Meet Touria and Michalis

Touria shares her Moroccan culinary secrets with Michalis at StrEaters. © UNHCR/Eva Savvopoulou

Following Touria’s participation last year in the second Refugee Food Festival, the Athens audience will have one more chance this June to indulge in the dazzling, colourful, spiced food of Morocco which will amaze all senses. She has been cooking for her family all her life—alongside her mother and grandmother for festivities and weddings where the whole village was invited, to catering services in Greece with the team of Options FoodLab for private and corporate events. Now, as a mother of a young boy in their family of three. Touria feels passionate about her cooking and Athenians will be able to sample her rich Moroccan street food menu at StrEaters. She loves to cook pastilla, a traditional Moroccan pie of Andalusian origin filled with either meat or sea fruit, as well as erfissa, a wonderfully savoury chicken, onion, and lentil dish that’s served on a bed of bread, cooked with a blend of ras el hanout, fenugreek seeds, saffron, and other spices that make it a truly unique and delicious dish.

Touria has started a business, Numidia, selling Moroccan specialities. In parallel, she is trying to find ways to set up her own Moroccan restaurant in Athens where the aromas of the diverse and beautifully fragrant cuisine, reminding her of home, will magically transport our minds and taste buds to the North African land.

Greek chef Mihalis Giannopoulos currently leads the kitchen of the first street food court in Athens, called StrEaters, in Karytsi square near Syntagma. He has been cooking with his mother since he was a little boy. Although he studied mechanical engineering and computer science, the cooking bug never left him and at age 27 he pursued his childhood dream. Chef Giannopoulos set off to Paris to attend the prestigious Alain Ducasse cooking school where he stayed for two years before returning to Greece to work at several famous restaurants. His food is inspired by his frequent travels across the world when he accompanied his mother – a flight attendant – across the Atlantic, around Europe, and in Asia. He loves Asian, Thai, and Lebanese cuisine, as well as barbecue as he has a smoker at home. He has welcomed Touria in his kitchen and is very eager to help her and accommodate her needs. He would love to try Moroccan cuisine and learn some new flavours, as Morocco is a country that he has not managed to visit yet.