Ancient Dinners Serves up Benefits of Ancient Greek and Cretan Cuisine

The National Herald Archive

Ancient Dinners held its first event a Minoan Feast at Iron Gate in Washington, DC with Jerolyn Morrison on right. Photo by Andrew Smrz

WASHINGTON, DC – Ancient Dinners, LLC a social enterprise that promotes healthy choices based on ancient wisdom and scientific evidence, organized its first ever event- A Minoan Feast for twenty five distinguished participants. Information, food, and friendship were served at Iron Gate, one of Washington’s top historic restaurants on Tuesday, April 25. The event is the first of a series.

Ancient Dinners is the latest version of Dr. Zoe Kosmidou’s, former Minister Cultural Counselor at the Embassy of Greece in Washington, DC – now, Founder and President of Ancient Dinners LLC, signature lecture series: “Health, Nutrition and Fitness from Hippocrates until Now” that she led for 10 years.

The culmination of the series was an exclusive presentation at the US Congress that helped raise awareness of the health benefits of the Greek diet to more than 500 attendees, in the foyer of the Rayburn House Office building.  Dr. Kosmidou now takes this extraordinary and unique project to another level.

Following the format of the Ancient Greek Symposia where philosophers met to discuss and philosophize over dining and drinking, Dr. Kosmidou invites acclaimed speakers to lead conversations on topics that help the participants make smarter choices for healthier, better, and longer living.

Ancient Dinners first facilitated a dinner by invited speaker Jerolyn E. Morrison, PhD, founder of Minoan Tastes, who opened the discussion and dining with a Minoan Feast, a culinary and cultural exploration that featured ancient flavors from the land, sea, and sky of Crete. She illustrated the culinary history of Minoans by serving a dinner created in collaboration with Iron Gate’s Chef Anthony Chittum. The dinner was prepared in clay Minoan-style cooking pots using food ingredients available during the Bronze Age Minoan era (ca. 3650-1400 BCE). An exclusive selection of rare quality Greek red and white wines by Iron Gate’s sommelier was served throughout the dinner.

Clay pots made from the same earth that nourishes our food were among our first cooking vessels. Cooking in unglazed red clay pots is the healthiest way to prepare foods that stay succulent and cook beautifully, without any added fat, as their flavors and aromas mingle, concentrate, and enrich one another.

The critical ingredients of the Cretan diet include olive oil – dubbed the “natural salad dressing” and a fundamental staple of a healthy diet - whole grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy products (principally cheese and yogurt), seafood and more white meat than red. Combined with an active life style, the traditional Greek diet promotes longevity, boosts the immune system, and reduces the likelihood of obesity and chronic diseases.

“The traditional nutritional habits of Greece, as exemplified by the diet on the island of Crete, restore our body’s essential nutritional 'good fats' and influence every aspect of our being, from the beating of our hearts to our ability to learn to remember,” said our honorary guest, Dr. Artemis P. Simopoulos, former Chair of the National Institutes of Health’s Nutrition Coordinating Committee. “This event will show that eating healthier doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor. The Cretan Greek Diet can play a big role in promoting a healthier lifestyle.”

The Greek Diet has been inscribed on UNESCO's representative list of the “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity,” recognized on November 17, 2010, as part of the Mediterranean diet, but also “as a great contribution to the World, for the population’s health, quality of life, and well-being.”

Ancient Dinners’ “Minoan Feast” was a truly indulging experience that sparked enthusiasm throughout the enlightening evening, leaving guests with unforgettable memories and a wish to attend many more similar events in the future.

Gaea North America, LLC was the primary corporate sponsor of the evening and offered guests generous gift bags filled with delicious products from Greece.

Ancient Dinners was launched in Washington DC, but will soon expand to other cities around the globe.

More information on Ancient Dinners and upcoming events is available online: