The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) in Chicago’s Greektown neighborhood is pleased to announce a special ongoing collaboration with celebrity chef, author and TV series host Diane Kochilas, kicking off with the museum’s Spice Month throughout December. This series of virtual conversations and informative social media posts, videos and e-newsletters on the uses and origins of traditional Greek spices launches just in time for the holiday season—a key time for cooking and gathering with family and friends.
For more information on Spice Month, visit nationalhellenicmuseum.org/spicemonth.
An award-winning author of more than 18 cookbooks on Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, Kochilas is the host, creator and co-producer of My Greek Table, an award-winning cooking/travel show about Greece that airs nationally on Public Television and is in its fourth season.
As part of Spice Month, Kochilas will present a virtual talk on mastic, an important spice native to the Greek island of Chios, with NHM’s Director of Research and Content Katherine Kelaidis. The video will be available for on-demand viewing on the museum’s website beginning on Monday, December 4. A second Spice Month conversation on spice routes in the Byzantine Empire will be presented live by Kelaidis as part of the ongoing public NHM Discussions series. This event will be streamed online on Tuesday, December 12 at 7 p.m. CST. Free registration is required at nationalhellenicmuseum.org/spicemonth.
Next year, NHM will collaborate with Diane Kochilas on additional Greek cuisine-focused educational content. More details will be announced in the coming months.
The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) has a mission to share Greek history, art, culture, and the Greek American story. NHM preserves the Hellenic legacy and makes this rich heritage relevant today through its extensive collection of more than 10,000 physical artifacts, hundreds of oral histories, exhibitions, educational programs, and special events. Originally founded in 1983 and located in Chicago’s historic Greektown neighborhood since 2011, the museum provides lifelong learning for the community and sparks inquiry and discussion about the broader issues in our lives and society. Regular museum hours are Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The museum will be closed in observance of holidays on November 23 and 24, December 24, 25 and 31, 2023; and January 1, 2024.
Bio for Diane Kochilas
Diane Kochilas is one of the world’s foremost experts on Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. She is the host, creator, and co-producer of My Greek Table, the award-winning 13-episode per-season cooking-travel show about Greece that airs nationally on Public Television and is in its fourth season. Season 5 is in development.
Diane hails from the Blue Zone Greek island of Ikaria and New York City and brings a combination of innate Blue-Zone wellness and result-oriented NYC spirit to everything she does. She is an award-winning author of more than 18 books on Greek-Mediterranean Cuisine and runs the Glorious Greek Kitchen on Ikaria Cooking School every spring and fall on the island, in which she introduces guests to a life-enhancing experience that involves cooking garden-fresh, healthy, mostly plant-based Greek-Mediterranean recipes and cultural immersion into the folk ways of this unusual Greek island. Diane also organizes culinary trips and walking tours in Greece and cooking classes throughout the United States.
She has been on the forefront of bringing healthy Greek and Mediterranean cuisine to an American audience for more than 25 years. Diane has been consulting chef for many of the top Greek restaurants in the United States, including Pylos and Molyvos in NYC, and for years worked with university dining services at Harvard, Yale and UMass Amherst to bring healthy Mediterranean cooking to student dining halls. She is a frequent speaker at the CIA and other major culinary institutions, and has organized conferences on Greek cuisine for the International Olive Oil Council in Greece. She has also organized and led tours of Greece tailored to the needs of culinary professionals, from chefs to dieticians and test kitchen R & R teams. She has also led R & R seminars for companies such as Cliff Bar, introducing traditional and contemporary Greek ingredients and flavors to the company’s product development team.
She has appeared as a guest on many American food shows, including Martha Stewart, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, The Today Show and CBS Sunday Morning. For the last few years, she has focused on her PBS series and on developing her culinary tour and classes in Ikaria and around Greece.