…. and so it came to pass that the Greek cooking class by chef-patron Robby Goco that I attended two Saturdays ago at The Maya Kitchen was the best one I’ve had this year! Chef Robby’s kitchen anecdotes were simply too engaging and the recipes he shared too absorbing that even a toilet break was a luxury.He really should teach more cooking classes, and attending his cooking class is a must if you’re a fan of his Greek restaurant chain Cyma or that great burger house Charlie’s Grind & Grill!
The good thing with this chef: he shares as much as he can what he knows about his recipes as he believes most of the stuff can be accessed these days on the internet anyway. He also taught us that freshness and quality are precious hallmarks of Greek cooking or any other cuisine. You don’t need MSG if you use the right ingredients or employ the right technique, and more so if your produce is fresh.
Admittedly, am a fan of Greek food and it’s nice to know how it was demystified in this class. For example, I was finally able to get over my trepidation of handling filo pastry after our lessons and made my own spanakopita, the Greek savory pastry with spinach and feta. It’s my new-found alternative to lumpia! 😀
The baklava is another tasty Greek pastry but a bit more laborious to make as you have to ground different kinds of nuts and layer a lot of the filo. But I have to say this is one of my favorite snack or dessert to try and I always love pairing this with coffee.
I love spaghetti and the garides saganaki pasta that Chef Robby made for the class was delicious. I never thought that you can also cook your pasta with red wine.This pasta uses pomodoro sauce, feta cheese, some herbs and medium to large shrimps. The recipe in my cooking blog.
The horiatiki or the Greek summer salad was easy to make as it is healthy! Again, this salad uses feta cheese and is mixed with an assortment of greens, olives, capers and of course olive oil. Make sure to pair this salad with a good baguette.
The kotopoulo avgolemono was something new. It’s the Greek version of lugaw. This dish makes use of Japanese rice cooked to a very soft consistency and then infused with saffron and lemon. The chef said this is usually what the Greek eat after a whole night of drinking and partying.
Finally, there’s the divine-tasting moussaka – another classic Greek dish made of ground meat, eggplant and topped with bechamel sauce. I like how the flavors alternate between the crunchiness of the meat and the creaminess of the sauce. It is no doubt a meal in itself.
Before he closed the session, Chef Robby took time to tell us that he will soon be opening Achiote, a Mexican restaurant and Greener Pastures, a salad bar boasting of green architecture that will revolutionize the healthy dining scene in Manila. Way to go chef!
If you want to see Chef Robby Goco in action, catch him again in a food demo at the Megaworld Atrium in Eastwood on Sept. 30. In this class, he will teach how to make Tzatziki, Hummus, Melitzanosalata and Htipiti, Horiatiki, Spanakopita, Kakavia, Roka Pasta, Moussaka, Chicken Souvlaki, Yemistes, Baklava, and Yiaourti Me Prouta. Trust us, you will enjoy it! 😉
For complete cooking and baking class schedules at the Maya Kitchen, check out their website.