Imagine the spark that creates a pearl.
Several conversations over coffee and on Twitter between authors, entrepreneurs and investors on the global economy and Greece, sparked an idea. In fact, a challenge: why not have a Greek dinner around the world to share and promote Greek culture, heritage and the arts through the most tempting dimension of the intangible Greek heritage, the art of cooking.
In a matter of days, asking, sharing the idea with friends via Twitter, the idea went viral with hundreds of people around the world agreeing to take an action to either host a dinner at home or at a restaurant and share photos and stories via social media.
On January 15th (a date randomly selected), Greeks, the diaspora and friends of Greece connected and shared Greek cuisine, wine, music, literature and philosophy.
Greek culture is everywhere, from the outback of Australia to New Zealand to Tokyo to Kazahstan to Europe to Canada to all over America. The indomitable spirit of the Greek diaspora, those who touched the land of the ancients as well as those who live and breathe the air of Greece today joined forces to create a most unique opportunity.
Some of the first to join were business owners, chefs, authors and leaders in the campaign seeking the return of the Parthenon Marbles. Aleks, owner of Veranda on P; food writer and chef, Mary Platis; author, Marjory McGinn; Nikolaos Chatziandreou and his family; Russell Darney; Dionysis and Rene Tritaris; author, Terry Douglas; Chef Jule in Alabama; chef and author, Peter Minakis; poet, Katie Aliferis; Niko and Oana, The Mediterranean Way; Global Greek World and Buy Greek campaign; Maria Dimitrakarakou; RideScoutDC; novelist, Anne Zouroudi and author, Alex Pattakos, The OPA Way!. From there, more than 52 cities, more than 80 hosts collectively with probably a thousand of guests; thousands of messages over Twitter, Google, Pinterest, YouTube and blogs. Take a moment to search through all of the photos and notes via #GreekDinner or see all of our partners on Twitter (@9musesnews/GreekDinner). Every day, I find one more new message. If you want to browse through a collection, take a look at this Storify collection.
Generations from the foundation of the family, the yiayia, to the grandchildren joined around the world.
The Philhellene Provincial Greek Cuisine in Melbourne, Australia offered free dinners to all children.
Cornelia Gracchi, in Columbus, Ohio, sent homemade Melomakarona into school with her granddaughter. One child remarked, “Hey, these Greek cookies taste like donuts dipped in honey” and another said, “Your grandma is the best cook in the world!”
Yorgos Koropoulis and his wife Sophia Efremidis, owners of Maleas Olive Oil gathered with their children to enjoy a special meal and draw art. The same day they announced that their olive oil was the first Greek organic extra virgin olive oil for sale at Harrods.
Honoring the start of the Greek presidency of the European Union, Konstantinos Pappas, Press and Communications Counselor at the Permanent Greek Mission to the European Union, hosted a diplomatic dinner at Koyzina Authentic in Brussels.
The ancient Silk Road presented itself when Julie Kissidi hosted her dinner in Almaty, Kazahstan.
An idea plus an economic action going viral. Imagine a new paradigm of consciously connecting the culinary dimension of Greek culture with the intangible Greek heritage that influences people around the world. The spirit of Hestia, the goddess of the hearth, both in private and public, revealed her nature and importance in Greek mythology and in the modern world.
“I dream of those Greek donuts (loukoumades) served at the end of dinner,”says Dodie Jones who attended the Greek Dinner at Veranda on P in Washington, DC.
The spirit of Hestia appeared with generosity, welcoming family and guests to the table to share a meal with fruits of the earth from olives to feta to a glass of wine went viral.
Opportunities abounded – connecting one business with another, authors with a larger audience and the secrets in the kitchen only the mother or yiayia knows – in effect revealing an undercurrent of love and appreciation of Greek culture that has been quietly flowing around the world.
Requests are pouring in with more opportunities,
- A Greek olive oil company is expanding into the US market and seeking partners.
- A restaurant in Washington, DC is seeking a Greek chef.
- An invitation to a partner to host a local Greek supper club dinner.
- An American importer, for the first time, introducing Rakomelo, the Greek grappa with honey, to the American audience.
Connect and share your special requests with other businesses and people, use the comment section below to share your request or idea. Stay tuned, the next Greek Dinner will be announced soon.
Hestia’s pearl of the Greek Dinner Around the World grows even more beautiful as one friend asks another to celebrate Greek cuisine, culture and heritage while expanding the economic prosperity for all. Will you join us for the next Greek Dinner Around the World?
By Keri Douglas, writer/photographer, Washington, D.C. (All rights reserved. Please ask permission to use any portion of article.)
Special thank you to everyone for sharing their photos and a very special thank you to Nikolaos Chatziandreou for creating the map of all of the cities that hosted a Greek Dinner party.
Please see previous post for all partners – authors, chefs, restaurants, markets, businesses around the world.
