Aglaia has changed her life and her profession many times over. She currently writes about food in Greek, European and American magazines, publishes books about Greek and Mediterranean cooking in the US and in Greece, and teaches cooking to small groups of travelers who visit Kea.
Before that she was a journalist and editor, writing about everything, except politics. She has been the editor in chief and the creator of news- women’s’- and life-style magazines, her last disastrous venture being a “TV guide for thinking people” –a contradiction in terms, at least in her country.
She studied art, graphic design and photography at the Polytechnic of Central London. For five years she taught photography to graphic designers, while freelancing as a news and fashion photographer for Athenian magazines and newspapers. Editors liked her extended captions more than the pieces the journalists submitted for the events she took pictures for, so she was encouraged to do her own stories, gradually becoming a full time journalist and editor.
Not being a native English speaker, Aglaia will often be caught butchering the language in her impulsiveness to get her texts up, before sending them to her kind American friends for corrections…
Eight summers ago, Costas, with his wife Aglaia and their two dogs, Popie and Melech, loaded their small SUVand left their Athens flat with an armchair tied to the car’s roof. They embarked on vacation to their newly constructed summer house on the island of Kea. They never returned to the city.
After he studied English in Athens and Vermont, he continued with Biblical Studies at Yale. He returned to Greece to pursue an academic career, and taught for several years. In 1997 he published his first book, a translation of the The Gospel According to Philip from Coptic to Modern Greek. While he started his second book, a translation of the New Testament with historical annotations, Kea came up. On the island, while working on his book and freelancing for travel magazines, he discovered that apart from papyri and ancient texts, there are shovels and axes, trees, bushes, and peace of mind. Digging and planting, constructing dry-stone walls and some of the family’s furniture, he stretched and stretched this vacation as long as he could, until it stopped being a vacation and turned into a way of life. His wife consented and the dogs were delighted.
After Aglaia has cooked and served the meals, he usually puts the dishes in the dishwasher. Costas is not much of a cook, but he loves to BBQ fish and pork chops, and makes the most fiery and delicious penne with home-grown chilies and whatever else he finds in the fridge –smoky Kean sausage, capers, leftover shredded cabbage, wild greens, etc.
Seth Rosenbaum (editor)
Seth is a doctoral student in English literature at Harvard University. Before returning to graduate school, he spent a few years living, traveling, and cooking in France, Italy, and Greece.