• FAT LAMB KOUZINA'S CRETAN COOKING ADVENTURE

     

    FAT Lamb Kouzina

    874 Yonge Street

    Toronto, ON

    M4W 2J1

    416.301.7888

    SUNDAY APRIL 07 - SATURDAY APRIL 13, 2019

    7 DAYS / 6 NIGHTS

    This holiday is for people who would like to learn the culture of Crete, to visit and walk the ruins ancient civilizations and join basic skills in preparing the famous Cretan traditional Mediterranean Vegetarian and Non Cuisine.

    They will gain hands on experience through class participation.

    Here, the locals dine on fresh seafood, smoked eggplant, free-range lamb tsigariasto, homemade raki, and much more. Master the art of crafting these dishes while exploring the island on this ten-day cooking and cultural tour of Crete from Fat Lamb Cuzina and Porto Club tours.

    The taste and aroma of Cretan plates are both balanced and keep going through centuries with the knowledge and experience that have passed from the older female family member to the younger, like a class in the school and the recipes survive in time.

    Participants will learn various cooking methods, eat nutritiously, meal planning tips, and where and how to shop for ingredients.

     

    C R E T E

    PRICING

    Euros 1.900

    (For One Person, Double Occupancy)

     

    Payment method:

    30% on or before November 15, 2018

    Remainder balance 70% in cash by arrival

     

    PAYMENTS: via Pay Pal or Bank wire system

     

     

    FOOD , WINE CULTURE AND HANDS ON COOKING HOLIDAY IN CRETE

    7 Days Culinary travel in Crete, with Accommodations, All meals wineries, liquors places visits and tasting and Excursions and five (4) Hands on Culinary Classes

     

    Inclusions:

    6 nights hotel accommodation / double occupancy, 7 days English speaking private driver, 7 days private A/C vehicle, Fuel, Road taxes, Drivers accommodation and meals, All transportations All breakfasts, All lunches and dinners as per program

     

    Included in the price

    • Chartered vehicle with private English speaking driver for the days 1 - 7
    • Fuel
    • Road taxes
    • Return transfers to/from Heraklion port
    • Cretan cookery lessons on day 2,3,4 and 5 
    • A visit to the women’s co-operative work shop of Marathos
    • A visit to the monastery of Arkadi 
    • A visit to Argyroupolis natural springs and Matala caves 
    • A gastronomic walking tour of Heraklion
    • A gastronomic walking tour of Chania
    • A mountain tour and Cretan traditional music and songs in private by a local well known musician and singer
    • Icon painting class by a well known artist hagiography painter
    • A visit to local winery and tasting of wine 
    • A visit to a local liquor factory and tasting of liquors.
    • All transport to and from the excursions
    • All cooking materials and ingredients
    • Breakfast each morning
    • Lunch on days 2-6
    • Dinner on days 1 - 6
    • Transportation port / hotel  day of arrival to Crete
    • Accommodation Crete single / double occupancy
    • A visit to the palace of Knossos (guiding included - Entrance fees /tickets  are EXTRA)
    • A visit to the Roman city of Gortys and the palace of Phaestos (Guiding - Entrance fees / tickets are EXTRA)
    • Transportation hotel / airport for the flight back home

    Prices are based on two sharing a double room

  • About the Host

     

     

    -Your Greek host and cook for the holiday is George (Giorgos) Portokalakis

    -George is passionate about the island of Crete and so as well as taking you on a culinary journey to discover the island’s cuisine, it will also be a cultural one
    -George has been working in the travel industry for over 44 years but has always had a love and interest in food and the food industry
    -George has had two experiences running his own restaurants and has catered for Cretan weddings as well as running cookery holidays on the island
    -He began offering cooking holidays in response to guest’s request whilst working in travel and has run the holidays for a number of years (16 years+)

    -George is well rehearsed in Cretan Mediterranean nutrition and diet and hopes to show visitors the richness of Cretan food that he believes can be accessible and enjoyed by all, whatever your dietary requirements
    -George’s style is friendly, informal, and relaxed and cooking is often accompanied by a glass of wine
    -He thinks cooking should be a fun activity to be shared with friends and there are no strict rules to his cooking
    - He believes the freshness of the ingredients make the dishes and uses only local ingredients

     

     

     

  • WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT GEORGE:

    WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT GEORGE:

     

    To: Portokalakis Giorgos
    Subject: Re: Crete

    Hello George,

    As promised, some photos are attached. I will send two separate emails with four photos each, so hopefully they will get through.

