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Greek Food Fair opens next week at Holy Cross Church June 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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Forget the long and costly plane ride, South residents can experience a taste of Greece in Mt. Lebanon next week at a popular church fair that has re-created a Greek village that includes Mediterranean-style houses, a three-dimensional, 8-foot high church; even columns to remind one of the doric colossus that is the Parthenon.

“You get the feeling you’re in a Greek village,” said event chairman Jim Spanos, of Mt. Lebanon. All that, plus a sampling of delicious Greek cuisine will be found at the 35th Annual Greek Food Fair at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church on Gilkeson Road.

About 8,000 to 10,000 people are expected to attend, most of them dining outdoors on the veranda, or in the community center. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m, and dinner from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Take-out service is available from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The festival runs Wednesday through June 16.

There will be free parking at the church, and free shuttles from the Galleria, across Gilkeson Road, beginning at 5 p.m. Beer and Greek and domestic wine can also be purchased, as can the fair’s homemade signature drink: an Aegean Margarita. All food is prepared by parishioners, with proceeds supporting church operations and church-sponsored activities.

On June 8, Mr. Spanos and other men will begin making the bechamel, a wine and cream sauce, for the moussaka, which is layers of baked eggplant and seasoned ground beef topped with a cream sauce. It will sell for $5 a serving. Mrs. Spanos estimated there are at least 150 volunteers for the event, the planning of which kicked off in January.

Rolling and shaping dough for koulourakia, or butter cookies, began in April and 487 dozen cookies were made. They will sell for $4 a dozen, and sell out every year. Also on the menu: Greek feta fries, $4 a serving, which are fried potatoes seasoned with oregano and sprinkled with feta cheese and optional lemon. New this year on the veranda is saganaki, or fried kasseri cheese, flamed with brandy for $5. Also new in the tent area will be chicken souvlakia, or skewered chicken breast marinated in lemon, olive oil, and oregano, and served on pita bread for $5.

Besides other favorites such as calamari ($5), chicken oregano dinner ($10) and lamb shank dinner ($11), the event will feature traditional Greek dress, music, and dancing, and a marketplace. Free tours of the Orthodox church architecture on the grounds surrounding the festival will be available.

For the complete menu, visit: www.holycrosspgh.org. For takeout service, call 412-854-6001.

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Dias now open at Le Meridien Hotel Dubai June 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
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Dubai will never be the same again. The launch of ‘Dias Legendary Greek Cuisine’ has changed its profile. Bringing in a matchless experience, Dias is a Greek themed restaurant opened at Le Meridien Dubai (International Airport). Dias invites guests to experience Greek life at its best with its superb cuisine, beverages, live entertainment and authentic ambience.

Every visit to Dias is like taking home a piece of Greece. Its earth coloured interiors with massive columns take one back to the ancient Greek civilization. The theme doesn’t end with the ambience; men and women waiting there to assist the guests at the table speak Greek or are familiar with the language and culture and they are draped in the traditional Greek attires, chlamys.

Complete with marble, glass, wood, DIAS has elegantly furnished VIP rooms on the mezzanine floor that offer great privacy. Equally fascinating is the outdoor dining at Dias, thanks to its lounge and garden alfresco dining areas. There is a main beverage area where the mixologists will be indulged in their creations with marvelous collections of Greek beverages for the first time in the UAE.

When it comes to food, Dias believes fine dining is a true expression of the land’s culture, and is not just pleasing one’s taste buds, but also understanding the dish one is relishing. Thus, Dias aims to introduce a new dining culture that will fascinate not just the food connoisseurs but also everyone who drops in here. The very creation of each cuisine brings the homemade flavours with the best available ingredients that are specifically imported from Greece. Best of all is the modern way of food presentation at Dias, which go beyond the expectations of even the most cosmopolitan guest.

Moreover, Dias has a wonderful troupe that performs Greek contemporary live entertainment. Occasionally, these artistes transform the calm and elegant ambience of Dias to one that’s sparkling and lively.

Greek taste for kebabs could keep you trim June 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste Local, Health & Fitness.
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Greece, the land of the kebab was yesterday named the best place for holidaymakers watching their waistline.

Britons looking for a low-fat holiday destination should head for Greece, according to new research that says a typical meal there contains the least calories out of those at our favourite jet-setting destinations. The survey claims that one in four Britons will choose a holiday destination this year based on the healthiness of the local cuisine.

People aged over 45 are leading the calorie-counting trend, with six in 10 saying that healthy food is a necessity when on a foreign break. According to the research from Somerfield, the supermarket group, nearly seven in 10 Britons put on weight during their annual summer fortnight in the sun. Five per cent return home up to a stone heavier.

Almost half of holidaying Britons head for the European hotspots of Spain, Greece, Italy and France in the summer. A new holiday food index aims to help them by providing the calorific damage of a typical meal at each destination.

  Greece comes out on top with its popular selection of national dishes that include fresh salads, grilled lamb kebabs and stuffed vine leaves. A typical Greek meal without alcohol contains about 1,130 calories. Spain and France are ranked second and third respectively.

Popular Spanish meals contain up 1,170 calories each and French favourites add up to 1,355. Italy is in fourth place with its choice of fattening pizza and pasta dishes as well as creamy desserts. A typical meal there adds about 1,430 calories to a holidaymaker’s intake.

More than half of British holidaymakers say that healthy food is high on their list of holiday essentials, along with a nearby beach and sunny weather. A spokesman for Somerfield, which interviewed 1,600 adults, said: “It’s good to see so many British holidaymakers taking their health seriously and trying to eat well on holiday. However, it’s important to remember that holidays are for kicking back, relaxing and enjoying yourself. So long as you don’t overdo it and eat a well-balanced diet, a few holiday treats will not hurt.”

This summer, nearly half of women and a quarter of men will try to lose weight before their holiday.

Source >The Telegraph

It’s all Greek to Halifax, Canada June 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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Eat, drink, dance > festival season is here at last

Andrew Botas has been a dancer since he was six years old. He will be among the members of Halifax’s Greek community performing during this year’s festival, showing off more than 30 dances from across the Aegean this weekend.

Each area of Greece has its own style of steps and clothing, so the dancers performing at the festival are also giving a geography and history lesson. Such as taking the small steps of the sousta which is a courtship dance from the island of Crete.

Since last Thursday, volunteers have been busily decorating the hall, putting up crowd control fences, setting up tables, and getting food, lots of food, ready for Halifax’s 22nd festival. More than 7,000 pita breads, 20,000 souvlaki, 12,000 kebabs, 20 cases of eggplants, and 240 25-pound cases of tomatoes have been ordered.

“It’s the homemade Greek food stuff that is made by the mothers that people can’t get anywhere else,” organizer Tino Klironomos said about why the festival attracts more than 20,000 visitors each year. While 2006 was a financial washout because of rain, Klironomos is hoping the weather co-operates this year.

Kicking off the summer festival season, the weekend has been blessed in the past with warm weather.He said highlights will include the five-piece band Poseidon, Olympic games for the kids, a wine tasting, tours of St. George’s church and language lessons. There will also be a shuttle bus taking festival goers from the West End Mall parking lot to St. George’s church.

“People come to Greek Fest to enjoy, taste, and three days of music, dancing and Greek culture,” he said. “We even have official Greek water, it’s actually produced in Greece.”

For a complete list of Greek Fest events, visit www.greekfest.org

Continental Airlines > New York and Athens daily nonstop service June 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in News Flights.
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Continental Airlines tomorrow will launch daily nonstop flights between its New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and Athens, Greece.

The new service will provide a link from the financial and business center of the U.S. to the capital of Greece with connections from an extensive network of more than 230 cities throughout North, Central and South America, the Caribbean and beyond.

“Athens is the latest addition to Continental’s 29-city trans-Atlantic route network,” said Jim Compton, the airline’s executive vice president marketing. “We are offering travelers something no other carrier can match: award-winning, nonstop service from New York’s only major-airline hub to Greece, with same-airline, same-terminal connections from cities throughout the Americas.”

Continental’s New York Liberty to Athens flights are operated with 174-seat Boeing 767-200ER aircraft, carrying 25 passengers in the BusinessFirst cabin and 149 in economy. Flight CO104 departs New York Liberty daily at 5:30 p.m., arriving in Athens at 10:20 a.m. the next day. The return flight, CO105 departs Athens daily at 12:20 p.m., arriving at New York Liberty at 4:30 p.m. the same day. Flying times are approximately 9 hours 50 minutes eastbound and 11 hours 10 minutes westbound.

During the traditional seasonal reduction in demand, the frequency of service will be reduced to five flights weekly in November and December 2007, four flights weekly in January and February 2008, and five flights per week in March 2008 (exact dates to be decided). A daily frequency will resume effective April 2008.

The new flights feature Continental’s renowned BusinessFirst service, which has won the Best Executive/Business Class award in the OAG Airline of the Year Awards in each of the past five years (2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003), based on voting by frequent flyers worldwide. BusinessFirst was also voted Best Transatlantic Business Class among U.S. airlines in Conde Nast Traveler magazine’s Business Travel Awards 2006, for the 9th year running.

