Places I’d Rather Be: Evia, Greece
I have a not so unknown confession to make. I take photographs of food. No, not stylish, arty, cook-book style photographs (though it’s something I’d love to have the kitchen, food and natural lighting to do). I take photos with my iPhone, with my Canon Powershot, with my Nikon D5000, of the food I cook and the food I eat in places. I do it probably every other day. Whether this is because I’ve lived in Japan for too long, who knows. Maybe it’s just that I like to keep a record of good food. When I’m on the train home thinking of ways to pacify my growling stomach, I flick back through photos of salads I’ve made, soups I’ve cooked, and try to find some inspiration.
One set of photos I do always come back to though, comes from the trip I took to Sunshine House in Evia, Greece. Located 1.5 hours from Athens, Evia is part of the Aegean Islands, where the urban sprawl peters out along graffiti-adorned higways and then into olive and orange groves, farmland and traditional stuccoe’d houses. Sunshine House (website currently unavailable) is a combination of organic farm, Thai massage and yoga centre, and family home.
Having been on the ship for so long (where my idea of vegetarianism was clearly at odds with the chef’s), I was getting serious cravings for healthy, delicious food, and I was not disappointed. In fact, I recall that day as one of the best of the trip – yoga, steam rooms, cooking, eating, lounging around in the the garden.
I was talking to a chef friend of mine the other day about cooking with your heart. She told me that one should endeavour not only to sate the physical appetite of the eater, but that they should go away with thier heart full too. This can be achieved through the passion of the person cooking the food and through the act of receiving by the person eating it. The reason I always come back to these pictures is because they represent both – immense passion from our chef, and (at least on my part) huge gratitude.
I’m trying to keep these short and sweet, but you can also enjoy this video which my good friend Aaron made while we were there: