a perfect climate. The region is home to the world’s first system of culinary provenance, unearthed in prehistoric clay tablets at Pylos, and fragrant with the delicious recipes of local cooks who still uphold the delicious village food traditions. She cooks with two village ladies, learning to make a luscious local pork and fig dish as well as olive-oil fried bread twists called lalangia. Back in her kitchen, inspired by the cornucopia of olive oil, oranges and other local delicacies, she cooks up a Messinian meal.

Episode 308: Evia – An Island Hiding in Plain Sight

Evia, the second-largest Greek island after Crete, is a culinary wonderland hiding in plain sight, just over an hour from Athens. Diane heads to this emerald jewel in search of mushrooms and other earthly delights. There, she takes an inspiring walk with a local mushroom forager who also happens to cultivate the world’s favorite edible fungi and with him cooks up one of his favorite recipes for mushrooms “kritharoto,” with orzo. Evia is also home to everything from great seafood to long-standing shepherding traditions, ancient spas and snow-capped mountains. Back in her own kitchen, mushrooms, wine and a few other local specialties play out in three delectable dishes she creates, inspired by the flavors of this nearby “secret” land.

Episode 309: The Culinary Tapestry of Corfu

In this episode, we visit Corfu for an exploration of the island’s unusual blend of Greek and Italian cooking. The Venetians ruled this lush island in the Ionian for more than 400 years and left an indelible stamp on its cuisine. To a lesser extent, so did the English, who administered the islands in the 19th century, as well as the French and Russians. Diane explores the rich, multi-faceted cuisine of Corfu, makes the Venetian-inspired tangy meat dish soffrito with a well-known local cook, learns about a simple orange salad and local Jerusalem artichokes, visits the 16th century kitchen of an old noble family, and discovers a kumquat farm for a taste of Corfu’s most famous fruit. In the market she finds ouzo-infused figs wrapped in fig leaves, local fish varieties and much more. In her own kitchen, she cooks up a Corfiot storm of mixed braised greens with feta, a famed island fish stew called bourtheto (from the Italian brodetto), and a favorite from a bygone era: Venetian pastitsio, reworked for the modern cook.

Episode 310: Saving the Earth on Paros

Paros is the new Mykonos, or so savvy Greek travelers say. But not everyone embraces the newfound cosmopolitan aura of this sun-parched, beautiful Cycladic island. Diane sets out for Paros to find a young visionary farmer named Alkis Downward, who started out studying politics only to fall in love with dirt of the earthly kind! He has been tilling his family’s land for five years and, together with his fiancée, has created a sustainable agriculture project on one of Greece’s most touristed Aegean islands. In this episode, Diane discovers the sustainable food ways of Paros, and cooks up a few local specialties, including rabbit and a very traditional skate salad and air-dried mackerel. Back in her own kitchen, she prepares a Greek island meal that will make you want to sail straight to the Aegean.

Episode 311: Figs in a Glass

Diane is back in Chios in this episode, invited by a friend to participate in a local ritual: the making of Chian firewater, called Souma, which is distilled from fermented figs. It is one of the many fruit distillations in Greece but also one of the rarest, and Diane follows the process through to the first drops, at which point...the party begins! Food and firewater go hand in hand, but not without first having made the antidote to any potential hangover, a partridge soup. In this foray through Chios’s traditions, Diane also discovers some delicious desserts, all part of the table for this fun feast. Chios is for food lovers, and Diane returns to her kitchen fired up with ideas for some great island-inspired dishes. Eggplant pilaf and an aromatic meat-filled omelet are on the menu.

Episode 312: An Ionian Odyssey

Diane visits her good friend Peter, an “expert” in the art of living the ultimate “Mediterranean lifestyle.” They are in his villa in Messinia, on the southwestern tip of the Peloponnese, near the renowned ancient town of Pylos and the historic Bay of Navarino. There, she discovers the good-life secrets of this rich, giving land, blanketed by olive and citrus trees and blessed with a perfect climate. The region is home to the world’s first system of culinary provenance, unearthed in prehistoric clay tablets at Pylos, and fragrant with the delicious recipes of local cooks who still uphold the delicious village food traditions. She cooks with two village ladies, learning to make a luscious local pork and fig dish as well as olive-oil fried bread twists called lalangia. Back in her kitchen, inspired by the cornucopia of olive oil, oranges and other local delicacies, she cooks up a Messinian meal.

Episode 313:  The Dodecanese for Dinner

From tourist mecca Rhodes to tiny neighboring Symi, from the mystical island of Patmos, where St. John wrote the Apocalypse, to the fishing paradise of Kalymnos, the Dodecanese islands are a tapestry of fascinating customs, foods, landscapes and history. Although the name Dodecanese means 12 islands, there are actually 14, each unique in its own way. In this episode, Diane delves into some of the common threads and one-of-a-kind ingredients that characterize the cuisine of these delicious islands in the southeastern Aegean. Wine-soaked cheeses, grape leaves stuffed with everything from eggplant to chickpeas to rice and meat, pasta with caramelized onions and a tart yogurt-like fermented cheese, sparkling wines, cumin-scented rusks and fritters, tiny, crunchy shrimp and so much more are among the culinary delights of these islands. In this culinary travelogue through the Dodecanese table Diane will introduce us to some of the islands’ special foods. In three delectable recipes she’ll have us all wanting to cook with the flavors of Dodecanese for dinner.

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