Culinary Secrets to a Longer Life with Diane Kochilas
About the location: the island of Ikaria is one of the world's famed "Blue Zones," a small handful of locations around the world where scientists have discovered the inhabitants live measurably longer lives. The secret to the longevity of the inhabitants is usually attributed to, quite frankly, what we would call "the good life": fresh, seasonal food, moderate exercise, and strong family living. Ikaria is a place of relaxation and stress-free living, where the therapeutic thermal baths, the miles of beaches, the fresh air and sunshine, all combine to create a paradise on earth sure to leave you happy and invigorated (although we can't promise your trip will actually make you live longer!).
About the accommodations: Your stay in Ikaria will be at the Erofyli Beach Hotel in Armenistis, just a few minutes from your hosts' home. Armenistis is an enchanting fishermen's village boasting two of the loveliest beaches of the Aegean Sea, as well as shops, cafes, and taverns. The hotel aims for a Greek aesthetic and sustainable construction featuring Ikarian stone and wood. The rooms feature traditional island furniture, air conditioning, and breathtaking sea views.
About the cooking courses: For a handful of weeks each year, Diane Kochilas, award-winning chef, cookbook author, and TV personality, and her husband and partner Vassilis Stenos open their country home on the island of Ikaria in the ancient village of Aghios Dimitris to those wanting to learn the secrets of "Blue Zone" living and the mysteries of Greek cuisine. Greek by heritage, New Yorker by birth, Diane is one of the foremost authorities on Greek cuisine, is host of the Greek TV show "What's Cooking Today, Mom?," and has appeared as a guest on numerous TV news and cooking shows. She and Vassilis will impart the magic of Ikaria—its food, life, and longevity—as you explore the amazingly fresh, seasonal ingredients of this beautiful Greek island. From the herbs and wild plants, which you will learn about and gather with a knowledgeable guide, to the wine, which Odysseus himself is said to have drunk, it will be one delectable meal after another. Your daily hands-on cooking courses will cover a variety of dishes, from appetizers (including homemade phyllo) to main courses (much of it focusing on fresh seafood and fish) to dessert. The classes will be bolstered by amazing food artisan visits focusing on the local cheese, honey, and wine. All in all, it will be a week of unforgettable memories in one of the most stress-free and picturesque places in Europe.