The “Messinian Gastronomy Seminars,” free of charge and aimed at food service professionals, were organized for the third consecutive year by the “Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos” Foundation in collaboration with the Messinian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, had once again great success. The three-day event, which has become a tradition, took place atNavarino Dunes, in Costa Navarino, on May 20, 21 & 22. The aim of the seminars was to promote and establish the culinary tradition of Messinia, and to support local products.
More than 150 food service professionals participated this year, and had the opportunity to meet with distinguished professionals such as Lefteris Lazarou (Varoulko Seaside), Dimitris Melemenis (Costa Navarino), and Yiorgos Papaioannou (Armyra, Navarino Dunes & Papaioannou in Piraeus), and exchange information and invaluable tips. The participants cooked alongside the three distinguished chefs, and learned new ways to make good use of local products, thus help promote the Messinian cuisine. Chef Lefteris Lazarou said: “It is a great pleasure to be given the opportunity to participate in Captain Vassilis’ vision for Messinia. This is the third time I have participated in this event within my capacity as a chef, and I am happy to witness the great turnout by the area’s professionals. From the bottom of my heart I hope the people of the ‘Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos’ Foundation will continue to build upon the Captain’s vision, and it would be a great honor for me to contribute again to their work.”
The recipes prepared by the distinguished chefs were based on raw materials of the highest quality, combined with modern gastronomy. The recipes the three chefs chose to prepare focused on seafood products. Some recipe examples: shrimp with noodles, tomato sauce and bisque; sea bass steak with an eggplant mousse, flavored with marjoram; jellied codfish; salad with local organic seasonal vegetables; sardine fillet with fresh thyme.
The theoretical part of the seminars ended with presentations by Mr. Paris Kostopoulos, Executive Chef & Culinary Advisor at the Vocational Training Institute (IEK) HORIZON, and Manos Kentikelenis, Head Sommelier of Navarino Dunes. The presentations focused on the best possible use of Messinian products, as well as the undying bond between gastronomy and oenology. These presentations acquainted local professionals with the vast potential of the Messinian cuisine, as well as possible methods to promote it.
Mr. Xenophon Kappas, Director of the “Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos” Foundation, referring to the event, said: “The ‘Messinian Gastronomy Seminars,’ which have taken place for the third consecutive year, have become a kind of tradition for the Messinian society. We are very happy to be witnessing local professionals embracing the efforts of the ‘Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos’ Foundation, giving us encouragement to continue our efforts. We will continue to work towards the constant improvement of Messinia’s culinary and tourist products, so that the professionals in the field can respond to the high expectations of the visitors to the area.”