Halkidiki: A thousand and one tastes in Sani Gourmet

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Journalist, radio producer (SPOR FM 94.6) & blogger


I’ve always said that if I had a magic lantern- you know, one of those you give a quick rub and a genie pops out ready to be your slave and grant you three wishes- I would know exactly what to ask for: To be able to travel whenever I liked, whenever I liked in the blink of an eye.

The destinations would sometimes be exotic, sometimes cosmopolitan and sometimes those places where time gave up advancing quite some time ago. And one of the reasons why I’d like to do that is to taste, smell and touch everything the people in these places deem worthy of being put on a plate and served to their guests.

Even after all these years, whenever I find myself in Sani Gourmet, I feel as if I am holding that lantern and for a few days, at the same time every year, I go on my very own magic carpet ride, carried away by the aromas and flavours of all those wonderful dishes.

Every time I think of Sani Gourmet my mind conjures images of Italian mini rigatoni sprinkled with coffee powder, a Persian octopus on the grill accompanied by small piece of pita bread filled with aubergine paste, the crunchiest whitebait dipped in tarama mousse created by Gianni Baxevanis and, naturally, the Michellin star moussaka courtesy of Nikos Karathanou.

Sani Gourmet has taken me to Europe, Asia, the Middle East and of course all over Greece. I have seen countries, cities, and villages come to life through the inspirational creations of chefs from all over the world who come to Kassandra in Halkidiki for the sole purpose of delighting us with their own culinary idiolects.

One of the most exciting aspects of those days for me is to discover the “language” of each of the ingredients. Did you know that a beetroot in the hands of a French chef “speaks” a different language from one in the hands of an Argentinian?  A sea bass may look the same in a Moroccan’s kitchen as it does in that of a Greek, but the similarity ends there as the story of the different recipes unfolds to become one of different experiences, different memories and different cultures. This is the magic of Sani Gourmet.

Whenever I find myself in Sani Gourmet, I feel I go on my very own magic carpet ride, carried away by the aromas and flavours

In a few days, from Friday, July 23rd until Tuesday, July 27th the Sani Resort restaurants (Water, Domata, Katsu, Byblos Caviar and Asian), will host young, up-and-coming, recent Michelin star-winning chefs of European gastronomy for the second consecutive year. The raw materials, ladles, saucepans and all the other kitchen paraphenalia come from Denmark, France, Spain, Germany, Belgium and of course Greece, with Panagiotis Giakalis as the domestic representative.

Maria Zafiratou is a journalist, radio producer (SPOR FM 94.6), blogger and mum. Read all about Maria’s busy life and adventures at