    I had such a wonderful time, and think about my vacation in Crete every day. I am ready to come back, and hope to talk some friends into coming with me.

    You were a fantastic guide and teacher, and a true ambassador for Crete.

    Cheers!

    Merrilee

     

    From: DIANA
    To: portoclub@cyta.gr
    Subject: RE: Crete / George

    Hello George,

    I just wanted to say, that your are a true professional and a very special person. You made the experience truly memorable. You treated all of us like family instead of just strangers. You took us to local eating establishments which really enriched the experience. The cooking classes were a lot of fun, they were very hands on, which I bloody loved. You went out of your way to make sure that we all had a fabulous time. George, if you could send me the recipe for the sardines, that would be great as I have forgotten it. I must tell you that I did make the pancakes for my family and they absolute loved them. I hope to be able to make more of the meals for them.

    George I will always remember my time there as very special, and wish you and your family the very best.

    I will always have a grand smile as I remember my time in Crete.

    Greetings from NYC, USA.

    Diana (the Archer)

     

    From: Chris
    To: portoclub@cyta.gr;
    Subject: Debby Burns: Vacation to Crete

    Well, another very pleased customer!!
    To: Chris
    Subject: RE: Vacation to Crete

    Hi Chris,

    We have been back a week now and still catching up but I am very happy to report that we had a fabulous time and George is a fantastic host! We would recommend the holiday to anyone. He was very attentive and made sure that everyone on the trip was catered for. The accommodation was gorgeous and the owners very friendly, making sure we had everything we needed. The only down thing....way too much food!!! We are now on a diet! Just kidding, the food and culinary experience was wonderful, George took us to all local places where we tried numerous local dishes and drinks and let us experience Cretan life to the full. He was also very informative on Cretan ways and customs etc. Everyday was on our time and we did not feel rushed at all, great experience. It would be great if you could go and visit him and see the extent to which he puts himself out everyday, to make sure the client has a first class experience.

    Thanks again

    Deb Burns

    Investment Advisor Assistant

     

    From: Sharon L Henn
    To: Giorgos Portokalakis
    Subject: Address

    Geia sas, Giorgos!

    Ti kaneis? I hope all is poly kala! :-) I'm home from Greece and miss it...it was so beautiful and everyone was so friendly. I wanted to thank you for creating such a wonderful time and such a special birthday! Efcharisto! (Not "egg casserole!" hahahaha!).

    Please send me your mailing address -- I have some amazing pictures that I want to burn on a disc and send to you along with a little something from the United States. You might be able use some of these pictures in your marketing for this tour!

    Here is two of my favorites of you....one is picking unknown type of fruit off of the tree at the monastery and tasting them, and the other is you cooking at the resort. I also attached a picture of the "raki girls" for you.

    Take care,

    Sharon

     

    From: Barbara Bell
    To: Portokalakis Giorgos
    Subject: Re: Crete / George

    Dear George,

    I had an amazing vacation in Crete... Thank you so much for all you did for us. The trip was wonderful. I truly enjoyed myself; the tours you arranged, shopping at the markets, the cooking classes, the resort and of course, all of my new friends... I could not have asked for a more incredible experience.

    I never dreamed of places so beautiful.

    You are the perfect host, guide, chef.. I did have a truly wonderful vacation. The friendships, the food, the accommodations, the sites we visited were incredible. Your love for Crete and for cooking such wonderful foods shown through with everything you did for us. I cannot thank you enough for your hospitality.

    It was a trip that I will always remember for good times

    Hugs
    Barbara

  • SCHEDULE

    DAY 1: SUNDAY APRIL 7, 2019

    CRETE: REGION OF HERAKLION: ACCOMMODATION HERAKLION ARRIVAL

    Arrival, Greeting and Traditional Cretan Dinner

    Upon arrival at the airport of Heraklion you will be met by George your personal English speaking driver and host with welcome refreshment. Within minutes you realize that you have been transported to another time – you need only relax and soak in the experience. You will be treated to Greek coffee and a Cretan traditional Mediterranean meal with a variety of dishes when your arrival is before lunch and then later driven west to the Lodge. Dinner at the lodge. The flavours and freshness of the picture perfect variety of foods prepared by the lodge owners are a wonderful welcome to the Island of Crete.

    DAY 2: MONDAY APRIL 8, 2019

    CRETE: REGION OF HERAKLION: ACCOMMODATION HERAKLION

    THE PALACE OF KNOSSOS, WALKING AND TASTING TOUR OF HERAKLION AND SPECIAL CRETAN FAUMAS LIQUOR TASTING: 1ST COOKING CLASS

    After breakfast, today’s excursion takes you to Knossos, an ancient palace and must-see archaeological site of Crete.

