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February 17, 2015


Special Guest Chef Visits ECC

Seed-to-Table had a special guest the week of February 2, 2015, Georgios Kastanias, the father of a first grade student at the Early Childhood Center. Chef Kastanias is the executive chef at local restaurant, Michael's Grill.  He demonstrated how to make Greek gyros with a Mediterranean salad and Tzatziki sauce (yogurt and cucumber). 

Chef Kastanias is originally from Greece and has been a chef for 20 years and speaks five different languages. He has worked in many different countries throughout Europe, North Africa, and in the U.S.

The first grade chefs helped grate the cucumber for the Tzatziki sauce.  They added it to plain Greek yogurt with a little salt-and-pepper and dill.  The students took turns stirring the sauce and helped cut pork tenderloin into small pieces. Chef Kastanias discussed safe knife handling techniques and shared that it actually took him a number of years before he could quickly chop vegetables.

The students gave the Greek gyros and Mediterranean salad a big thumps up. Below are recipes from the visit.


2 medium cucumbers
½ 32oz-container plain Greek yogurt
3 teaspoon fresh chopped dill (or 1 teaspoon dried)
salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Coarsely grate cucumbers on a box grater into a bowl.  Add yogurt and dill and stir.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pork Gyros

2 pounds unseasoned pork tenderloin
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Penzey’s Greek Seasoning
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
pepper, to taste
Olive oil for the pan
Pita pockets

Wash and pat dry the tenderloin.  Coat the meat with olive oil, season with salt and the Greek seasoning.  Place into a plastic bag and drizzle with the lemon juice.  Zip the bag and refrigerate for at least one hour, overnight if possible. 
Place meat on the counter for 30 minutes before cutting thin slices across the grain.  Set aside.  Heat a little oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.  Quickly fry the meat slices until thoroughly cooked. 
Warm pita pockets so that they become soft and pliable.  Cut open pita pockets and stuff with meat and drizzle with Tzatziki sauce.

Greek Salad

3 tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, cut into bite-size chunks
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chunked
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Coarse salt and black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well mixed.   

Georgios KastaniasGeorgios Kastanias

For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.