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No Sugar, Canderel Please June 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Africa.
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Writers > Harry Sideropoulos and Sam Cowen
Performer >
 Harry Sideropoulos
Director > James Cunningham
Venue > Johannesburg Civic’s Tesson Theatre

Hype is a double-edged sword. If you’re doing a sixth season, you must be doing something right. You’re also creating huge expectations for those who are coming to see the show for the first time.

Dealing with the F-word (with Canderel as a sponsor, we know which one he means!), Sideropoulos is moving in familiar territory. Not only for himself but also for the audience. What we have here is rejection and on whatever level, we’ve all been there. Fortunately, we’re also dealing with someone who understands the genre he’s working in. He’s Greek after all. Tragic-comedy is part of the way he breathes. And once you find that essence, then comes the magic.

Sideropoulos turns a solo performance into a theatrical event as he brings on the family and friends, in fact, anyone who had something to say about his huge appetite for life and, of course, other things. With the help of director James Cunningham, it’s action, lights and anything else you can throw into the mix but done with perfect timing and never at the cost of a script with soul.

Talking about size is not something one wants to do lightly having seen the show, but this is one that has huge heart. Mention diet and everyone has a story to tell. There’s not much new on that front. With Sideropoulos, however, it comes from the gut and the honesty with which he explores his life is both funny, and well, tragic. His whole life he has battled with weight but what to do? He is what he is and for Greeks survival is something you do in order to eat!

One of the delights of the show is his love for dance. He moves like an angel, sings with passion and masters the confessional tightrope magnificently. With all that on his side, he turns solo into spectacular. 


Gifted Greek Go Baroque on Upper East Side NY June 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
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This is what’s missing from so many of the restaurants I’ve been to lately: the feminine touch. Donatella Arpaia is the consummate gracious hostess. Tall and striking, with a mane of streaked blond hair, she patrols the packed white-and-yellow dining room in high heels and miniskirt, chatting with customers. An ex-attorney whose father was in the restaurant business (Scarlatti and Lello), she also owns David Burke & Donatella, where she thoughtfully provides a white limousine parked outside the front door for cigarette smokers to lounge in between courses.
Now she’s teamed up with the talented chef Michael Psilakis to open Dona in the space that housed her first restaurant, Bellini. Mr. Psilakis made his reputation at Onera on the Upper West Side, where he reinvented Greek cuisine with dishes such as goat moussaka, sheep-milk dumplings and Hellenic versions of crudo. At Dona, he adopts Italy and Spain as well, with an expansive menu that includes 14 first courses, seven pasta dishes, nine main courses and even a lobster tasting. While you’re looking through it, you won’t be able to resist the thin breadsticks sprinkled with sesame and fennel seeds. We ate two rounds.
A long white plate the waiter set down before us contained an armada of small vessels placed in a straight line, as if ready to take off on a race. Their sails were made of strips of guanciale bacon flying over chunks of soft octopus simmered in red wine and served on slices of peach. The sight made me wonder just how complex and unlikely a marriage of flavors this chef was capable of carrying off.
Quite a few, it seems. Raw seafood meze were among the high points. Oysters were garnished with pink grapefruit and salty ginger, sea urchin topped with burrata and caviar on a fava bean purée. A tartare of yellowtail was served under a cap of fried capers; orange marlin came with mozzarella and basil. A strip steak arrived with bowls of creamy lemon gremolata and beef “lardo” (fat from the steak). The de rigueur steakhouse tomato salad and creamed spinach take on new life in Mr. Psilakis’ hands. Wedges of ripe tomato were tossed with grilled onions and feta, and a bechamel-creamed spinach was served in a phyllo cup. What would this guy do with cottage fries? (more…)

Recipe: Greek Frappé Coffee June 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Recipes.
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Greek Frappé Coffee

Time: 2 minutes

3 teaspoons instant coffee, preferably Nescafé (see note)
Sugar to taste
Milk (optional).
1. Half-fill a tall glass with ice cubes. In a cocktail shaker or a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine 1 inch cold water, instant coffee, 2 or 3 ice cubes and sugar (2 teaspoons is metrios, or medium-sweet; 3 teaspoons is glykos, or sweet).

2. Shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds, until very foamy. Pour into glass and top off with cold water, adding milk if desired. Serve immediately, with a straw for stirring the sugar.

