The Mykonos experience is famously transforming – the beauty of the island and the memories you create there will be a source of delight for years to come.
There is also a wonderful – and very unique – way to make the Mykonos experience truly a part of you, and that is to learn how to bring the taste of the Greek Islands home. Imagine hosting a fantastic Mykonos-themed dinner party back home, sharing the island flavors and spirit with your friends.
At “Mykonian Spiti” – Mykonian home – you will be welcomed like family by your hostess, Teta. She’ll share much more than recipes with you. Traditional techniques and Greek cooking tips are part of the experience, of course. But one of the best parts of the cooking course is learning about the history and culture of Mykonos. It’s like being welcomed into a family for a day. That family is Teta’s family – your hostess who hails from beautiful Crete and now calls Mykonos home. She’ll welcome you to her beautiful house for a warm, family-style evening.
Mykonian culture, like Greek culture in general, centers around the table. And specifically, around the farm-to-table experience. The thing that makes true Mykonian cuisine delicious is its tie to the land, which is why your Mykonos cooking class includes a tour of Teta’s organic vegetable garden.
Traditional Greek island hospitality is also a large part of the experience, so your visit begins with conversation over welcome snacks. Have you had any of the specialties that Mykonos is famous for? Kopanisti cheese is a zesty soft cheese with an appealing kick – slightly reminiscent of blue cheese, and fantastic with the local tomatoes. This specialty is a PDO product of the cycladic islands. Another delicious Mykonian meze is Louza – this tremendously flavorful cured pork loin is rubbed with wild herbs and dried in the famous winds that sweep the island. Dakos are another delight, one that the island shares with Crete. These barley rusks moistened with ripe tomato and sea salt, topped with cheese and dried herbs, are like a rustic island bruschetta. There will of course be wine flowing and, since Teta your hostess is from Crete, you’ll also be sipping raki. Raki – also called tsikoudia – is the crystal clear smooth spirit of distilled grape marc that goes beautifully with both food and good conversation. Crete is famous for their excellent raki. The trick to Greek drinking? Always with food, and always with friends – one of the Greek lifestyle tips you’ll absorb over the course of the evening.
After sharing family stories over snacks and drinks, you’ll head into the kitchen, where you’ll don your aprons from the Mykonian Spiti estate. You’ll be provided with everything you need to make a classic Greek dinner together – all the ingredients are prepped and arranged so you can focus on acquiring new skills and techniques – the fun parts.
On the menu are the favorite dishes from a traditional Mykonian Spiti meal. These include tzatziki, spanakopita – the ever popular spinach pie, and garden fresh peppers and tomatoes stuffed with rice and fresh herbs, among other dishes. Greek island food is tremendously flavorful. On drier islands like Mykonos, the flavors are intensely concentrated. Cycladic tomatoes are bursting with flavor, and dried herbs carry the flavor of island breezes to your plate. Extra-virgin olive oil lends its rich color and fragrance. These are also healthful dishes, part of the Mediterranean diet. Refined and elegant, wholesome and beautiful, they translate very well to your table – and your lifestyle – back at home.
While your dishes are in the oven, you’ll enjoy more conversation and relaxation. Then you’ll settle in for a leisurely, family-style Mykonian meal, a cultural experience in itself.
Another nice aspect of your Mykonos cooking course is the location – in Ano Mera, the traditional hilltop village of the island whose name literally means “high place”. This is the perfect place to get the authentic flavor of the island. Here, daily island life unfolds at the casual cafes and in the small shops and bakeries. You’ll feel like a local in Ano Mera, and may want to come back, to hike to the ruins of a Byzantine castle, see the traditional dovecotes along the way, and take in the sweeping views. Or you may want to visit the lovely monastery of Panagia Tourliani. Stop for a thick Greek coffee in the plateia, and watch true Greek island life unfold around you.
The Mykonian Spiti cooking class is about much more than food – it’s about embracing the true Mykonos experience.