Our Team

CEO & Event Planner

Introducing myself

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 medical 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, Emirates, Turkey, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Boston, New York, Seattle, Miami and Tokyo.

In 2012 I migrated to Australia, and specifically to Melbourne with a tourist visa, and then 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 to take up the position of organizing events and Greek celebrations for the elders.I continue for another 4 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 recognizing my efforts.

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 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

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!


experience the cretan gastronomy

Cooking & Wine Tasting

Make the most of your favorite dishes with the perfect wine companions.


Cook with luxury

A unique experience of Cretan gastronomy combined with a luxury boat trip.


The Olive Oil Experience

Combine simple ingredients with the magic of a good Extra Virgin Olive Oil.


Amygdalia Villas Cooking Experience

Experience the Cretan gastronomy with a majestic view to the sea at Amygdalia Luxury Villas.


Cooking Class

The longevity of Cretans is attributed to the products that nature produces.


Cretan Dream

Experience the Cretan gastronomy creating delicious seafood dishes.


Cooking with beer at Harma Brewery

Learn to create authentic Cretan meals based on traditional recipes.


Monastic Cooking

A starting point of Cretan diet...Create dishes with identity.



Experience our private Cretan cooking classes in your own place.Learn to create authentic Cretan dishes with the freshiest ingredients.Find out our traditions.



Team building with food is a natural and fun opportunity for your corporate team leaders and employees to enhance their job achievement skills.



Cretan Cooking Classes are a unique opportunity to discover the essence and secrets of Cretan traditional homemade specialties,an exclusive occasion to learn about Crete’s local gastronomy,its ingredients and origins.