Savor Passage to Greece

BY Jason Frye

Get ready to enjoy Greek food people and traditional recipes from renowned chef Alexander Fouros for you to try at home

From savory olives and olive oil to okra and octopus and everything in between Greek food makes use of a wide range of diverse ingredients and its dishes based on whats readily available vary regionally. Inland plates are heavy with lamb goat rabbit chicken and sometimes beef. On the coast and the thousands of islands in the Greek archipelago the fare is inspired by the days catcha hundred kinds of fish and shellfish squid and octopus.

More than anything Greek food has a strong connection to its native vegetables. Many grow naturally in this climate too. Like okra and black-eyed peas eggplant potatoes zucchini squash and dozens of beans grains and rice. All are staples for a host of Greek dishes.

“To really appreciate a culture you have to experience it ” says Eppy Poulson owner of Chris Restaurant and Angies of Chris Catering.

But if you cant book passage to Greece this month you can travel to College Road where St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church celebrates its 19th Annual Greek Festival May 13-15 (608 South College Road Authentic Greek music dancing crafts and food combine to express Greek culture. Started in 1992 the festival serves as a fundraiser for the church and local charities bringing in more than $500 000 annually. The festival also plays the part of homecoming for Wilmingtons small but tightly knit Greek community. For outsiders those community insiders serve as ambassadors introducing the language culture and flavor of Greece.

And the food is to die for.

Greek cuisine is more than 2 000 years old. In 320 B.C. Archestratos wrote the first cookbook. In 2009 Chef Alexander “Alexis” Fouros a Wilmington transplant from Manhattan published Feast for the Gods. With easy-to-follow recipes and chefs tricks Chef Fouros brings contemporary Greek food to western tables. The chef who enjoyed an illustrious New York restaurant career shares some of his favorite traditional recipes with Wrightsville Beach Magazine.

So wipe down the cutting boards and sharpen the knives. Line up the measuring cups and spoons break out the pots and pans and preheat the ovenyoure going to cook some tasty Greek food. And if its inspiration youre craving visit the Greek Festival and enjoy the feast.

Click here for the following recipes:
ouvlaki (Skewered Meat) Spanakopita (Spinach Pie) Salada Garides (Black-Eyed Pea and Shrimp Salad) Bamyies Yiahni (Okra with Fresh Tomatoes) Baklava (Honey and Walnuts in Phyllo).