More than 150 food service professionals participated this year, and had the opportunity to meet with distinguished professionals such as Lefteris Lazarou (Varoulko Seaside), Dimitris Melemenis (Costa Navarino), and Yiorgos Papaioannou (Armyra, Navarino Dunes & Papaioannou in Piraeus), exchanging information and invaluable tips. The participants cooked alongside the three awarded chefs, and learned new ways to make good use of local products, thus helping promote Messinian cuisine. Chef Lefteris Lazarou said: “It is a great pleasure to be given the opportunity to participate in Captain Vassilis’ vision for Messinia. This is the third time I have participated in this institution with my capacity as chef, and I am happy to witness the great turnout by the area’s professionals. From the bottom of my heart I hope the people of the ‘Captain Vassilis’ Foundation will continue to build upon the Captain’s vision, and it would be a great honor for me to contribute again to their work.”
The recipes prepared by the distinguished chefs were based on raw materials of the highest quality, combined with modern gastronomy. The recipes the three chefs chose to prepare centered on seafood products. Some recipe examples: shrimp with noodles, tomato sauce and bisque, sea bass steak with aubergine mousse, flavored with marjoram, jellied codfish, salad with local organic seasonal vegetables, sardine fillet with fresh thyme.
The theoretical part of the seminars ended with the talks of Mr. Paris Kostopoulos, Executive Chef & Culinary Advisor at the Vocational Training Institute (IEK) HORIZON, and Manos Kentikelenis, Head Sommelier of Navarino Dunes. The talks centered on the best possible utilization of Messinian products, as well as the indissoluble bond between gastronomy and oenology. These segments familiarized local professionals with the vast potential of Messinian cuisine, as well as possible methods to promote it.
Mr. Xenophon Kappas, Director of the “Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos” Foundation, referring to the event, said: “The ‘Messinian Gastronomy Seminars,’ which have taken place for the third consecutive year, have become an institution for Messinian society. We are very happy to be witnessing the local professionals embracing the efforts of the ‘Captain Vassilis’ Foundation, giving us the courage to continue our endeavors. We continue to strive towards the constant improvement of Messinia’s culinary and tourist products, so that the professionals in the field can respond to the high expectations of the visitors to the area.”