This premium-class cabin features extra-wide electronic sleeper seats with 55-inch pitch, adjustable winged headrests and personal video screens. On Continental’s Boeing 767, the BusinessFirst seating configuration is 2-1-2, with an individual seat in the center of the cabin, offering customers wider seats and more space than on similarly-sized aircraft operated by competitors. Other BusinessFirst amenities include gourmet menus and award-winning wines and champagnes. A specially selected and trained group of Concierges provides individualized pre-flight and post-flight services for BusinessFirst customers at 26 key international airports worldwide.

Athens is the 29th city, and Greece is the 16th country, in Continental’s trans-Atlantic route network.

Related Links > http://www.continental.com

Smashing Pumpkins and Manic Street Preachers > live in Athens June 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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Smashing Pumpkins are booked to play August 29 at a one-day festival in Malakassa along with Manic Street Preachers. More acts will be added to the bill, organizers Di-Di Music said.

Reunited with a new album, Smashing Pumpkins, one of the previous decade’s biggest-selling rock bands, will perform a show at the Terravibe venue on the outskirts of Athens on August 29, concert promoter Di-Di Music has announced.

The American band will headline a bill that will also include Manic Street Preachers, expected for their first ever performance in Greece, as well as Kasabian, a relatively newer act with two albums to its credit. The event’s organizer said it was close to booking two further acts, both well known, for this one-day festival.

Formed in Chicago in 1988 by frontman Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins enjoyed enormous success for several years before falling apart. The act had packed local fans into Athens’s open-air Lycabettus Theater not long before their eventual breakup. Now reunited, Smashing Pumpkins have been booked to perform at major festivals in Europe and the USA this summer.

Manic Street Preachers, whose Terravibe show late this summer will be their first in Greece, will perform both old and material.

Kasabian may boast a far shorter track record compared to Smashing Pumpkins and Manic Street Preachers, but they will perform here having won a Best Live Band prize in 2007, awarded by NME, the long-running influential British music weekly.

Advance ticket sales commence today at Ticket House, 42 Panepistimiou Street, Athens, and 20 Ethnikis Amynis Street, Thessaloniki, as well as www.ticketpro.gr. Tickets are priced at 50, 70, and 80 euros.

The Hymettus Summer Festival is back June 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Festivals.
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Following its cancellation last year, summer event includes music, theater, cinema and much more

Music is one of the highlights at this year’s Hymettus Festival. Ranging from Goran Bregovic to Greek balladeer Foivos Delivoria and Italy’s Lucio Dalla, the festival kicks off tonight and runs to next month.

The 21st Hymettus Festival is about to spread to both Vrachon Theaters as well as to adjacent streets. This year the festival is not facing the same problems as one year ago, which had led to its cancellation. At a recent press conference the festival’s artistic director announced the program of upcoming events, which includes theater, music shows, shadow theater, open-air cinema and much more.

The festival kicks off tonight with a concert by the Greek Music State Orchestra, which will pay tribute to Andreas Lentakis under the baton of Stavros Xarhakos. Numerous concerts have been scheduled for the rest of the month, ranging from ethnic sounds by Goran Bregovic and his Wedding and Funeral Gypsy Band to Greek balladeer Foivos Delivorias, Greek folk by Chronis Aidonidis and Cuban ballads by the legendary Buena Vista Social Club.

July will open with the performance of Aristophanes’s comedy “Thesmophoriazusae” and will continue with dervish dances, which will be held on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the birth of the great Sufi poet Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi. The program then features concerts by Catalan collective Ojos de Brujo, Saint Etienne, Greece’s Christos Thivaios, local hip-hoppers Active Member, Doros Dimosthenous and celebrated Italian singer and songwriter Lucio Dalla. Highlights include a great theater tribute to Greek National poet Dionysios Solomos, who died 150 years ago, directed by Sotiris Hadzakis.

What is special about the Hymettus Festival is the variety of parallel events which will enable all local residents to take part in the fun. The events, which will take place in the streets of Hymettus, will include concerts by local singers and acts Martha Frintzila, Ypogeia Revmata, Lizeta Kalimeri, Costas Pavlidis, Costas Thomaidis, Encardia and others as well as Greek folk celebrations, starting this Sunday with Mario and Lambros Karellas at the Iroon Polytechneiou Square, Karaghiozis shadow-puppet theater, children’s workshops and much more.

Shows start at 9 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Hymettus Municipality offices, tel 210 7623857, at Ianos Bookstores, 24 Stadiou Street, Athens, tel 210 3217917 and at www.i-ticket.gr