KOUZINA, the National Hellenic Museum’s annual celebration of Greek food, wine, and culture, will gather Chicago’s top chefs on November 2.
KOUZINA at National Hellenic Museum
For about a decade, the National Hellenic Museum (NHM) has hosted KOUZINA, a celebration of Greek culture, food, and wine. Each year, the event grows bigger and better, and draws sell-out crowds. Every floor, every inch of the museum is used for this event. So you can learn about Greek culture while you sample food and wine — and mingle. It’s safe to say that this is one of the hottest tickets in Chicago this fall. Plan to be at NHM on November 2. Here’s why.
Chicago’s top chefs “twist” the classics
The star of this event is the amazing food, prepared by some of Chicago’s top chefs. Each year, the chefs — and not all of them Greek — put their own “twist” on a classic Greek dish or create a recipe with traditional ingredients. The result is a paradise for foodies, who will appreciate the cross-cultural connections, creativity, and most especially, every last delicious morsel.
While several chefs return each year for KOUZINA, many new chefs get in on the fun. Chicago is well-known for its culinary prowess, and KOUZINA chefs are among the best of the city. The preliminary list of chefs is out and we’re excited for this year’s line-up. Chefs Louie Alexakis of Avli Restaurant; Jorgina Pereira of Singha Elegant; CityGate Grille’s Adam Tanner, Tavern on Rush’s John Gatsos; George Bournas of Psistaria; PanHellenic Pastry Shop’s Athena Manolakos; Peter Kappos of Greek Islands; and David Schneider of Taxim Restaurant return this year with amazing new creations on deck.
Louie spoke about why he returns to KOUZINA each year.
“I love KOUZINA because it’s an important event that not only raises money for the museum, but also continues to introduce new people to the museum. I always come back because I want to be part of a Greek food function whose purpose is to keep Greek food fresh, new, and updated. We’re going to have lots of fun with this year’s creation!”
Returning Chef Jorgina is Brazilian, but loves being part of KOUZINA.
“Years ago I was invited by a dear friend who is Greek and Brazilian, and I couldn’t say no to him, plus it’s for a very good cause. I thought it would be a great way to spread the news about the Brazilian cuisine. Since we have so many immigrants in Brazil, including Greeks, I thought I could transform the recipes and do some fun fusion between Greek and Brazilian foods – which is already a mix of Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, and other influences. This year, I’m taking an appetizer that’s very popular in Brazil, and adding some typical Greek ingredients, like feta and spinach, and it reminds me a little of spanakopita. I hope you will like it!”
Participating for the first time is Inspired Catering Chef Elizabeth Tokarczyk. Chef Thomas Leo of Grecian Delight Greek will present classic Greek favorites. This list is by no means complete, as chefs are still signing on for this popular event.
Taste the amazing wines of Greece
Greek wine is growing in popularity around the world, and no Greek celebration would be complete without some great wine to complement the scrumptious dishes. This year, Sommelier Jody Ames of Heritage Wine Cellars will be on hand to pour and answer your wine questions. Jody is thrilled to be part of KOUZINA 2017.
“I’m fascinated by this 3000+ year old tradition of wine making in Greece. I love watching the way the Greek wine industry is growing. It just blows me away. I’m so excited to see such a high level of quality at reasonable prices. I love sharing my knowledge of wines, and Greek wines in particular.”
Distinctive Importers will also be on hand, sharing wines from their portfolio. New this year is a tasting of Greek sodas and liqueurs, courtesy of Heritage Wine Cellars.
As always, sweet treats await you in the Dessert Lounge. Sit on a comfy couch and wind down the evening. Also, don’t forget to go up to the museum’s heated rooftop deck. There you can enjoy the spectacular view, and sip a Metaxa Hot Toddie, courtesy of Ship to Shore.
President Laura Calamos, Ph.D. shared why she loves KOUZINA.
“I love how the evening is both mouth-watering and educational! The chefs’ offerings of great tastes helps show the broad influence of Greek culture on so many American kitchens. And with the all the grape varieties and regional specialties, learning about Greek wines with a sommelier will help people to make sense of the diverse and interesting map of Greece. Appreciating the Hellenic legacy can be fun and tasty!”
NHM has a few more surprises in store, so you won’t want to miss this year’s KOUZINA.
Don’t miss KOUZINA!
For food and wine aficionados who aren’t Greek, KOUZINA is a fantastic opportunity to get a taste of Greece. Guests can explore the influences of Greek culture, sample Greek libations, and taste classic and Greek-inspired dishes, all in one place. For us Greeks, it’s a great reason to come together and celebrate the best of our city, and the best of our culture, while supporting the important work of the National Hellenic Museum. It’s one of my favorite events of the entire year – and one I never miss. KOUZINA 2017 will take place on November 2 from 6:30-10:00 pm. NHM is located at 333 S. Halsted Street in Greektown. Get tickets now before they sell out. See you there!
WindyCity Greek is proud to be a media sponsor for KOUZINA 2017.