James Beard House Promotes South Aegean Region as “European Region of Gastronomy for 2019”

Patty Morrell-Ruiz (left) and Paulette Bilsky (right)

Patty Morrell-Ruiz (left) and Paulette Bilsky (right)

Two Miami Chefs Participate in Media Lunch and James Beard Dinner

A James Beard House Media Lunch and Dinner, “Discover the Culinary Secrets of the South Aegean,” will be held in New York on March 13 and will feature the cooking of two top Miami chefs, Paulette Bilsky and Patty Ruiz. The two Miami chefs will be participating in a dinner supervised by Greek celebrity chef, Argiro Barbarigou, of Athens restaurant, Papadakis. The event, announces the region of the South Aegean as the designation for “European Region of Gastronomy Award” for 2019. This award aims to contribute to a better quality of life in European regions by highlighting distinctive food cultures, educating for better health and sustainability, and stimulating gastronomic innovation.

The culinary traditions of the South Aegean are an integral feature of traditional Hellenic hospitality. Fifty inhabited islands and hundreds of more islets make the South Aegean unique, each island boasting of its own gastronomic identity in this exciting tour of islands such as Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, and amazing unknown islands such as Astypalea—“the new Santorini”—and Ios—“the New Mykonos”—all of them composing the culinary culture of the Archipelago.

Quality ingredients are at the heart of the islands’ gastronomy. These ingredients are shaped by a varied landscape and microclimate, the sun, the air and the salt of the sea breeze. Through the endless golden olive groves and the perennial historic vineyards, the gastronomic and winemaking tradition of the Archipelago is an invaluable gem in the timeless mosaic of the Hellenic civilization, and of the culture of Europe as a whole.

As European Region of Gastronomy 2019, the Region of the South Aegean intends to reach long-term goals as well as highlight the history of the islands’ gastronomy, a context within which to share its millennial secrets with visitors with flavors meant to stimulate all five senses.

The two Miami chefs participating in the media lunch and dinner were chosen for their personal achievements and for promoting the significance of food and beverage in all cultures, especially Greek cuisine. Chef Paulette Bilsky often cooks at Greek festivals and special events. She is a consultant and owner of Rolling Kitchens Florida, a portable demo kitchen company helping to enhance culinary programs throughout South Florida. Her consulting experience includes working with corporations, event planners and charities to facilitate culinary programs. Additionally, as Executive Corporate Chef for ElectriChef, she focuses on recipe development and healthy grilling.

Chef Patty Morrell-Ruiz is a teacher, trained chef, and the owner of The Mad Table. Patty, who specializes in healthy cuisine, works as a private chef, conducts group cooking classes, hosts interactive dinners and offers private lessons. She has extensive experience in food styling, menu consulting, and recipe development.

Chef Paulette and Chef Patty are members of the South Florida chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI), an international organization of women leaders in food, beverage and hospitality whose mission is education and philanthropy. LDEI a supporter of the event.


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