“Thank you for an exceptional week and for welcoming us into your home and community. I was so immersed that I forgot about our life at home—-a true sign of a successful vacation.” Comments like this, coming from our guests across continents, are our greatest reward at the end of yet another successful Kea Artisanal year. In 2009, once more we had the chance to meet several wonderful people who became our new friends:
Another first for us was the group of college students Liz Fakazis brought to Kea. From the University of Wisconsin at Steven’s Point we welcomed quite a few young women and men. We were somewhat worried at first, as the size of the group far exceeded our usual, intimate 6-8 person setting. They proved to be excellent guests, motivated, talented, ready to absorb our knowledge, not to mention devour the dishes we cooked together… We wish them good luck with their studies.
In mid August renowned chef Paul Bartolotta came to visit us with his wife Robbi and his daughter Giulia, together with his friends Elizabeth, Bill and Harry Kahane. Elizabeth took wonderful pictures which she made into a charming book we all cherish!
Early in September Renée Behnke —owner of the stylish Sur La Table kitchen stores— came with her friends from Seattle. With them not only did we cook, but also planted our first artichoke garden, under the guidance of Vangelis Lykourentzos, knowledgeable artichoke producer from the Peloponnese.
Our late fall program was very special! Two physicians from Santa Fe, New Mexico were part of the group. They won their week at Kea Artisanal through a charity auction to support cancer research, sponsored by David and Vicki Snyder, our most precious friends. Vicki has created unique pottery for our table, and helps us in many ways during our classes, from laying the table to loading the dishwasher; David often helps us drive our guests around the island, and they both generously host our groups for sunset drinks and breathtaking views from their beautiful balcony atop the Hora, the capital of the island.
In October producer John Barkley from the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone campus, in St. Helena, CA came with his team to our home in Kea to shoot us cook a few dishes. They were filming all over the country for the upcoming Greek part of the award winning series Savoring the Best of World’s Flavors