Christina grew up in a farming family in a small village in western Greece, where she still sources her local eggs, cheese, organic extra virgin olive oil, dried herbs, and hand-collected sea salts. Christina is passionate about baking traditional phyllo pies made with hand-made dough, a technique she first learned from her grandmother. After attending culinary school, Christina perfected her phyllo technique while working in a local bakery where she expertly created a wide variety of phyllo pies from scratch. Christina might seem a bit serious at first, but once you get on the topic of Greek cuisine her friendly personality will shine through. She is on a mission to share her knowledge of Greece’s phyllo traditions with as many people as possible in order to help preserve these age-old cooking methods.
You will learn to prepare authentic Greek phyllo dough from scratch in Christina's kitchen. She will teach you to make the ubiquitous flaky Greek dough - starting with flour and water! - and together you will prepare a traditional pie. She will teach you, step by step, how to make the pie filling using seasonal ingredients like wild greens and a variety of fresh cheeses (you might mix the filling in the sink since it is her biggest receptacle!). You mix the dough, learn to roll it into paper-thin sheets on her dining table, and layer the pie with the filling. She will show you how to carefully lay the delicate sheets of phyllo in the pan, which results in a light, crispy pie. You can expect the cooking portion of your experience to last about 90 minutes before you sit down to eat.
In addition to her flavorful phyllo pies, Christina serves an authentic Greek meal that showcases seasonal produce with inventive preparations. Your meal might start with an appetizer of locally produced cheese, cold cuts and spreads and then you'll sample her specialty phyllo pies. The meal will continue with dishes like pistachio-crusted chicken served with a savory molasses sauce, seasonal salads of anthotyro (fresh cheese), cherry tomatoes and toasted bread or wild greens collected in the countryside, small fish marinated with fresh herbs, olive-crusted lamb with yogurt sauce, or strapatsada (scrambled eggs with feta and tomatoes).
Christina lives with her boyfriend in a simple apartment in a central yet quiet neighborhood, located about 20 minutes by subway from the historic center of Athens and easily reached by taxi. Her apartment is located on the 5th floor of her building and is accessible by elevator.