    After visiting the 3500 year old site of Knossos, you’ll head to Heraklion and take a walk through the city taking a gastronomic tour of all the best local food places and vendors. You’ll visit the best pastry shop in the city and sample filo pastries in syrups, with cheeses before heading to a coffee shop and tasting coffee roasted the traditional way in hot sand. Next you’ll explore the central market and stop for an ouzo with meze at one of the traditional Mezedopolion (restaurants). You’ll also have the opportunity to see the cathedral of Saint Minas, the Morozini fountain, Venetian church turned art gallery before heading towards the seaside. A light lunch will be served accompanied by chilled white wine before ending your gastronomic walking tour to taste the famous loukoumades, Cretan style doughnuts sprinkled with honey and sesame.

    Next visit the very special Cretan liquor factory of Mrs. Kaiti Dinapoja who gave a literal meaning to this idiom. Indeed, Kaiti explored the Cretan land, its mountains and glens, and collected all the flowers, aromatic herbs offered by the Cretan nature reaping also the benefits of Cretan fruits. In the end, she set up a workshop, in order to offer everything she harvests ready to drink and enjoy in a glass!

    It’s no coincidence that the words cordial – that means tending to revive, invigorate – or digestive are used to describe liqueurs”, says Kaiti.

    Dinapoja liqueurs are made of orange, myrtle, pomegranate and chilli, rose geranium, sage, citrus chili and honey. Lately, Dinapoja company launched a liqueur with olive that has been welcomed with great enthusiasm.

    Contrary to the standard practice of using colorants, all syrups prepared by Kaiti are made of natural aromas and colors coming from locally grown flowers and herbs. Diluted 1:5 with water or mineral water, Champaign or white wine, syrups can be consumed as beverages, while they can also be used in cocktails.

    Ending the visit you will head back to the villa for the 1st Cooking Class.

    Cretan Heritage Cooking Class

    You now find yourself in the heart of the Cretan kitchen. Cretans feel the urge to share their secrets of life with the world. Besides their history and culture, you will share their prized heritage known as the Cretan Diet. Local producers warrant that all Cretan products are pure, without chemical substances or other preservatives and additives. These products, being a part of century old tradition, are treated with the same respect as that afforded to them by their ancestors. Tonight’s hands-on class is based on a variety of vegetables and minced meat with prep techniques that transforms basic ingredients into a full table of colour, variety and richness. Moussaka, Aubergines Papoutsakia, fried vegetables in tomato sauce, smoked eggplant and Pastitsio, with vegan and vegetarian options will be in abundance. As always, local wine will compliment your meal and enhance your evening.

    Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    Accommodation Crete

    DAY 3: TUESDAY APRIL 9, 2019

    CRETE: REGION OF HERAKLION: ACCOMMODATION HERAKLION

    MOUNTAIN TOUR AND CHEESE MAKING EXPERIENCE AT A MITATO "SHEPHERDS SHELTER": 2ND COOKING CLASS

    Shepherding is the oldest profession in Crete, as attested by references found in the texts of Homer or evidence drawn from the Minoan civilization, with the roots of pastoral communities traced back to ancient times.

    Wander at the hillsides of Mount Psiloritis observe the primitive structures on the mountains (e.g. the mitata - the shepherds’ huts made of stone with a vault-shaped roof, the area in the shepherd’s hut reserved for making cheese

    Goat and sheep breeding in Crete is carried out following traditional methods. Though giving low product yields, traditional methods ensure food and dairy products of the finest quality that are ideal for a healthy diet involving also a low production cost. The quality of dairy products depends on the quality of animal feed. For example, Great Britain has only 6 endemic plant species grown on its lands while endemic plant species in Crete exceed 160. Thus, the nutrients in the milk produced by sheep raised in the UK will not be the same with the ones contained in the milk of sheep raised in Crete.

    The milk of sheep and goat raised in Crete is the perfect base for Crete’s dairy products.

    Today we join the traditional way of cheese making at one of these "mitato" and tasting with a shot of raki. Ending the cheese making a drive to the village of Anogia for lunch with traditional foods.

    Afternoon drive back to our villa for the second cooking class.

