The “Messinian Gastronomy Seminars,” free of charge and aimed at food service professionals, have once again concluded with great success. The seminars were organized by the “Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos” Foundation, in collaboration with the Messinian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Institute of Greek Food Culture and Gastronomy. The three-day event, which has become an institution, took place for the 5th consecutive year in Navarino Dunes, Costa Navarino, between May 29 and May 31, 2017.
The aim of the seminars is to promote and establish the culinary tradition of Messinia, and to promote the use of local products. The food service professionals that attended this year’s seminars had the opportunity to meet with distinguished professionals in the field and cook alongside them, learning new ways to make good use of local products, and gaining invaluable knowledge and experience on how a restaurant operates, in general. This year, the events were attended by awarded chefs, such as Angelos Kallinteris, Complex Executive Chef at Costa Νavarino, Nikos Photiadis, Executive Chef and President of the Institute of Greek Food Culture and Gastronomy, and Adamantia Iliopoulou, Chef and owner of “Thama” restaurant.
A most important element of the dishes prepared by the distinguished chefs during the cooking classes was the high quality raw materials, combined with modern cooking techniques. Messinian products were used in creating unique dishes, such as “eggs kayana with synglino, sundried tomatoes and sfela cheese,” “boiled talagani with homemade fig jam and dried figs,” “stuffed squid with rice and herbs,” “rabbit Filiatra-style,” “mung bean salad,” “Babanatsa Filiatra-style,” “Bardouniotikos rooster,” “pork liver with spinach and orange,” and “sardine salad.”
The participants also attended the theoretical section on the costing of menus by Mr. Kourentas Panayiotis, nutrition professor at the LeMonde education center and founder of "CostEasy" company, and on the right pairing of wines and recipes by Mrs. Netsika Maria, chemist, oenologist, and wine journalist.Finally, Mr. Nikos Photiadis gave useful tips on how to properly prepare a restaurant menu.
At the end of the seminars the participants renewed their appointment for 2018, and in particular for the next Messinian Gastronomy Seminars. Year after year, this event evolves to meet the needs of the participants, while giving significant impetus and visibility to the unique gastronomy and products of the region.The aim of the “Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos” Foundation is to continue in this direction, constantly shaping the conditions that will further upgrade the culinary and, by extension, rural product of Messinia.