Partners: Mary Papoulias-Platis, chef & cuisine, California Greek Girl @CalGreekGirl Keri Douglas, 9 Muses News @keridouglas Aleks, owner, Veranda on P restaurant Marjory McGinn, author, Big Fat Greek Odyssey @fatgreekodyssey Marlen Taffarello, travel PR, @MTravelsPR Nikolaos Chatziandreou, scientist/cultural heritage, AcropolisofAthens.gr @nchatziandreo Dimos and Vicky Chatziandreou @VickyChatziandr Russell Darnley, professor, @maximos62 Rene' Tritaris, owner, www.mintlimeblue.com * Dionysis Tritaris, owner, OramaCommunications.com.au @DionysiTritaris Terry Douglas, author of Ganymede: A Tale of Middle Eastern Intrigue Chef Jule, The Frenchman's Corner of Fairhope Peter Minakis, author & Greek supper club host, Kalofagas.com @kalofagas Katie Aliferis, poet, KatieAliferis.com @KatieA_SF Niko and Oana, The Mediterranean Way Gourmet Market, Dupont Circle, Washington,DC @TheMediWay Global Greek World, everything Greek news, @GGWorld Buy Greek campaign, @BuyGreek Maria Dimitrakarakou, @dimitrakarakou RideScoutDC, www.ridescoutapp.com @RideScoutDC Anne Zouroudi, author, Greek detective novels, @annezouroudi * Kiki Vagianos, The Greek Vegan, @TheGreekVegan Food, Culture & Travel blogger, Banana Wonder, @BananaWonder Alex Pattakos, The OPA Way, @TheOPAWay Cornelia Gracchi, @corneliagracchi Eumelia Organic Farm, @eumeliafarm Diana Moutsopoulos, All Recipes, @dmoutsop Greek American Girl, @GreekAmGirl Elizabeth Rynecki, Moshe Rynecki Art Search @erynecki Cinnamon Stephens, Art Law Firm, @Artantiq Annina and Daniel Wildermuth, children's book author & illustrator * Good Greek Housewife, @GreekHousewife Kenton and Jane, Lemon and Olives, @lemonandolives Gaea Products, Greece Katina Vaselopulos, @KVaselopulos Sophia Dimitriadou, KOYZINA Authentica, Brussels, Belgium Effie Delimarkos, @EffieDelimarkos TasteGreece, speciality store, Duesseldorf, Germany Dourakis Winery, Crete, Greece, @dourakiswinery Krystina Kalapothakos,Kouzounas Kitchen, @KouzounasKitche Barb McGarvey, @vey952 * Mesto Artisan Olive Oil, @Mestooliveoil Smaragda Touloupa, YourGuideInGreece, @smarot Stayla Farm Honey, Evia, Greece, @stayiafarm Mariana Kavroulaki, History of Greek Food, @histofgreekfood Amit Bajaj with Sheba and Kam in Boston Hugh O'Donnell, @odonnellhugh Therese Sellers, author of Alpha is for Anthropos, @qerese Hellenic student association, University of Pennsylvania, @thegreekglutton Greek family owners, Nostos and Mykonos Grill Yanni Tsapos, wine expert, Dionysis Imports * Souvlaki The Greek, London, England, @EatSouvlakiUK Sia Aristidou, Greek Weddings & Traditions & Greek Wedding Shop, @SiaAristidou Yorgos Koropoulis, Maleas Olive Oil, @MaleasOliveOi Heidi Skapentzis and Dimitris Paivanas, Babel Language Center Athens Ekaterina Botziou, author, Greek Expectations: The Last Moussaka Standing, @ebotziou Marios Bothos & Sophia Tsakiroglou-Bothou, Apollo Museum, Ancient Greek Games, @AncientGRGames Loukia Von Zlr Betriebsimperium, Myths Greek Jewelry Exhibit, Berlin 2013/Hamburg 2014 Alexia Warner, Flavor Teaze, @FlavorTeaze & @AlexiaWarner1 Mythical Peloponnese, timeless travel, @mythpeloponnese Lorna Paschakis, @LornaPaschakis * SouEllen Latridi and friends Heather Skinner and friends Maddie Grigg and friends @maddiegrigg George Mavropoulos, The Asia Minor and Pontos Hellenic Research Center Tsantali Wines, @TSANTALI_wines Diana Brown, 5MinutesMorePlease, and friends Maria Verivaki and family, Organically Cooked *Philhellene Provincial Greek Cuisine, Melbourne* Kids (3-12) meals will be covered by owners John Kyriazoglou and family, Ancient Greek Pearls of Wisdom, @jkyriazoglou Katerina Georgallas, Baklava Couture, @BaklavaCouture * GrecoTaste, shop GrecoTaste, @Grecotaste Diana Carey and friends Stella Pierides, author, Feeding the Doves, @stellapierides Nine Live Greece, volunteer cat rescue in Athens, @NineLivesGreece Agia Marina Donkey Rescue, Crete on Facebook Julie Kussidi and friends Elizabeth Gabay and friends Tresor Hotels, Athens, Greece Tim Schadla-Hall, Professor of Public Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London