How Kali Orexi began…
A few years ago, I offered some of my mum Antigoni’s ntomatofai (tomato-eat dish) to my friend Sara. Sara enjoyed the ntomatofai so much, she asked if my mum would teach her how to make it. As it was also one of my favourite dishes and I had yet to learn it, I organised a cooking lesson for both of us. When other friends heard about this cooking lesson, they also wanted to join. The numbers grew, so the venue changed from my mum’s kitchen to my kitchen (now the kitchen used in filming Kali Orexi).
The cooking lesson was a huge success. Everyone had fun chatting; watching and learning how to cook the dish; and then feasting when it was ready. Everyone drooled over the pan and joked they could eat it all themselves!
Watching and learning…
Word soon spread and I ended up hosting another two ntomatofai cooking lessons.
I was the teacher on these occasions and I was ecstatic when my friends not
only cooked it successfully by themselves, but also brought me some to try.
I find teaching very rewarding; it is gratifying for me to see others incorporate a dish I have taught them into their cooking repertoire.
When it comes to cooking, I have found the best way for me to learn to cook a dish is by watching someone prepare it. Cookbooks with pictures are helpful, but to ensure success the first time I cook a dish, I really need to see someone making it from beginning to end. That is why Kali Orexi uses the video medium for its recipes. You can watch (and re-watch) and learn the recipes at your own pace.
Keeping our culinary heritage alive…
The other impetus for creating Kali Orexi, was the growing realisation that my Greek-Australian friends’ mothers and fathers were getting on in years. I feared that in their passing, that my friends and I would not only lose our loved ones, but also the rich culinary heritage endowed upon our parents from their parents and grandparents.
I truly feel that it is our responsibility to keep this culinary heritage alive for our generation and for future generations.
I would like to gratefully acknowledge the generosity of all the Greek grandmothers and grandfathers involved with Kali Orexi for sharing their time, effort and personal signature recipes with you and me!
I also wish to acknowledge the support, guidance and encouragement from my family, friends and the original KO Team members, Rita, Carlos and Kathy – I could not have done this without you!