Yield: 1 serving.

Note: Greek Nescafé is stronger than the American version; this recipe has been adjusted for American instant coffee. If using Greek or European instant coffee, use less.

Greek dining in Florida June 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
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If you frequently drive back and forth from the Village of Warwick to the Village of Florida, you’re probably familiar with the location of The Village Grill. The restaurant at 117 South Main St., Florida, N.Y., sits across from Country Chevy Auto Body.

What you may not know is that since last October, the facility that once housed Fulton’s Folly, a well-known bar & grill, has had a total makeover. It is now home to The Village Grill and has been transformed into a modern family restaurant.

“We gutted it,” said co-owner Karen Dugan. “Everything is new and bright. There are more tables and we also have outdoor seating during good weather.”

She and her partner Miltos Porfyris now offer Italian-American and Greek specialties at what she promises are reasonable prices. “We cater to families and we want to be sure that our lunches and dinners are as affordable as they are well prepared.” (more…)

Nix and Hydra join the solar system June 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Science.
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Meet the newest kids in the solar system: Nix and Hydra. The pair of moons orbiting Pluto were officially christened last week by the International Astronomical Union.

Two newly discovered moons orbiting the last known planet in our solar system, Pluto, have been officially named as Nix and Hydra.

Christened at the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the body in charge of approving celestial names, the names were chosen by their discoverers, led by Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado in the United States.

Until now, the duo had been known by an uninspiring combination of letters and numbers – S/2005 P 2 and S/2005 P 1.  Until last year, scientists thought Pluto was accompanied by only one moon, Charon. Earlier this year, the moons’ discoverers, led by Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., submitted their choices.

Mr Stern says that their new names, were partly chosen because their first letters “N” and “H” matched the initials of the New Horizons spacecraft, as a tribute to the spacecraft which blasted off earlier this year on a nine year mission to study Pluto.

But the names also have their roots in Greek mythology. Nix, originally spelt Nyx but changed because a near Earth object already had that spelling, is named after the Greek goddess of darkness. Hydra gets its name from a nine headed serpent that guarded the underworld. And they’re in good company, Pluto is named after the Roman God of the Underworld and its first discovered moon Charon is the Greek ferryman of the dead.

This northern summer, the IAU will debate if Pluto should remain classified as a planet. Its future became unclear after the discovery of an icy object slightly larger than it in the Kupiter Belt. The IAU will discuss whether to demote Pluto or add other planets.

Katsouranis joins Benfica June 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.
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Katsouranis joins Benfica on four-year contract

Greek midfielder Costas Katsouranis has signed a four-year contract with Benfica, the Portuguese premier league club said on Thursday.

The 27-year-old, a member of the Greece squad which won the European Championship in 2004, joined from AEK Athens on a deal worth around 2 million euros ($2.53 million).

Benfica finished third in the league last season, securing a spot in the qualifying phase of the Champions League.

Deal to buy PAOK FC withdrawn June 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.
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According to Greek media, Greek shipowner Yiannis Kambanis has withdrawn his bid to buy out PAOK Salonika.

The deal fell through because Kambanis was unable to reach an agreement with PAOK’s amateur club about ownership of the Toumba ground where the club plays, Greek media reported.

In a letter explaining his withdrawal, Kambanis blamed the amateur club’s president Thanassis Katsaris for the failure of the deal.

“I felt they were taking back things that had been promised to me,” Kambanis was quoted as saying, referring to a takeover of the ground by the professional club. “I do not wish to be involved in these confused situations.”

At a press conference, Katsaris said he was surprised by Kambanis’s decision.

“At our initial meetings, Kambanis didn’t talk about the ground. That came to us late at night on a piece of paper,” he said.

“We told him that first he must take over the club, and then we could find a way to go forward with the ground. The conversation was held in a very good atmosphere.

“One day he was calling us honourable and the next day dishonourable. I think somebody close to Mr Kambanis was a bad influence.”

The failure of the accord leaves PAOK in a financial crisis with two leading players, Dimitris Salpingidis and Ifeani Udeze, taking legal action against the club for unpaid fees.

“The situation at this football club is more than tragic,” said Katsaris.

Last week UEFA decided to exclude PAOK from next season’s UEFA Cup for financial irregularities.