Our Team

Introducing my self 

Jenny Skandalaki

My name is Jenny Skandalaki and I was fortunate to born and grow up on this blessed island… Crete, in a big typical family.

As yesterday it seems to me when with my family were visiting my grandmother’s home every Sunday and the smell of all the goodies she prepared smelled all over while we went down the alley which had on the edge a cistern. Our grandmother always welcomed us with that good-natured smile.

She began to cook early in the morning so to make sure that everything would be ready when we arrived… tsigariasto (goat with oil and wine cooked), roast with potatoes in the wood fire oven, staka with eggs, fennel pies, sfakianes pies, dako, kalitsounia with honey (cheese pies ) ,horta (wild greens)… what to remember first ?

Images, flavours and smells ,and that grandma’s figure tireless and always with the smile to look at our dishes to make sure that all of them are full.

This was my inspiration to start this project and all the grandma’s recipes that I love and remember are here to share with you.

We are offering a range of experimental activities to visitors, regular weekenders and local residents.


Michalis Papadakis - Private ChefMy name is Michalis Papadakis and I feel great honor that I grew up with the traditions and the customs of Crete.

My father comes from Patelari village, a flat village surrounded by olive groves and citrus trees and its inhabitants are mainly farmers.

My mother is from Xirokabi village which is built 150m above sea level, overlooking the olive trees and the vineyards, 18km from the center of Chania.

Cooking was always very important for me, since I remember myself visiting grandmother Efterpi (with her delicious baked lamb in the oven) and grandmother Georgia with her delicious kalitsounia…They were always in the kitchen with an apron preparing Cretan dishes and talk about the recipes, the nutritional values, the flavors, the smells and the secrets of Cretan cuisine. I travelled with my mind in a world of tastes and every time I visited them I was thrilled by the interest and the curiosity to want to know everything about traditional recipes.

My mother, with love for the Cretan cuisine and following cooking as a profession until today was the catalytic influence for me to follow myself professionally the cooking as she transmitted to me all her love and creativity for Cretan cuisine and the Mediterranean diet.

In 2008 I completed my studies and gained my diploma in culinary art and teaching cooking classes in a State school.
The first 8 years of my career in a co-operation with hotel Minoa Palace Resort and Spa I stood by a chef  (and my mentor) Yiannis Tsivourakis who gave me the appropriate supplies, knowledge and support to continue my career and my effort of giving the best of myself and my devotion to what I learned to love until today…cooking.

Today I work as a chef at Irida restaurant and in parallel with the “Cretan Cooking Classes” we have a common goal, to create unique dishes for you and share the flavors that grew me…

Event Coordinator

Smaragdi Skandalaki - Event Coordinator

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!


Mountains of Crete

The longevity of Cretans is attributed to the products that nature produces such as wild greens and mountain herbs.Find out our traditions.

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Cretan Dream

The sea surrounding the Crete island hides treasures that Cretans developed combining seafood with other flavours.

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Cretan Secrets

The simplicity of Cretan dishes hides secrets of great importance for the result of unique flavours. Learn to create authentic Cretan meals based on traditional recipes.

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Minoan flavors

The timelessness of raw ingredients and traditional recipes from antiquity until now days is the starting point of the Cretan diet. Create dishes with identity.

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Experience our private Cretan cooking classes in your own place. With a focus on hands-on cooking create the perfect menu for you, adapting to your needs or special diet requirements. We will create a unique event for you and your guests!

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The island of Crete offers a wide variety of raw materials thanks to its ideal climate and soil conditions. Cretans eat whatever their rich land produces. Fruits, vegetables, herbs, legumes, cheese and bread. They flavor the taste with wonderful herbs, prepare sweets with honey , and accompany their meal with good Cretan wine.