By Annick Dournes & Frederic de Poligny
Celestyal Cruises that is already the recognized number 1 cruise company to enjoy the Greek islands and Eastern Mediterranean shores is delighted to announce a new collaboration with worldwide famous chef Diane Kochilas. An undeniable asset, that will enhance even further the guests’ experience.
Diane Kochilas has become widely known to America, Australian, Greek and Cypriot TV audiences through her many television appearances. Her most popular show is “My Greek Cuisine” that nicely blends cuisine and travel has made her the ambassador of Greek cuisine worldwide. She has written many books on Greek and Mediterranean cuisine and created her own cooking school in Ikaria Island. Although she was born in New York to a Greek father native of Ikaria and a Greek-Italian-American mother Diane Kochilas has always felt deeply linked to Greece and has travelled the country of her forbearers since childhood.
Celestyal Cruises sponsors her successful TV show “My Greek Cuisine” and the next season that will be the fourth is very much anticipated. Ikaria is named after Icarus son of Daedalus who tried to fly to the sun but fell down and drowned in the Aegean Sea close to the island. Today the island is famous for being one of the few areas known as “blue zones” around the world. These are the regions where people “forget to die” thanks to a healthy way of life based on regular physical activity, socialization and of course… food. Ikarians are almost totally free of dementia and of many chronic diseases that are getting increasingly common around the world. This is where Diane chose to create her cooking school, the Glorious Greek Kitchen School, where “students” are immersed in this one-of-a-kind way of life.
Diane Kochilas has created a brand-new signature Greek menu and a new gastronomic experience aboard all Celestyal Cruises’ ships. This premium menu called “My Greek Six-Course Tasting Menu” favours local products sourced in all the islands visited during the different cruise itineraries proposed by the company. This gourmet meal will be served for dinner in the ships’ Greek restaurant with extra charge. But all passengers will be able to enjoy Diane’s cuisine in the main restaurant where a special dish of the day also concocted by Diane will be available. All of them are based on healthy Greek diet and vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are also proposed.
The Greek six-course menu starts with freshly “boat-made” dips with pita and sesame Simit bread. These include Maintanosaiata from Syros made with pesto, capers and herbs, Kopanisti with grilled tomatoes and smoked aubergine dip. Next, you’ll have Cretan octopus carpaccio and a saffron and fish Avgolemono soup. A braised or grilled lobster with rice, ouzo, olives from Kalamata and Greek yogurt will follow. Want more? Have zucchini Pappardelle with marinated tomatoes, mint and roasted pine nuts. Still more? The Kalogeros terrine with beef tenderloin, ewe cheese with potatoes from Naxos is coming next. Some room left? Enjoy Manouri cheese with Pastelli crumble and rocket salad. Finally, you will have to opt for a plate of local cheese or a Greek Ile Flottante on sea of wine… End this unique dinner with a shot of a Greek brandy and a sweet. Several wines from various Greek vineries will be served to perfectly match each dish of the menu.
This new culinary offer by Celestyal Cruises is meant to please a growing number of travellers seeking for quality and healthy food even during their holydays. Greek gastronomy is incredible and the Greek diet has been proven to be one of the healthiest ones on earth. Each region, each island of Greece has something good to add to your diet. Boarding one of Celestyal cruises will be a fantastic way to adopt these new eating habits!
More about Celestyal Cruises, Diane Kochilas and cruises itineraries on: www.celestyal.com/gb
Text ©Annick Dournes
Photos ©Frederic de Poligny or courtesy of Celestyal Cruises