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Greek Cuisine Program Kicks Off at the University of Nevada

Greek Cuisine University of Nevada
Master Chef Diane Kochilas with Stowe Shoemaker at the unveiling of the new program. Credit: The National Hellenic Society

Greek cuisine was recently introduced as a standalone program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) which announced the establishment of the National Hellenic Society Culinary Legacy Fund to promote Hellenic heritage, culture, and cuisine to culinary arts students.

The initiative for the program belongs to The National Hellenic Society (NHS), a non-profit organization dedicated to perpetuating, celebrating, and passing on Hellenic heritage.

The program will run as part of the Food and Beverage Program within the UNLV’s world-renowned William F. Harrah College of Hospitality.

​Stowe Shoemaker, dean of the College, and his team hosted a reception for NHS members and guests attending the annual NHS Heritage Weekend event in celebration of the launch of the Fund.

NHS Guests included Her Excellency, Ambassador Alexandra Papadopoulou, Greece’s Ambassador to the U.S., David Horner, President of the American College of Greece, Alexander Zagoreos, Chair of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Nancy Papaioannou, President of Atlantic Bank, George Marcus, John Calamos, and Drake Behrakis, NHS Co-Founders, and NHS members from all over the U.S.

Master Chef Diane Kochilas launches Greek cuisine classes

The Fund’s initial program is the NEWS Program (NHS Epicurean Workshop Series) with Master Chef Diane Kochilas, star of My Greek Table, to kick off the NEWS Program. Chef Kochilas was thrilled to have the opportunity to teach the College’s hospitality students about wellness and other benefits associated with the Greek Mediterranean diet in several classes held over two days at the College.

The NHS will help bring other chefs, culinarians, and experts that will impart their insights into the Greek Mediterranean diet, culture, traditions, and lifestyle to students.

Greek Cuisine University of Nevada
Stowe Shoemaker, dean of the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality, with NHS Chair Drake Behrakis. Credit: National Hellenic Society.

NHS Chair, Drake Behrakis emphasized NHS focus on its effort to pass on this important aspect of our Hellenic heritage and culinary legacy with students enrolled in the nation’s leading academic centers of hospitality.

“The kouzina plays an important role in our lives, where family, friends, and colleagues gather to engage in dialogue, reflect, laugh, and enjoy a wonderful meal in the spirit of parea/kinship. We look forward to collaborating to promote wellness and all the benefits of the Greek Mediterranean diet and to share Hellenic philoxenia/hospitality with the College’s students in hopes they will bring that spirit to others as they advance in their career paths throughout the U.S. and beyond,” Behrakis said.

​“We are grateful to be working on such a unique project with such amazing partners,”  Dean Shoemaker noted..

“Collaborating with the NHS means we’re able to give students a rich understanding of Greek culture and cuisine—exposure that helps these young people not only grow as hospitality professionals but also citizens of the world.”

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