[Zoe Leoudaki]:Greek cuisine is going through a period of renaissance in the United States. Many restaurants have been created inspired by Greek recipes, and we are in one of them. Here in the center of Washington, we are at Zaytinya. April is dedicated to Greek Easter and Greek cuisine. For this purpose, Aglaia Kremezi has been enlisted. The well-known journalist and cookbook author is a symbol of Zaytinya and is now preparing to conduct a lesson with Greek recipes. [Aglaia Kremezi]: Greek restaurants have been successful because people want interesting things, foods that are tasty but also good for health. And one after another, all studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet is the best. No matter how much they look to find another, they couldn’t. [Zoe Leoudaki]: Along with Aglaia, Michael Costa, Zaytinya’s chef, is also cooking. Although his name sounds Greek, he is American. [Michael Costa]: Aglaia is a source of inspiration for us, she is the Greek mother who guides us. [Zoe Leoudaki]: Michael learned to cook Greek when he traveled to Greece. [Michael Costa]: I was impressed by how sour the flavors are, how much lemon and oregano are used. It’s something Americans are not accustomed to. [Zoe Leoudaki]: Foods from fresh vegetables, which constitute a large part of Greek cooking, are not common in the everyday American diet. [Aglaia Kremezi]: First, we will go to the market, which is the farmers’ market here, not exactly a traditional market. Because only producers go to this market, and organic producers. So, we will go to the market to see what things are available. And we will make lamb neck with greens in egg-lemon sauce. We will also make baked apples that we will get from the market. And we will make baked apples, which we do with mavrodafni and Samos wine and with raisins, without butter and such as they do here. [Zoe Leoudaki]: Zaytinya, which means oil in Turkish, offers meze in small plates. A very different approach for the Average American. [Michael Costa]: For many Americans, a meal consists of a huge plate with a lot of starch and meat, and it’s not good for health. But the Mediterranean cuisine teaches them it’s better to eat small portions with lots of vegetables. It’s different from what we are used to. [Zoe Leoudaki]: Aglaia and Michael want to show their students the flexibility of Greek cuisine especially now that many Greek products are circulating in the American market. [Aglaia Kremezi]: The reason there are Greek products has to do with the Greek crisis, because many producers, previously, sold their items in Greece and had no intention of exporting. It’s also more difficult, they say, why bother with it now. But now that times are tough in Greece, they try harder, and so we have exports of many things. And so restaurants that are not Greek, restaurants that make American food, are very interested in the wine. And certainly, in olive oil and all these things we have. The cheeses, of course, yogurt, feta, all these things. [Michael Costa]: People think that a chef and a Greek mother cook differently, but in reality, everyone cooks to please people. There isn’t a big difference between the two. [Zoe Leoudaki]: So, the Greek mother and the American chef conspire in the propagation of cooking that is based on seasonal vegetables and fruits. Greek cuisine at this moment in the United States is synonymous with good nutrition. Zoe Leoudaki, VOA, Washington.