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Five minutes with: Maria Benardis

Maria Benardis, founder of Greekalicious, teams up with the charity Mission Australia to teach the homeless to cook, on MiNDFOOD

Five minutes with: Maria Benardis

Maria Benardis, founder of Greekalicious, teams up with the charity Mission Australia to teach the homeless to cook.

What event or person inspired you to team up with Mission Australia?

My family, unofficially the word charity should be added to my families middle name. My family both here and in Greece have always being involved in charitable work. It’s in our blood.

What recipes did you cook at the event?

We cooked mousaka, tzatziki, baklava and a Greek salad made with tomato, feta and fresh basil (try it here).

What is the most underrated Greek dish?

I believe that it is pie making and the regional cuisine of Greece. For some bizarre reason out of the hundreds of pies made in Greece we only see three here in Greek restaurants. They are spanakopita, cheese pie and meat pie.

What is your signature dish?

I have a few, however if I had to pick one it would have to be my mastic infused prawns with kataifi pastry. Mastic (masticha in Greek) is the Greek chewing gum that comes from the island of Chios.

What is your perfect food and music match?

Seafood cooked simply on the BBQ or skara, a variety of Greek salads, taramosalata, some ouzo all accompanied with some Greek music. Alkisti Protopsalti is my favourite artist.

When did you move to Australia?

I was born in Australia and briefly lived in Greece when I was young for a few years. I came back when I was about 9 years old.

Greekalicious is located in the heart of Bondi Junction & offers Sydney’s most authentic Greek cooking experience. Teacher Maria Benardis mixes ancient Greek and modern dishes with her passion for regional traditions, storytelling and lively music. Using certified organic ingredients all classes include a full sit down meal with plenty of quality Australian wine.

www.greekalicious.com.au

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