Athena Lamberis

Posts Tagged ‘food language’

Share. Cook. Love: The Cook Book

In Events, Friend's Kitchens, Recipe, Stories on August 5, 2012 at 15:53

Athena and Chris on The Culinary Linguists blog #cookbook

Our story began 2005, Feb 14th.

Durban, South Africa.  A Surfer met a Gypsy at Capoeira class.  It was a Monday, after the first day of our third year at University.

7 years later, in the province where it all began, we told everyone we loved to join us for a festival of families, a love

celebration . . . our wedding.

Friends and family came as far as California, Thailand, Belgium and Detroit. And on the Monday before our wedding I was given the most thoughtful and loving gift.

My sister, Koko, compiled a recipe book that she titled:

A collection of recipes on The Culinary Linguists blog #cookbook

Share. Cook. Love

The cookbook

Gathered by the women that love you.

As I opened this gift at my surprise Kitchen Tea, it felt as though my heart was reliving my most touching memories-an overwhelming feeling of love washed over me and misted my eyes.  I paged through over 50 recipes of family and friends that represented so many facets in my life.  From friends that were celebrating our marriage from afar, in Brasil, New York, Chicago and Nicaragua- I was able hear their voice through their shared words and recipes.  This cookbook was made for me and the diversity in dishes and loving varieties directly reflected the beautiful community of women in my life.  From dressings, to desserts, every tradition and recipe chosen for my own personal anthology of culinary linguists will be cherished throughout my life.

Now when I am missing my family and friends and want to create and cook from my heart–I can thank everyone who contributed to this emblem of friendship and love.  As a bride, it was a collage of memory that reverberated through my heart and now as a wife, it is a personal love resource from all the sisters and mothers that I get to celebrate with.  I have years of memory and new memories to look forward to, by creating edible creations curated by them.

This is culinary linguists at it’s best: a true example of love.

My family recipe contributors on The Culinary Linguists blog #cookbook

My mom, sister, myself and mamabel

Athena and Chris Wedding Day on The Culinary Linguists blog #wedding

Our wedding day June 30th

Athena and Chris on The Culinary Linguists blog #love

the day before our wedding day

The recipe book on The Culinary Linguists blog #cookbook

Diving into the culinary linguists!

Athena and Koko on The Culinary Linguists blog #family

Koko and I in 1984

Athena, Bride to be on The Culinary Linguists blog #wedding belindaandAthenakitchenteakitchenteainDurban Wedding Stationary Athena and Chris on The Culinary Linguists blog #wedding Athena and Chris' reception on The Culinary Linguists blog #wedding

To Cook or Dehydrate: Raw Food Recipes and Creativity

In Friend's Kitchens, Recipe on November 8, 2011 at 11:54

Rawlicious on The Culinary Linguist Blog #rawrecipes

I just learned how to harvest Aloe Ferox from the ‘cook’ book Rawlicious-Recipes for Radiant Health.  It’s a recipe book that encourages you to make colourful and vibrant food by encouraging you to put aloe in your smoothies, have sprouts as a kitchen staple,  and make edible flower salads that look like birthday confetti.  Who wouldn’t want to pick flowers and eat them too? 

I’ve enjoyed some great raw food dishes from this book made by friends who have created delicious versions of the Mango-gooseberry cheesecake and savoury snacks. The Rawlicious team, Lexi, Beryn and Peter, have put together a beautiful book that makes it fun and intriguing to incorporate raw dishes into your daily graze.  I don’t think I’ll ever substitute pancakes on the griddle for dehydrated ones but I most definitely will enjoy the creativity that goes into making other raw food dishes.  It’s a proudly South African Raw Recipe book that even attempts biltong in the form of aubergine. Props to that! I most definitely am going to try it out and attempt the beetroot ravioli too. I love having a recipe book that experiments with all the possibilities that food in it’s natural element has to offer.  Stay tuned for some posts on making these raw recipes come alive in true culinary linguistic style.

Raw Food on The Culinary Linguist Blog #rawrecipes

Do you have any great raw recipes to share?  I’d love to hear your tips, post your links, methods, and pics right here. The food pictures posted are from home gardens in my paternal grandmother’s village, Alepohori, Greece in the Peloponnese.  A place where radiant health is determined by the food you grow and the food you eat.

Raw Food on The Culinary Linguist Blog #rawrecipes

Communal Meals and Charcuterie at Glen Oakes Guest Farm

In Friend's Kitchens, Stories, Travel on July 6, 2011 at 16:50

Have you ever stayed in a stone cottage with pigs and sheep as your next acre neighbour? In Hemel an Aarde Valley, there is a pig farm.

Eight of us spent an electricity-free weekend on a farm greeting free-ranging piglets and making communal breakfast from the farm’s fresh eggs (and guess where the bacon came from).  A year ago, I wouldn’t have eaten pork or thought spending a weekend on a pig-raising farm was going to be so much fun.  I have a childhood memory of seeing my first live pig at an Illinois Country Fair.  The hog walked around a small ring and then laid lazily on his side until people voted on what colour ribbon he would receive.  He could have been related to a rhino and I was mesmerised by his size and demeanour.  This time around, I was mesmerised by healthy active pigs in their free-ranging environment.

