What made you accept the collaboration with «Belvedere Hotel Mykonos»?
I have to say that when Nikola Ioannides, CEO of «Belvedere », and I met we instantly decided to collaborate on a project that would highlight our own strong love of Greece. Our goal was two-fold; to continue to support the Greek nonprofit organization, «Boroume» (We Can), as well as to promote Greek food products and cuisine.
What are your favorite Greek dishes and places?
I am a very «seasonal » person. In the winter my favourite dishes are heartwarming stews—for example, chicken with an egg-lemon sauce. During the hot summer months, I love all the fresh fruits and vegetables. Greece has the sweetest watermelon and the crunchiest carrots! One of my absolutely favourite and most refreshing summer dishes has to be my mother-in-law’s, Greek salad gazpacho,which is also included on the «Thea » menu. I often get asked about my favourite place in Greece and still can’t find a straightforward answer! My husband Nikolaos is always in search of the perfect Greek landscape to photograph so we have explored nearly every corner of Greece together. I would say Meteora and Zagorochoria must be some of the most stunning places. But then again, the serenity of Greece’s countless islands is unmatched; I love Patmos, Milos, Paxoi and Crete… And I am always magnetized by the antithesis of Mykonos: its tranquility on the one hand and its vibrant energy on the other.
Tell us more about your book and the new recipes included in the new «THEA» menu.
To me this book is much more than just a cookbook; it is a collection of recipes, stories and memories from forty-one well known personalities from around the world with the common ingredient being that they all share a love of Greece. The book is the result of a collaborative effort between co-editor, Diane Farr Louis, myself and «Boroume». The proceeds of the book support this grassroots Greek food-donating and saving, nonprofit organization which offers over 20,000 meals per day to those in the greatest need. For our collaboration with THEA, I was very keen to have healthy, light and fresh recipes for the summer menu. We also wanted to use ingredients that are truly Greek—oregano, tomatoes, grilled fish. I must admit that Nikos Zervos, the new chef at THEA, has created and interpreted our “Greek salad gazpacho” and “Fish a la Spetsiota” recipes beautifully and I am extremely excited to have them featured at THEA. I also love how the book has inspired new recipes! Chef Zervos created the Greek coffee ice-cream desert, especially for our collaboration. It is definitely unique and worth trying!