Tres Tiempos – Moussaka


I remember the day when the editor from Tres Tiempos contacted me on Facebook. It was very unexpected! “My friend Drea who lives also in the Netherlands” said the editor, “saw one of your posts on Facebook and shared it with me. We both think that a recipe and an interview with you would be great for the ‘Culture’ column on the first issue of Tres Tiempos!” Smile, smile, smile… This smile stayed there in my face for days! Now that I’m typing I smile again just thinking about it!

Drea Rodríguez Cervantes is a Mexican girl who loves Greece, lives in the Netherlands but her dream is to move some day in Greece. “Oh my God this country! Greece! I love it, I honestly do. It’s the people, the air, the food, the great history.. You gave us everything we have right now. Look at my necklace!” she showed me an old Greek coin hanging from her neck. My first thought: “I don’t even have one hanging from my neck, she must be serious!” Her warm manners helped me relax for all her questions..

“I was never interested in the food world and the novelties between foodies and chefs until I started travelling. Being just 16 years old, the adventure of life in packing and unpacking started.

Before taking the first flight on my own, I promised myself 4 things: Try the local food, admire customs, respect the religion, and ride the public transportation. After almost 30 countries, I still haven’t forgotten those promises.”

From this edition on Cultour, I am going to share with you my dearest secrets, adventures and the misfortunes that I have lived in every place I’ve stepped on. In this first edition you are coming with me to a place I always carry in my heart: Greece.

The first time I visited Greece was on 2012. I just wanted to visit my friends in Athens and get a nice, proper tour around the local sceneries. Long story short, Greece and its food are a dream; the Mediterranean diet, highly recommended by doctors and culinary gurus, a mixture of flavors that merge with its unique and incomparable olive oil, which I swear, does not taste the same as the one we know.

Even though my dream of living in Greece hasn’t been accomplished, I’ve kept myself informed about what is going on Zeus’s land, and that is how I happened to meet Kleopatra Kivrakidou. We are both expats in the Netherlands and we share some groups in social media, place where I found her recipes, and I told myself: You do have to meet her!

She is definitely doing something completely different to what I used to see in this country. Being an expert in business studies with a master’s degree in marketing, she’s putting her professional knowledge on helping her blog Kitchen Habits in combination to the inspiration she gets from the local cuisine of her hometown, Kozani.

Kleopatra tells me that everything started in Krokos, a small village in northern Greece, where its no more than 3,000 inhabitants are almost all dedicated to production and distribution of saffron. I remember her comments about Krokos inhabitants during Saffron harvesting “at the end of the day everybody ends up with red hands.” Her interest in cooking begins since she starts helping in her grandfather’s tavern as a kid. She tells me that she always felt comfortable and safe in the kitchen, as well as choosing ingredients in the market. She told me also about the Greek taverns and how they differfrom the restaurants; In the tavern it “feels like home”, Greek wine is served, at many cases food is like grandma’s cooking, folk music is played with typical instruments and is much more welcoming than a restaurant as we know it.

When Kleopatra decides to leave Greece in the middle of the crisis that hit her country, she returns to Holland and begins experimenting with all kinds of ingredients, spices and recipes, blending the best of Greek food with Dutch products. Despite being two completely different cultures, for her it is always pleasant to express herself through food, to prepare dishes for her neighbors, friends and co-workers, although it is worth mentioning that Dutch find this strange; It is not normal for them to have someone out of nowhere treating them with cookies or a pie, but she keeps telling her stories through her recipes.

Her blog is completely made by her, and even though it’s been not so long since she started with it, she has many devoted followers, both on her website and social media. The pictures are also made by her in the warmth of her home’s natural light.

She also writes for her Greek followers and her mom. Kleopatra hopes that someday her love for food will take her to new places or even to start her own catering service. Until then, I invite you all to follow her steps on her social media and to make her Kitchen Habits yours too!

Ingredient you should always have: Olive oil.

Favourite ingredient: Cheese.

Favourite recipe: Moussaka

Favourite Mexican dish: Guacamole.

Kleopatra’s quote: “You can have a dream, but you do need a plan”

{Published recipe: Moussaka}



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Huge congratulations for the publication! That must be so exciting for you, like a dream come true. By the way, the saffron harvesting sounds wonderful – can just imagine the warmth of that little town atmosphere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Eleanor! 🙂 Yes it was an amazing feeling! Saffron harvesting is also a unique experience. I tried that when I was younger still living in my village, Krokos. Great memories 😉


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