    Local Meats and Casseroles Cooking Class
    Preparation is the key to the variety of dishes that will be created. Time spent in slicing, dicing, chopping and pealing enables the assembly of various dishes in record time. Pork bites in tomato sauce, and Drunken Pork bites cooked in wine and oregano are wonderful appetizers paired with Raki (an alcoholic drink that is made from the grape peel, after the wine has been produced). Boneless pork with celery and egg and lemon sauce, Oven baked Lamb with potatoes, Free-range lamb tsigariasto and lamb fricassee are also on the menu. Dinner will be accompanied with copious amounts of pure, homemade local wines. Viniculture is a 4000 year old practice on the island of Crete.

    Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    Accommodation Crete

    DAY 4: WEDNESDAY APRIL 10, 2019

    CRETE: REGION OF HERAKLION: ACCOMMODATION HERAKLION

    FORGOTTEN MONASTERY OF HALEPA, LIVE CRETAN MUSIC, ART PASTRY WORK SHOP AND HONEY TASTING: 3RD COOKING CLASS

    After breakfast we do a mountain driving and do visits to two monasteries of HALEPA and VOSSAKOS. We will have the pleasure to visit a forgotten treasure – a small almost collapsed forgotten small 15th century church with beautiful wall paintings / frescoes. Ending the visits we go for lunch in the picturesque, authentic village of Drossia known at the local people with the Turkish name GENI-GAVE where lunch at the Yiannis Petoussis restaurant known as Tsangaris (shoe maker). (where the serve only what they grow on their own land, including the wine). On a relaxed way we enjoy the specialities they offer Tastes authentic, natural, and indescribable. There will meet us a well known Cretan artist / musician and singer and drive us to the experience of the Cretan traditional music and songs in PRIVATE and early afternoon we drive you back to the lodge taking 2 breaks at the Marathos village women co-operative work shop where they make the very special – unique art pastry small and bigger round breads – called by locals XOMPLIASTO KOULOURI and watch them working live and taste their very special creations. Next stop before we drive back to our lodge to taste pure thyme honey taken following the old traditional bee-keeping methods ensure ecological, clean and free from any additives honey and other bee products. First honey of the season is collected from spring thyme blossoms this golden yellow honey is perfect source of nature’s ingredients. We do a short break to a small local café / restaurant run by the owners since 1949. The owners (two brothers) have been beekeepers since all their lifetime taking the business from their father, Therefore, we taste honeycombs straight from (when they have still supplies) the beehive and learn everything about bees and beekeeping as well as having a kind of pancakes we call them –tiganites – deep in honey and small cheese pies with honey in company with local wine and the Cretan snap – Raki -. You will definitely feel the positive effect to your body and soul Ending the visit drive back home.

    This evening’s hands-on class focuses on local meats and casseroles and George will teach you preparation techniques that transform basic ingredients into the stars of the table, full of richness colour and flavour. After the class sit down and enjoy the meal you’ve learned to cook accompanied by local wine.

    Cooking Class Featuring Stuffed Vegetables, Vine Leaves and Olive Oils

    It is believed that the secret for a long and healthy life lies in olive oil, the principle ingredient in the Cretan diet. Past and present research conducted in the US and Europe supports the view that olive oil not only shields the human heart from disease, but also increases healthy operation of other organs by reducing cholesterol. Olive oil is an important ingredient in all dishes on the dinner menu. This hands-on class will take you through the process of making stuffed tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, and aubergines…as well as Dolmadakia (little stuffed wraps) with vine leaves, sorrels or pumpkin flowers. These all can be enjoyed as a meze or main course. At the conclusion of your Cretan holiday, you will be armed with a full assortment of Greek recipes that are easy to reproduce back home. Friends and family will be so impressed!

    Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    Accommodation Crete

    DAY 5: THURSDAY APRIL 11, 2019

    CRETE: REGION OF HERAKLION: ACCOMMODATION HERAKLION

    SOUTH CENTRAL CRETE: THE ROMAN CITY OF GORTYS AND THE PALACE OF PHAESTOS: 4RTH COOKING CLASS

    Today you’ll visit Gortys, the ruined capital city of the Roman province which included the island of Crete. You’ll see the impressive amphitheatre and the Basilica of St Titus before driving west to the archaeological site of Phaestos, the second most significant site of the Minoan civilisation. Phaestos is an ancient palace and you’ll also see the site of the ancient city is was located in offering a detailed insight into ancient life. Stop off in the fishing village of Kokkinos Pyrgos for lunch and enjoy local specialities or freshly caught seafood. After lunch you’ll head back to the lodge and head to the kitchen for your fourth cooking class.

