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Meet Rena and Marina

Rena

My first solo cooking adventure was at the age of 12. I remember deciding to cook on a day when my parents were out so that I could surprise them. I made beans with vegetables in tomato sauce and I can still clearly remember how proud my mother was when they got back and how she boasted about it to her friends! My cooking skills have greatly evolved since those early days as has my passion for cooking and entertaining.

Over the years I have always collected recipes from friends, cookery books, cooking shows and I also have my own collection of hundreds of restaurant, tearoom and cafe menus that help fuel my imagination. It has always been my wish to do something related to cooking and Yummy Cyprus encompasses just that.

When trying out any new recipe either from a book or a friend I inevitably always adapt it, adding and subtracting ingredients and quantities, giving it my own personal touch and taste of flavours. I spend hours in my kitchen and I love it! Cooking for my children, grandchildren, friends and relatives is an everyday event at our house! My kitchen-my kingdom, my favourite place to be in the house!

Pure fresh ingredients, fresh herbs that I grow in pots on my veranda combined with my endless love of cooking, Greek music playing in the background and there you have the secret ingredients of my cuisine! My family and friends, my cooking and my painting are the epicentre of my life!

Over the years I've hosted huge dinner events, cooked for ambassadors, commercial councellors of various embassies in Cyprus, Offshore company directors, doctors, family and friends' birthdays and events and the list goes on....

Working alongside my friend Marina and getting to teach and share our love of traditional Cyprus and Greek cooking is a dream come true!

 

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Marina

Living abroad for many years, I came to realise that projecting my country's food, culture and traditions had become ingrained in my daily life.Cooking for our family of four children and all our relatives, friends and the children's friends in Cyprus, Greece, England, Germany and France had become one of my greatest pleasures and joys in life... and still is!

The more I cooked, the more I found myself handing out my recipes to friends and family who'd enjoyed the home-cooked meal so much that they wanted to recreate it.

But at the same time I was also collecting recipes that interested me from all over the place – friends, colleagues, magazines, papers... The pile of my own recipes and those I'd adopted (each with my scribbled annotations and modifications!) started growing, and soon I had to find a home for them.

They've now taken pride of place in my grandfather's old travelling trunk, which, over the past hundred years, has made its way from his homeland of Mykonos to the island of Syros where he married a beautiful young girl who'd arrived there from her own island of Santorini.

The trunk's travels didn't stop there – it followed my own mother to Cyprus, packed with her dowry of linen and embroideries, and lived in our family home in the then small town of Larnaca.

It's now been adopted in my own home in Cyprus' coastal Agia Thekla, and the years of recipes that it houses do justice to its age, tradition and travels across the Greek world!

My goal now is to be able to convey this tradition, the culture and my love for my homeland through the ingredients and flavours of my cooking.

I hope that through my recipes I'll be able to share not only the food of my homeland, but also a sense of its origins. The simple ground wheat pourgouri, the fragrant afelia, or the melt-in-the-mouth kleftiko should bring with them the memories and habits of our land and its people. They should convey the pleasure of generations of family meals, of a dinner table laid with simplicity: freshly ironed napkins, plain china and cutlery, a jug of water, a tumbler of wine, torn bread, lively conversation.

Cooking together with my old friend Rena, setting the table and bringing the families together for a meal, I realise how we're arranging our history on the dinner table; we're keeping our roots alive through our forefathers' food.

I hope that through our recipes you'll be able to share the magnificent history, culture and traditions of Cyprus and Greece, which have been sealed in its flavours.

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Join our workshops

Yummy Cyprus workshop

Yummy Cyprus cookery workshop

 

If you’re interested in joining us for one of our cookery workshops or demonstrations, then please contact us.

We aim for our workshops to deliver something beyond a simple cookery course. You’ll learn how to make Greek and Cypriot dishes, but at the same time we will explain the traditions behind these meals – how they were originally prepared and eaten, which special occasions the recipes may have been linked to and what they represent, and how our parents and grandparents used to prepare the meals without the modern kitchens and utensils that we use today.

What is important for us is to convey the richness of flavours and history within our traditional food and to help you get an insight into Greek and Cypriot culture. For this very reason, we’ll share a glass of wine at the end of each workshop, perhaps some traditional music – and for small groups we can even enjoy together the food that we have just prepared.

Each workshop includes demonstrations on how to prepare at least one main meal as well as several side dishes and dips. We are flexible in our menus and can adapt our courses to any special recipe requests.

We hold group and private workshops on demand in Nicosia and Larnaca, but are always open to discuss other locations if there is sufficient interest.

Contact us and we’ll be happy to put together a cookery workshop that meets your particular needs.

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