GR US

Saint Sophia Philoptochos Presents Chef Maria Loi Cooking Class

The National Herald

Chef Maria Loi during the online cooking class hosted by the Saint Sophia Philoptochos Society. (Photo: Eleni Sakellis)

LOS ANGELES – This fall, Saint Sophia Philoptochos Society’s signature culinary event, An Epicurean Journey with Friends, is spotlighting acclaimed chef and Greek Food Ambassador Maria Loi.  

A native of Greece, Chef Loi is a restaurateur, author, entrepreneur, philanthropist and healthy lifestyle expert. Well-versed in providing engaging interactive experiences, Chef Loi is hosting a series of three online cooking classes highlighting her renowned healthy Greek recipes and cooking techniques, from her kitchen to yours, via Zoom.

The monthly classes, sponsored by ECOS, Loi Estiatorio and Loi Products, began on October 10, and continue on November 7, and December 5 and include an online auction and door prizes. All of the proceeds benefit the national and local commitments of the Philoptochos.

“This year’s event offers us a rare opportunity to gather an audience above and beyond our Southern California community,” said Virginia Noyes, Saint Sophia Philoptochos President. “With the effervescent and vibrant Chef Maria Loi front and center, families from coast to coast, will come together to cook in the comfort of their own kitchens and enjoy a fun-filled experience all in the good name of our beloved Philoptochos. Loi is internationally known for her healthy Greek cuisine, as well as her heart of gold and is a perfect fit for us this year and something we hope to continue with her when we’re all able to meet again in person.”

On October 10, Chef Loi demonstrated how to make the delicious “Any Vegetable Soup,” and shared the health benefits of the ingredients along with her Loi team members Chef Dara Davenport and Beckett Potter, probably the youngest participant in the event. Chef Loi also offered cooking tips, like before cutting a lemon, place it on the counter and roll it back and forth, applying heavy pressure with the heel of your hand to help get the most juice out of the lemon.

The ingredients list for the recipe was provided ahead of time to all who had registered for the online event and participants also received the full recipe and instructions following the event which was also recorded. Those who wished to see it again could contact the organizers for the link to the recorded cooking class.

The recipe can be adapted to suit every taste, Chef Loi noted. She also answered questions throughout the cooking demonstration and even after the soup was done since many participants were cooking along with Chef Loi from their own kitchens across the country.

Among those participating was Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, President and CEO of Earth Friendly Products, the maker of the ECOS brand of products. The ECOS Fruit & Veggie Wash was used to clean the produce used in the cooking demonstration. Vlahakis-Hanks explained how the Fruit & Veggie Wash is made with organic ingredients and cleans fruits and vegetables better than water alone. She also thanked the organizers and Chef Loi for the event and all their philanthropic efforts.

Chef Loi praised Vlahakis-Hanks, noting that she is loved not only for her company’s great products, but also for her character.

Also among those present was Jeannie Ranglas, President of the Metropolis of San Francisco Philoptochos, and the event was moderated by Dina Demetrius, the Corresponding Secretary of the Saint Sophia Philoptochos Society. The winners of copies of Chef Loi’s Greek Diet cookbook were Tina Eliopoulos and Maria Griffin.

Chef Loi used her award-winning Loi Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the recipe, noting that the olive oil is from Crete. She pointed out that the healthy Greek diet is actually the Cretan diet and the wine featured in the event to accompany the soup was the Sera White 2017 by Silva Daskalaki Estates in Crete.

Chef Loi mentioned that she had just returned from Greece and was under quarantine as directed by the local authorities in New York as a precaution. While in Greece, she was filming her new PBS series which is scheduled to air in the spring of 2021.

For reservations to the upcoming cooking classes and further information, contact: Tonifaye Palomares by phone: 310-560-0865 or email: ssphiloptochos@gmail.com

To purchase classes online: stsophiaphiloptochos.org.