    The “Seafood Evening” Cooking Class

    The evening will feature your first hands-on cooking class based on the fish and seafood that was purchased earlier in the day. Fish soup with rice in egg and lemon, the famous KAKAVIA (fisherman fish soup), fish with tomato and onion sauce baked in the oven, fresh fish grilled and fried are a few of the cooking menu items. A basic feature of the Cretan diet is the large consumption of vegetables. On average Cretans are at the top of the scale in terms of vegetable consumption. In fact, they consume three times the amount of vegetables than Europeans! That too is a part of their secret for a long and healthy life. A delicious dinner will be enjoyed that your own hands helped prepare. Lots of pure homemade local wine is served with dinner meals

    Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    Accommodation Crete

    DAY 6: FRIDAY APRIL 12, 2019

    CRETE: REGION OF HERAKLION: ACCOMMODATION HERAKLION

    ICON PAINTING EXPERIENCE AND FREE TIME IN HERAKLION FOR SHOPPING

    After breakfast the day start by spending a few hours at the studio of a well known artist icon painter;

    A little about the art of Hagiography: The word icon comes from the Greek word eikona, which means image. The art of painting icons has its origins in the Byzantine Empire of the sixth and seventh century. With the Christian-orthodox religion the art of icon painting spread into the East. In 1453 the Byzantine Empire was destroyed by the Islamic Turks and many works of art were lost forever. But the icon survived in Crete, Russia and the Balkan region. Aside from being a means of religious worship, icons have an old tradition as a collector's object as well. They are used as religious objects being carried around in processions, and kissed by worshippers

    Our artist/instructor is chosen not only for his skill and stature as artist, but also for his experience and expertise as teacher. He has led our workshops for years. Both watercolour and oil workshops are offered, and some instructors teach in both mediums. We spend a few hours with him testing our skills of painting.

    Break for lunch at a near restaurant with variety of Cretan specialties. After lunch free time at the city of Heraklion to explore the city and may be for shopping. We meet at 8 PM for dinner.

    Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    Accommodation Crete

     

     

    .

    DAY 10: SATURDAY APRIL 13, 2019

    HERAKLION: TRANSPORTATION TO THE AIRPORT FOR THE FLIGHT BACK HOME

    After breakfast transportation to the airport for the flight back home. Thank you for visiting! Hhave a nice flight back home. KALO TAXIDI

    (Breakfast)

  • BOOKING CONDITIONS

    Booking conditions / Payment

    All prices listed are in CAD$. If you are paying in a different currency, your price is locked in with CAD$. But the price in your currency will depend on the exchange rate at the time your deposit is charged, then again when your balance is due. If you would like to lock in a price with a currency other than CAD$, you can do so by paying the full amount at the time of your reservation.

    50% of the total is due at time of booking to secure your spaces. The remaining 50% balance in cash by arrival when we meet you at the airport before your tour begins.

     

    Cancellation

    If you booked more than six months in advance. your deposit is refundable within 50 days of the time you place your reservation.

    If at the time of cancellation, it is more than 180 days in advance of the vacation, and also more than 50 days after you made your deposit, your deposit is non-refundable, but we will be happy to apply 100% of it toward any of our other vacations anytime within the next 12 months.

    If at the time of cancellation, it is between 180 and 90 days in advance of the vacation, your deposit is non-refundable, but we will be happy to apply 40% of it toward any of our other vacations anytime within the next 12 months.

    Once the Full Balance is paid (60 days or less before the start date):

    If at the time of cancellation, it is between 60 and 14 days in advance of the vacation, your deposit is non-refundable, but we will be happy to apply 40% of it toward any of our other vacations anytime within the next 12 months.

    If at the time of cancellation, it is between 14 and 0 days in advance of the vacation, your deposit is non-refundable, and we unfortunately cannot apply any portion to future vacations.

    These cancellation terms reflect times that we must pay out expenses for your trip on your behalf. At times that we no longer offer refunds, we have already paid out the associated costs, and refunds are not available to us. Because of this, we are unable to bend these terms.

     

    Accepted payment methods

    Pay Pal, Bank wire

     

    Pricing information

    Alumni discount is available. Please contact us.

     

    Gratuities / tips

    In Greece and Crete, tipping drivers, guides, etc. is customary but not mandatory. Our guides, host, driver, etc. all happily accept tips, but they are never expected. We have seen guests leave huge tips for our staff, and we have seen guests leave no tip at all. Either way, both of those guests are equally appreciated.

  • Contact

    If you have any related questions, please send us a message.

    FAT Lamb Kouzina
    874 Yonge Street
    Toronto, ON
    M4W 2J1
    416.301.7888
    Every day, 7 days a week, 8 AM - 10 PM
    416.301.7888