First Pop-Up Culinary Theater at the Cardiff Greek Fest

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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I’ve always wanted to try a pop-up culinary theater concept in town but the opportunity never came around.  I’m not certain if the word “pop-up” is defined in the dictionary, so I’m assuming it’s just a great idea under a white cloth tent in a rented area. So, I decided to look the word up and this is how google defines it:

Pop-Up : denoting a store or other business that opens quickly in a temporary location and is intended to operate for only a short period of time and “fashion brands have been especially keen on pop-up stores in recent months”

Well, I guess my Greek pop-up qualifies.  Here’s the scoop. I decided to try a new approach to the everyday cooking demos that I teach at the Greek Festival in San Diego every year. The classes started several years ago with one class and it grew last year to a big whopping 4 classes. I was asked again this year, but I needed something new. So they gave me my own space, a tent and my imagination to decorate and set it up.

My idea is to offer something for everyone. Why cook and not have a diverse audience? After hours of planning I completed my schedule with several solutions. I needed to add children’s classes to encourage developing minds to begin cooking and not to be afraid of it. Then I added a class to answer the question, “What is Greek Food” with a pantry class. From there we needed late evening events for adults and brought in the Wine, Beer, and Spirits events. With the additiona of a few traditional classes we have an exciting program for all the attendees to participate in.

Here are a few of the class offerings:

On the schedule for both days, Kid’s will compete ages 6-11 on Saturday and Young Adults ages 12-16 on Sunday for “Best Greek Dish”.

We have a “What’s In Your Greek Pantry” and phyllo hands-on demo.

Four Greek Cooking Classes – “Simply Greek Spanokorizo” – Vegetarian, “Greek Whole Fish Baked in Salt”, “The Greek Pantry”

An Olive Oil Presentation and Demo  – “Drop the Butter and Bake with Olive Oil”

Saturday evening of Greek Food and Wine Talk “The Rising Popularity of Greek Wines – Yassas!

Sunday evening a Greek Bar and Beer Talk – “The Greek Bar Explosion”

Don’t forget to place these dates on your calendar for a full day of culinary!

September 9th and 10th at the Cardiff Greek Festival.

My sponsors include:
Bragg Live Foods – Patricia Bragg sponsored all the Greek Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and swag to be used during the festival and for all my events.
Melissa’s Produce – Robert Schueller is supplying all the produce for the culinary classes and demos throughout the weekend.
Fillo Factory – Is sponsoring The Greek Pantry Class and Demo as we explore how to work with fillo in a hands-on class.
Thank you to all my sponsors in believing in this new Pop-Up event.
For more information you can email me at or visit the Cardiff Greek Fest website for dates and times.
See you there in September,


© 2017 – 2019, Mary Papoulias-Platis. All rights reserved.

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