One of the best reasons for visiting Greece is the wide variety of tasty dishes available in traditional tavernas – and the next step is to learn how to prepare and cook those delicious local ingredients.

Koula is an excellent cook, currently writing her second cookery book, and it was a pleasure to attend one of her classes in the warmth of the Cretan sun!

Whilst sipping rakki – usually stronger in Crete than anywhere else in Greece, sometimes called tsikoudhia and varying from area to area – we learned about the herbs found on the island. Then to work – starting with artichoke soup with egg and lemon; wonderful complementary flavours. This was followed by lamb with stamnagathi (a green vegetable also known as spiny chicory) and beetroot salad with walnuts. Finally, we were introduced to Kalitsunia which are small pies made with a soft Cretan cheese called Myzithra and mint – yummy!

Our reward for all that effort was to sit down and enjoy the fruits of our labour, accompanied by local wine and enthusiastic culinary conversation.

I was delighted to be chosen to participate in this class to try it out as we are hoping to offer it as one of a selection of sustainable tourism excursions which will also include less “hands on” but just as enjoyable tours such as cheese tasting.

Highly recommended experience!


Crete provides the perfect backdrop to enjoy the culinary delights.

Linda Diamandi
GIC The Villa Collection Representative