Greek Food Showcased at Ottawa’s Travel & Vacation Show

March 30, 2014 Updated: March 31, 2014

OTTAWA—Toronto chef Peter Minaki will be a guest presenter at the 20th annual Travel & Vacation Show at the Ottawa Convention Centre, 55 Colonel By Drive, April 5-6. He will be demonstrating how he cooks calamari at 12 noon on April 5.

Minaki is the creator of the popular “Kalofagas – Greek Food & Beyond” food blog. Kalofagas is the Greek word for “gourmet.” Gathering inspiration from his yearly trips to Greece, Minaki promotes the diversity of Greek cuisine. An adventurous spirit, he welcomes every opportunity to try new foods and different cuisines.

Calamari with Grape Leaf Salsa Verde

(Makes an appetizer platter for 4-6)

500 g (1 lb) fresh or frozen whole squid (thawed), gutted and cleaned
125 ml (1/2 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Grape Leaf Chimichurri

6-8 jarred grape leaves, rinsed
125 ml (1/2 cup) fresh parsley leaves, rinsed and chopped
25 ml (2 tbsp) dried Greek oregano
3-4 scallions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 carrot, grated
125 ml (1/2 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
25 ml (2 tbsp) wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse and pat dry cleaned squid (tentacles and tubes) and place in bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Set aside.

In a blender/food processor, add Chimichurri ingredients and process until smooth. Adjust seasoning (it should be slightly tangy) and add some water if the sauce is too thick. (optional)

Pre-heat grill to high. Grill the squid for about a minute per side.Slice the tentacles into rings and place in a bowl with the squid. Add spoonfuls of the sauce and stir. Add more sauce if desired. (Sauté in a hot pan if you don’t have a grill.)

Peter Minaki is a frequent contributor to Greece’s Free Press Gastronomy website, InsideToronto.com, and has appeared on TV cooking segments in Greece and in Canada. His recipes have been featured in many magazines around the world.

Susan Hallett is an award-winning writer and editor who has written for The Beaver, The Globe & Mail, Wine Tidings, and Doctor’s Review, among others. She is currently the European editor of Taste & Travel International. Email: hallett_susan@hotmail.com