03 March 2005

Greek Tastes In Istanbul, April 13 - 17 2005 - Armada Hotel

Greek Tastes in Istanbul is the first of several Turkish-Greek Kitchens Weeks which are organized jointly by the Armada, the St. George Lycabettus Hotel in Athens and Ms Sula Bozis. The aim of this activity is to find out the similarities and differences in both neighboring countries' gastronomic cultures. Greek Tastes in Istanbul was launched with a press conference, followed by a lunch and gala dinner at the Armada Hotel in Istanbul, on Wednesday, April 13.

The Greek-Turkish Association Defni/Defne was a participant at yesterday's event. Yannis Soulis, one of the contemporary representatives of Greek rebetiko music tradition and his Turkish wife Görkem Ökten gave a wonderful concert during the gala dinner. The performance of the Zoğrafyan (Armenian) High School Rebetiko Dance Class was received with a great ovation.

Sula Bozis, on her part, explained that the Greek dishes were prepared and served under the supervision of St. George Lycabettus' Chef John Douros and Sous Chef Thanassis Stathoulas. All the guests broke into applause as they were overwhelmed by the tastes of those delicious dishes. Sissy Nika, the Communications Manager of the Hotel St. Giorge Lycabettus invited the guests to Athens for the second step of the activity which will be held in November.

Among the guests who attended in the Dinner were Mr. Alexis Alexandris, Chief Consulate of Greece to Istanbul, Mr. Kostas Katslglannis, Undersecretary to the Greek Minister of Tourism, the Board and members of the Turkish-Greek Association, press representatives, Mr. Başar Sabuncu, Ms. Zuhal Olcay, representatives of Istanbul arts circles and friends of the Armada.

(Click on images for bigger size)

Vasil from Beykoz (a Bosphorous village), could never forget the minted fish-ball which his granfather used to prepare out of large bonito... By taking the name of tarator, the traditional skordolia of Byzance decorated the fried obergine... Stifado which is cooked out of meat, shallot and green olive was one of the top dishes of a dining table with laundry strached, whiter than white linen cloth. Spoon deserts, especially the white desert with jasmin occupied very favorable position among others... 1

(From the left) Kasım Zoto (Armada), Sissi Nika (St. George Lycabettus Hotel, Atina) and Sula Bozis (Researcher)

Armada Hotel from Istanbul, St. George Lycabettus Hotel2 from Athens and Ms. Sula Bozis who collected the culinary culture and lifestyle of the Greek-orthodox community of Istanbul where she was born and grown, in her book Istanbul Tastes are starting a cultural activity that will be repeated every year. The first of the co-activities which will be held both in Istanbul and Athens mutually and last one week, will be organized in Armada Hotel during April 13 - April 17, 2005. The Greek dishes from Sula Bozis' repertoir will be prepared under the supervision of Chef John Douros and Thanassis Stathoulias (Sous Chef) of St. George Lykabettus Hotel and presented to the taste of the Istanbulians. In turn, Armada Hotel will be in Athens, at the St. George Lycabettus by November 2005 with the Turkish chefs and food...

Some samples of the Greek kitchen in the Hotel St. George Lycabettus, Athens.

(From the left) Thanassis Stathoulias; Sous Chef , John Douros; Chef.

The Greek Tastes in Istanbul at the Armada Hotel will be served along with the Rembetiko concerts by Yannis Saulis and Görkem Saulis. Here are some samples:

  • Octopus a la Cretan, Çipuro (Cretan raki), special Greek wines, Bakaliaro, Uzo,
  • Kalamari stuffed with the herbed cheese, Tomato-ball, Cheakpeas-ball.
  • Stifado, Pastry with dilled courgette, Stuffed grape leaves with sauce,
  • Radika slad with Kalamata olive, Mashed broad beans a la Santorini,
  • Glacéed fruits

(1) İSTANBUL TASTES, Sula Bozis, History Foundation, İstanbul, October 2000 http://www.tarihvakfi.org.tr/yayinlar/ayrinti.asp?ID=114

(2) For further information about St. George Lykabettus Hotel: http://www.sglycabettus.gr/