The new National Hellenic Museum in Chicago, opened its doors last evening, for Kouzina, a three-day extravaganza of Greek food, wine and culture. For many, it was their first look at the newly constructed museum. The stunning 40,000 square foot facility will officially open later this fall. A capacity crowd tasted specialties from various area restaurants, and enjoyed a premium wine tasting, courtesy of Diamond Importers, Inc. This crowd included a who’s who of Chicago’s Greek community, among them local news personalities, Anna Davlantes and Lou Canellis of Fox Chicago News.
Honorary chair, well-know chef and cookbook author Diane Kochilas launched the event with a meet and greet. She and fellow co-chairs George Bumbaris of Prairie Grass Cafe, Ted Diamantis of Diamond Importers and David Schneider of Taxim Restaurant welcomed guests and invited them to partake in the many events of days two and three, and also, to support the National Hellenic Museum. Cooking demos and book signings by various cookbook artists are on deck for today. Tonight, a premium dinner by David Schneider, Owner/Executive Chef at Taxim, who earlier this year appeared in a Food Network Challenge with fellow Hellene Cat Cora. Also this evening, the museum’s first Cultural Icon Award will be presented to Bill Anton, Chairman of the Culinary Institute of America, who has been an innovator and leader in the food industry for more than 30 years. This award will be presented annually to an individual who significantly preserves or advances Greek culture.
Kouzina continues through Friday, September 23, with more cooking demonstrations and book signings by noted cookbook authors, and a marketplace full of often hard-to-find Greek food items.