My Grandma’s recipes
My grandmother Smaragdi was born in 1927 in Crete (home of the Mediterranean diet).It is where she has lived her entire life.My grandma is 90 years old today and It’s absolutely amazing that she is still living on her own and she’s able to make her meals.One of my favorite things about visiting my grandmother has always been her kitchen.I’m a better person for having her in my life because of these essential life lessons she taught me in her loving, quiet way, what is really important in life… Cretan Traditions.
Every Sunday, long before I was born, Grandma’s family gathered at her house in Chorafakia Village on Sunday afternoons.She used always plenty of Cretan olive oil to cooked us a variety of Cretan meals with natural, traditional and local produce:Tsigariasto, roast with potatoes in the wood fire oven, marathopita, horiatiki salata, boiled wild greens(horta) and dako, staka with eggs, and always, always desserts: kalitsounia with honey and sfakiani pita.She spent all morning cooking and always had the big table and the kids’ table set for a crowd.
She made sure everyone had their plates and glasses filled with red local wine and rarely sat down to eat herself until everyone else was almost done.When she was doing for us, she was truly in her element.My Grandma’s handwritten recipes passed down through the generations and now, the dishes I love and remember are all here.It’s all the inspiration I needed to start through the Cretan Cooking Classes to share our traditions and my Grandma’s authentic Cretan recipes!
CEO & Event Planner
My name is Jenny Skandalakis and I was born in Chania, Crete.At the age of 18 I moved to Athens and I finished my studies as a nurse, specialised in surgery.I lived and worked in Athens for 14 years in the Μedical field.
My spare time, I love cooking, reading, writing songs, plays and poems and I used to travel abroad knowing cultures from other countries.I had the opportunity to visit Spain, Italy, England, UAE, Turkey, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Boston, New York, Seattle, Miami and Tokyo and learn different cuisines and traditions.
In 2012 I migrated to Australia, and specifically to Melbourne with a tourist visa, and later I stayed in the country with a student visa.I started working as a carer in a Greek Health Care Organization for elderly people with Alzheimers and Dementia.After a year of working in the Aged Care Facility I was fortunate to get a sponsor, and the opportunity for a new position as an activity officer and organizing events and Greek celebrations for the elders.I continued for another 3 years to work for the organisation and in 2016 I was awarded for my performance, dedication, contribution, and volunteering to the residents, giving me the unique satisfaction and joy of recognition.
During that time I began to see and appreciate life otherwise, realizing how precious is to spend it next to people we love.In 2017, therefore, I decided to return to Crete, close to my family and to the place where I was born.I decided to go back to what I had left for 19 years … my family, our traditions, the beauties of Crete, healthy local products and the authentic Cretan food.
Taking back all the memories of my childhood and inspired by my grandmother’s recipes, I decided to start Cretan Cooking Classes with the aim of spreading the Cretan cuisine and local products, considering Crete as a blessed place …
My name is Smaragdi Skandalaki and i was born and raised in Chania, Crete.
I could say that our island is a “paradise” with all the goods that offers…the climate, the fertile ground, the natural products and the basic of all, the traditional cuisine.
The last few years i occupy with herbology and the beneficial properties of the natural herbs of Cretan land, a large and interesting subject and also very important for the Cretan cuisine.
I still remember my mother offering us the broth of “stamnagkathi” (a special wild mountain green) with a bit of lemon to detoxificate the body.
I always included in my diet natural-local products which have so far became my way of life.
Today i work as a Co-ordinator of events at the Cretan Cooking Classes and I am responsible for the quality of the ingredients( always the best and fresh) we use, and also ensure that everything is perfect and in place for you so that you are about to have an unforgettable experience.
Don’t miss it!