On this week’s Louisiana Eats!, we visit the Greek Isles without ever leaving the bayou. Holy Trinity Cathedral on Bayou St. John in New Orleans is home to the oldest Greek Orthodox community in North America. For over 150 years, this tight-knit community has combined food and faith in the traditional way of their ancient ancestors. For 42 years, Trinity members have welcomed thousands of visitors to their annual Greek Festival. Months before the celebration begins, volunteers meet weekly, preparing huge amounts of sweet and savory dishes served during the festival. We visited the kitchens during one of their prep days and learned all about the people, their recipes and their delicious way of life.
This spring, Chef Alon Shaya was named Best Chef of the South at the James Beard Awards. We catch up with Alon at his new restaurant, Shaya, to learn what comprises Israeli food of today. Interestingly, the food of Israel’s Greek immigrants figures largely into its flavor profile, along with all the other nationalities who have come to call Israel home since World War II.
And author Rosemary Barron tells us about the food of the Greek Islands, which she first experienced as an archeology student and would later share with the world at her cooking school on Crete. Rosemary illustrates how this healthy cuisine has survived the ages and discusses the importance of olive oil on the Greek menu.