Southern California Notes – March 2018

An Epicurean Journey

Chef Peter Minaki

Acclaimed Chef Peter Minaki made his Los Angeles debut at Saint Sophia Philoptochos Society‘s An Epicurean Journey with Friends: A Night in Thessaloniki held on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at Saint Sophia Cathedral.  Showcasing the sophisticated flavors of contemporary Greek cuisine, the 4-course dinner was expertly paired with Wines of Greece’s fine Greek wines. 300 guests enjoyed the evening’s festivities including a Greek Marketplace, silent and live auctions and an olive oil tasting with Yannis Olive Grove, Pylos Poems and Tagaras Hellenic Gastronomia. The event was co-chaired by Mary Kay-Demetriou and Alexia Haidos Itzigsohn.

Chef Peter Minaki is the author known for his Greek Supper Club signature events and popular blog Kalofagas. He has authored several cookbooks including “The Everything Mediterranean Cookbook” and is considered one of Canada’s premier Greek food and wine experts. His recipes offer traditional and modern day interpretations of Mediterranean cooking and reflect his eclectic travel experiences.

Drawing on inspiration from Thessaloniki’s vibrant and multi-ethnic district of Ladadika, Peter prepared a feast showcasing the flavors and fusions defining contemporary Greek cuisine. Highlights included:  grilled octopus souvlaki, lamb riblets with tzatziki sauce, swiss-charred dolmades with avgolemono sauce, braised short ribs with smoked eggplant puree and butternut squash pastitsio.

The event flowed beautifully thanks to John Kopatsis and his outstanding crew and to the hardworking committee members including: Angela Ananias, Anna Aronis, Christina Vlachos-Peratsakis, Constance Manders, Costa Bargeliotes, Dina Demetrius, Dinah Wellington, Donna Mellos, Dorothea Ales, Dorothy Spirus, Jacquelyn Myers, Jan Pastras, Jayne Poullos, Jeanne Boukidis, Jeannine Hanna, Joanna Topetzes, Judie Christopoulos, Karen Sarames, Katherine Manolopoulos, Kosta Spirus, Liane Hall, Linda Koulisis, Maria Toczek, Marianna Politis, Mary Gallanis, Mary Tassop, Olga Jordan, Rosalie Turner, Tina Callas, Tonifaye Palomares-Chassman, Toula Kalatzis and Vida Nahmouli.

This was a party with a purpose with all proceeds benefitting the Saint Sophia Philoptochos Society or “friends of the poor,” providing charitable, benevolent and philanthropic outreach to those in need.

Chef Peter Minaki returned on Wednesday, January 31 to Saint Sophia to unlock the secrets of making homemade phyllo pastry from scratch. The engaged and inquisitive crowd enjoyed his educational presentation especially the delicious lunch that he prepared which included freshly made spanakopita made with his homemade phyllo.


Takis Kokotas

Alekos Galas

“Bring you friends! Come dance with us!” says Anne Sirota, FDF judge, dance teacher, DJ and Board Member of The Kypseli Dance Center. It celebrates its third anniversary on Friday March 16 with live popular music, dancing and refreshments.  Alekos Galas on bouzouki, Dimitar Bogdanov, clarinet, Dimitris Papakosta percussion and singer Takis Kokotas.

Started in Pasadena after The Intersection closed, Kypseli Greek Dance Center is the longest running Greek dance venue in Southern California.   Sirota, dancer and FDF judge, has a message for the Greek community: “We dance every Friday so join us for our special anniversary party!  Folk dance venues in Southern California are struggling. We would like to keep Kypseli and Cafe Asteria thriving, so please plan on dancing with us as often as you can!”  The message from Anne is, “Bring your friends and come dance with us!”

Kypseli is located at The Tango Room, 4346 Woodman Avenue, Sherman Oaks
Email, visit or call 310-229-8947 for information on their dance schedule.



Email the author: Mavis Manus

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