In the Hemel-and-Aarde Valley, on Glen Oakes farm, we walked along the paths and dirt roads that wove through the pig’s grazing range.  We stopped by the fence to get a closer look at the tubby mammals and two large female pigs boldly came up to greet us. “You’d think they like their ears scratched but they love their eyes to be tickled” Julie explained, the owner of Glen Oakes Farm.  At the main house, Julie tallied and weighed our choices of Richard Bosman charcuterie, “You’ll see that the coppa is so well marbled which is due to our pigs having lots of space and room to roam around.”  It was the first time I was on a pig farm, witnessing the condition of the pig’s home, meeting the chocolate brown breeding boar, Major, and then consuming the charcuterie made from the raised pig’s at the Glen Oakes farm. Here’s more on the free-range to charcuterie story.

It was a fascinating full food cycle that turned the weekend into a foodie affair.  We roamed right back to the stone cottage with our basket of charcuterie, waving past the piglets and female pigs and made a platter of the chorizo, fennel sausage, cheese and artisan breads in front of the fire. We were truly consuming ethical charcuterie, except for our vegetarian Inge who proclaimed her clear conscious to all of us:) She took beautiful pictures of the surroundings with medium format film.

Our foodie night affair commenced with Three bean Raw Cilantro Salsa, Garlic Artisan Ciabatta, Butternut Soup, Fillet with Tomato Balsamic Relish and a handmade Lemon Tart.

Andrew’s plate

Breakfast was a mosaic of fresh fruit, grapefruit-orange cocktail to quench, farm scrambled eggs, slow roasted cherry tomatoes and rye bread from jason bakery.  Sixteen hands all contributed to fabulous feasts of farm fresh produce.  A love for slow homemade food was celebrated and spoke a language of appreciation for communal meals shared by friends, chew by chew.  Glen Oakes Guest Farm was also an inspiration and a positive example of how ethical food practices are an essential element to our food democracy.

Dim Sum in New York City’s China Town

In Stories, Travel on February 3, 2011 at 15:26



Sharing comes from the heart. My sister getting her share.

In countries that celebrate the Chinese New Year, more food is consumed during the New Year celebrations than any other time of the year.  Which reminds me of my time in China Town, New York City.  We weren’t eating traditional New Year foods but celebrated Chinese cuisine with the most delectable dim sum.With my two girlfriends and my sister, we ventured into the banquet hall of East Market Restaurant on East Broadway, a grand venue for a Sunday dim sum family affair.  It was my first time eating in New York City’s China Town and by far one of my favorite meals in the fabulous city that never sleeps and never stops serving food!



Heartful portions of dim-sum



What is dim sum? I would describe it as individual portions of food that include a wide variety of steamed buns, rolls, vegetables, etc.  I learned that the dim sum is meant to “touch the heart” and traditionally was served as a snack to accompany your morning tea.  They are often served on small plates or small steaming bamboo baskets and at our venue we shared them around a lazy susan on a round table.  The decor was flamboyant and I felt like I was eating at a dim sum wedding reception sans speeches and music.  There were silver food crates that were pushed around in between the maze of tables for you to choose which dim sum plate you wanted to share.  The server placed the basket or plate onto your table and stamped a piece of paper that indicated which dish we chose.


stamp art a.k.a our bill

After all the lotus leaves were unwrapped and all the steamed bao’s began to expand in our tummies, we agreed our dim sum breakfast was a culinary success.  All of our senses feasted and I exhaled a happy digestive sigh.  I looked around as we exited the pink dining hall and quickly glanced at all the large families gathered around their Sunday dim sumsharing tables.  Whether we share taro dumplings or tofu skin rolls, it is true to say that when people share food together, they certainly share a piece of their heart with eachother too. I think dim sum is certainly a food language in itself, a symbol of how food, when shared together, whether steamed or fried, does communicate straight to the heart. It certainly captured mine.



When I returned to Cape Town, I checked out the unofficial China Town strip in Sea Point.  Since then, I haven’t found that NYC pink-dining-hall-with-food-crates-and-stamps restaurant yet, but I have found where to buy the frozen dim sum they sell in the restaurants.  I don’t have any dim sum to defrost and celebrate the New Year, or second new moon after winter/summer solstice but will try to make a dish to share with my family in hopes it ‘touches their heart.”  Or according to some superstitions related to Chinese homonyms, I’ll pan-fry some bamboo shoots to “wish that everything will be well” and find a recipe that includes black moss seaweed and dried bean curd for “wealth and fulfillment in happiness.”  Happy New Year 2011!

The Ying Yang fountain outside East Market Restaurant




Food Language Speaks Up!

In Recipe, Stories, Travel on September 8, 2010 at 12:36

Food and communication is a necessity for all of us and this blog is a celebration of variety, sharing of ideas, cultures and the language of food which ultimately connects us all.

The food that will be and has been created in my kitchen and friend’s kitchens will be spoken about in this blog, as a testament to the way we each have our own food language.  It communicates history, culture, experience and motivates us to create and share, diversifying our palette.

So this is a journey and journal through the languages of food, mixing and experimenting with tastes from many different spice racks, gardens, cultures and regions.

Please feel free to share this space as a forum of recipe ideas, flavor and food language gossip.  I love to hear the stories about food, questions, ingredient combination discoveries, and the rituals of food sharing, etc. Otherwise, I hope the recipes shared here speak to you and can be recreated in your own unique way.

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