Interview With A Food Blogger: Meet Eirini Zevelaki, Food Vlogger & Blogger of Paxxi
Welcome to another edition of Interview with a food blogger! Today we’re chatting with Eirini Zevelaki. Eirini is Food Vlogger & Blogger and the co-founder of the successful Greek Paxxi blog. Paxxi.gr is an award-winning cooking site and show that is broadcasted on YouTube and Facebook. The blog won the Family Cooking award from the audience at the Vima Gourmet Food Blog awards. Paxxi food blog and online video channel aim at home-cooks and families.
Eirini, what is the story behind your blog’s name?
In 2011, we were looking for the name of the blog. Initially, we had planned to created recipes with the authentic Cretan barley rusk, called paximadi kritiko in Greek. Inspired by the paxi-madi, we took the first part of this word. Further, in Latin, ‘paxxi’ means ‘peace’. And so does my name ‘Eirni’! That is how we created the name of the food blog PAXXI.
What is your favorite Greek family dish?
I really like vegetables. They are abundant in Crete and they form the basis of the Mediterranean diet. I love stuffed vegetables and dolmadakia (stuffed vine leaves). We often make these two family-friendly foods at home and kids love them!
What are your cooking inspirations? A famous chef, your mom, a cookbook, a blog?
My mother is my source of inspiration. Because ever since I was a child, I saw her in the kitchen cooking. Her successful dishes were not only the result of her cooking skills but also of her love for what she creating. Until now, she hasn’t stopped trying new things and techniques. There is no healthier food than homemade food and the more love you put in it, the more delicious it becomes.
You are based in Crete and you have travelled around Greece. What’s the best food you tried here?
I have a weakness for pies, I love the Cretan pies with their various aromatic greens as well as the famous cheese pies of Macedonia.
What should every foodie try in Greece?
If you want to understand Greek flavors, you need to try the pies I mentioned earlier and also tzatziki, dolmas or stuffed vegetables, traditional Greek meatballs, lamb antikristo on the spit (*), bougatsa and the Cretan dako with tomato and sour mizithra cheese.
What is your dream destination regarding food in Greece?
In Greece, each region has its own recipes and its own local products. I recommend everyone to try the local foods during their travels around the country. I don’t have a favorite gastronomic destination, but I will find a favorite dish in every place!
Tell us more about your family. What’s your go-to kid-friendly recipe?
My daughter Natalie loves spaghetti so when we don’t have time to cook, we either make spaghetti with anthotiro (cheese) or a zucchini omelette. And we always make a Greek salad because all kids love tomatoes and feta cheese.
If you had to share one kid’s favorite Greek recipe with us, what would you choose?
I think all kids love mashed potatoes with meatballs because they are tasty, comforting and easy to eat.
The recipe for souzoukakia with velvet puree can be found here.
According to you, which place in Greece has the best food?
I love the islands and northern Greece because they use a lot of herbs and spices. Even in the simplest recipes and foods, at least one element or ingredient is added to enrich the taste.
Lots of people are coming to Greece and ask us for tips related to gluten-free meals or (nut) allergies – Can you share any insight?
The purer the ingredients that we use, the better the quality of the food that we cook. When eating out, always ask questions about the dish and watch out for ‘hidden’ ingredients.
(*) Lamb antikristo (antikri in Greek means opposite. This way of grilling is called antikristo due to the fact that the meat is the opposite the fire) is one of the oldest ways of grilling and goes back to the Minoan civilisation on Crete.
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