Media / Arts & Culture
Friday, 11 Nov 2016 19:14 EAT
The top chef from Greece, Papadopoulos Giorgos, has arrived in Kenya for a week-long exhibition of his country's cuisine at the DusitD2 Hotel in Nairobi, one of the newest entrants in the Kenyan hospitality industry. The hotel will host the first ever Greek Food Festival in Kenya beginning tomorrow Saturday 12 November from 7pm to 10pm in a bid to promote the Greek culture. The events, which are being held in partnership with Qatar Airways, will be characterized by the showcasing of different foods made, typically for Greeks, using olive oil. Being a Mediterranean culture, the Greek cuisine has some common characteristics with Italian and Turkish food forms that are established in Kenya, but the Greeks are renowned for their extensive use of olive oil, which goes back over 4,000 years.
Mr Giorgos, who is the Executive Chef of Domotel Hotels and Resorts which entails for the Greek cuisine, has won four Hellenic gold medals and has in the past made cuisines for dignitaries from Greece, The Netherlands and Kuwait. This is his first time in Kenya, and his visit reflects the high priority the Greeks and the hotel chain have attached to the success of the event. Kenya has had good diplomatic relations with Greece, and a number of pioneer Greek families invested in plantations (mostly sisal) on the Kenyan coast and Uasin Gishu during the colonial and immediate post-colonial era. The Greek Orthodox Church is also a major landmark in Nairobi. Apparently, these close interactions have not been replicated in culinary matters.
The Greeks who for over 4,000 years have been practicing culinary tradition as a symbol of Mediterranean diet, strongly believe in maintaining the traditional aspect of their cuisine and culture. The Festival becomes the second event of such caliber to be hosted at the lifestyle boutique hotel which a few months earlier had hosted the Indian Food Festival, the hotel’s Managing Director Michael Metaxas told the Kenya Free Press at the event, promising that another Food Festival would be held in 2017.
Mr Metaxas pointed out that the festival will help Kenyan people to embrace and understand the Greek culture through food and traditional music from Greece, in particular during special gatherings. “We are happy to be hosting the Greece Food Culture. Through this Festival Kenyans and other people in Nairobi will have a better understanding of the Greek culture through food and music,” he said.
The CEO was full of praise for the Kenyan people whose liking for Indian food that he witnessed during the last Festival pushed him to put another festival. “Kenyans are very friendly people, I am pleased with the way they received the Indian Food Festival which indeed encouraged us to host the current one, and we look forward to doing more of these events," he said.
Guests are required to make reservations to attend the event, whose menu will include chicken gyros, calamari, souvlaki, spanakopita, fassolada soup and more plus Greek dessers and pastries.
The writer is the news editor of the Kenya Free Press