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Press release

Grandmas launch traditional Cypriot cookery school

15th February 2012, Nicosia, Cyprus // Two Cypriot grandmothers, Rena and Marina, today launch their new cookery school, Yummy Cyprus, where they will be teaching traditional Cypriot cooking – infused with the culture and history that travels through the country’s food.

Yummy Cyprus will be offering both group and private cookery workshops, which will involve hands-on experience in preparing both simple everyday meals and more complex dishes.
The two women, both in their 60s, have already attracted significant attention from international communities and hotels interested in hosting cookery sessions that deliver an insight into the country’s culture and traditions through its cuisine.

Yummy Cyprus will kick off with its first workshop in Nicosia next week, hosted by the French Institute of Cyprus. The course will include six three-hour sessions held every Tuesday morning, during which participants will have the chance to observe and practice the preparation of a range of traditional meals.

“We are very pleased to have Rena and Marina with us,” said the director of the French Institute of Cyprus. “They will share a lifetime of experience of cooking in traditional Cypriot homes for family and friends, and will pass on more than just the recipes. Their classes will be an insight into the heart of the country we live in, via the flavours, smells and stories of its food.”

Rena and Marina say that although their focus will be on traditional Greek and Cypriot cuisine, they will be adapting their recipes and approach to take into account the changes in today’s fast-paced lifestyles.

“People today lead busy lifestyles, which often don’t leave much time for cooking at home. But not all traditional meals require lots of preparation time, or lots of ingredients and shopping time,” says Marina, who spent 25 years juggling her family of four children with work and daily home cooking.

“Throughout our years of leading busy lives and bringing up families, we have learnt to respond to our families’ hunger with healthy, tasty food that took us just as much time to prepare as it would have taken to get to a take-away place and order ready-made food”.
The focus of Yummy Cyprus will be to teach a combination of easy-to-prepare day-to-day Cypriot meals (like pourgouri, lentils and black-eyed beans) as well as more complex traditional dishes for weekends or special occasions (like mousaka, pastitsio and dolmades).

“We don’t have to go to remote villages in Greece and Cyprus in search ofrecipes from grandmas:we’re in this age group ourselves!” says Rena, a grandma of two. “Together, Marina and I have gathered two lifetimes of experience in the secrets of Mediterranean cooking.”

“We also have friends of the same age scattered all over Cyprus and Greece, who we will occasionally invite to our workshops so they can demonstrate some of the dishes particular to their village and their cultural background.”

Editor’s notes:
• Recipes will include a range of traditional dishes from Greece and Cyprus, with a focus on the health benefits of a traditional Mediterranean diet.

• The traditional Mediterranean diet, which is rich in cereals, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and olive oil, has been studied for its multiple health benefits, including: a longer life, less heart disease, protection against some cancers,a reduction in the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, aiding in weight management and depression, improving rheumatoid arthritis and promoting better breathing.

• More about the Mediterranean diet and its health benefits can be found via Oldways, a non-profit nutrition group that developed the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid together with the Harvard School of Public Health and many scientists from Mediterranean countries and the United States.

• Yummy Cyprus workshops will be limited to six participants to allow for everyone to follow the cookery demonstrations with their own preparations.

• Courses are priced at €300(€50 per session for six sessions of three hours each)

• Sessions run on Tuesday mornings from 10 am to 1pm, starting on Tuesday 21st February 2012, at the French Institute of Cyprus (3VasilissisAmalias – Ayios Andreas – Nicosia)

• Bookings or enquiries can be made by email on info@yummycyprus.comor by phone on 99494399 / 99456816

• Visit Yummy Cyprus at www.yummycyprus.com

“Marina’s kitchen is one of my favourite places in the world. The smells are incredible, they brought Cyprus alive for me.” Ariela Wagner, USA

“I’ve been to Cyprus twice and some of my best memories from the holidays were discovering Marina and Rena’s cooking. Yummy Cyprus will let them share that pleasure with so many others, I’m jealous!” Chris Burrell, New Zealand

“Rena's truly a gifted cook. Her food is meticulously prepared using traditional recipes with an exciting modern twist." Maria Cormican, UK

“Cooking with Rena will inspire you and leave you eager to get back to your own kitchen and share the flavours with your own friends and family. Her recipes are very loved and treasured on this side of the world!” Janice Evans, USA


For more information please contact:
Rena:99494399, rena@yummycyprus.com
Marina: 99456816, marina@yummycyprus.com

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