Diane Kochilas is one of the world's foremost authorities on Greek cuisine. She is an American of Greek descent, a born-and-bred New Yorker, but she has lived in Greece since the early 1990s. Now, she divides her time between three places: New York City, Athens, and Ikaria, a beautiful, peaceful island in the eastern Aegean where she runs a small restaurant and cooking school each summer at Villa Thanassi.
During the rest of the year, Diane can be seen as a consulting chef at Diatiritaio, a restaurant serving high-end Greek cuisine in downtown Athens or organizing special events at Milos in New York. Diane has helped organize cheese tastings, wine tastings, olive oil tastings and kakavia festivals at the famed New York restaurant.
In Athens, Diane is the city's most "feared" and ferocious restaurant critic. Her weekly columns on both food and restaurants appear in the country's largest daily newspaper, Ta Nea. She writes frequently for American newspapers and magazines, including: the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Saveur, and Gourmet. She has written three books on Greek cuisine: The Food and Wine of Greece (St. Martin's Press, 1990) The Greek Vegetarian (St. Martin's Press, 1996), and The Glorious Foods of Greece (William Morrow, 2001). Her books are widely recognized as standard bearers of Greek cuisine internationally. She also travels worldwide frequently to teach and promote Greek cooking and culture.
In the United States, her twice yearly cooking tours take her to the likes of Peter Kump's New York Cooking School, The Silo in New Milford, CT and many others. In Athens, Diane teaches Greek cooking to Greeks and foreigners alike at Kallisti, a restaurant in downtown Athens and Elliniki Etaireia, in the Plaka. She has also taught Greek cuisine internationally, at The Hattori School of Cooking in Tokyo. Under the auspices of the International Olive Oil Council, Diane organized a culinary excursion through one of Greece's least known regions, bringing more than 80 foreign journalists in contact with local home cooks, local chefs, olive oil producers, wine makers, cheese makers, local confection producers and more.
Diane has also made numerous television appearances. In the United States, she has appeared on The Today Show, Cooking Live with Sarah Moulton, From Martha's Kitchen with Martha Stewart and Home Cooking with Amy Coleman. HCS viewers are invited to read her article, “Greeks: Nuts About Nuts,” and two recipes from her latest book, Meze, in a brief article titled, "Meze. Small Plates to Savor and Share from the Mediterranean Table,"