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The Delicious Legacy

Tselementes - The father of modern Greek Cuisine

Season 5, Ep. 3

Hello!

Nikolaos Tselementes. His name is what every Greek says when talking about cookbook. "Did you look at the Tselementes for your recipe"? Indeed when I was growing up i thought that a guide to cooking, or a book with recipes was called "Tselementes"! :-)

On his death in 1958, the impression one is most likely to get from the statements of such well-known men of letters and esteemed journalists writing about him, is that before Tselementes there was chaos in the Greek kitchen. Idle, ignorant women who very little about cooking forced their poor husbands to live on one bad meal after another, a Situation that often resulted in divorce… Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth. The unanimous adoration for the author of the first complete cookbook written in modern Greek, and based on French cooking, was the result of a sweeping trend that started at the turn of the century. This trend was created by the rich and travelled upper classes —- especially those wealthy Greeks living in the Egyptian cities of Cairo and Alexandria - who, imitating their English and French neighbours, were eager to leave their Eastern past behind and become Europeans.

Nothing of course is further from the truth!

But let's find out about the life and legacy of this colossus of the modern Greek kitchen!

Enjoy!

Thom

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