Yale University hosts a symposium on ancient Greek cuisine

On April 19 and 20, Yale University will host a symposium on the philosophy and significant health benefits of the ancient Greek diet.

“Ancient Greek Cuisine: Back to the Future” seeks to redefine how ancient Greek cuisine and the Mediterranean lifestyle can serve as a bridge to a future of healthy, sustainable and food-friendly eating, Thassos Kyriakides, a Greek professor of public health at Yale University, told the Athens Macedonian News Agency (AMNA) .

The idea for the symposium came up last summer when Kyriakides was in Sparta in Laconia, in the southeast Peloponnese, talking with award-winning Greek organic farmer George Sakellaropoulos.

“There, in the heart of its olive groves and in the majesty of Greek nature, we discussed how to move forward with an eye to antiquity and our history. We came up with the idea of ​​the symposium to introduce to the world, through Yale University, quality Greek products such as olive oil and table olives, which were part of the “trinity” of the ancient Greek diet along with bread and wine,” explains Kyriakides.

In this context, the Yale School of Public Health is also running the Yale Institute’s Olives for Health research project, which aims to further explore the benefits of daily consumption of certain organic foods, the professor added.

“The culinary part of the symposium was hosted by the Greek chef Michalis Psilakis, awarded, among other things, with a Michelin star. The award-winning Greek chef, who has studied our gastronomic heritage for over 20 years, will present for the first time at Yale University culinary creations based on ancient Greek recipes that promote the same philosophy and are adapted to the modern world,” says Kyriakides.

The symposium will be held at the Yale Macmillan Center under the chairmanship of Kyriakides, with presentations by Professor Paul Friedman of Yale’s Department of History, Secretary General of the Organization of Hellenes Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Professor Ioannis Chrysolakis, Consul of Greece in New York Konstantinos Koutras, Greek Chief award-winning chef Michael Psilakis; and international olive oil judge and director Phil Bucchino, whose acclaimed documentary Obsessed with Oil will be featured at the symposium.

On the second day there will be a tasting of olive oils from Greece, Italy and Spain, followed by a dinner according to ancient Greek recipes. “As Greek-educated people, we must not only eat to survive, but also communicate spiritually and mentally, as the ancient Greeks did, which is why we have put together a symposium,” Kyriakides said. – Maybe it’s time to go back to the old days and enjoy the way of life and also the food that came from the past. Maybe it’s time to take a step back so we can move forward.”


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