Maria Loi – Chef, Greek food ambassador, author, healthy lifestyle expert.
Her recent book, The Greek Diet (October 2014, HarperCollins), written with veteran health journalist and athlete Sarah Toland, is grounded in the Greek Mediterranean lifestyle and combines these classic ingredients in recipes that satisfy the soul and the palette. The Greek Diet includes 100 healthy, authentic Greek recipes that use delicious unprocessed ingredients that will delight amateur and experienced home cooks.
When Maria Loi chooses ingredients and creates recipes, she considers the ancient grains and flavors that continue to flourish millenniums later. This is an area of expertise, her book on ancient Greek dining was the only official cookbook of the 2004 Olympics Games in Athens. These ingredients, as respected as the great Greek minds of Plato, Socrates and Hippocrates, are the pillars of a healthy, tasty Mediterranean diet: olive oil, Greek yogurt, grains, beans and freshly picked greens. Maria Loi’s food is about truth in flavor. Hers is a philosophy derived from the warm, scented Greek air and the sounds of loved ones around the table.
Maria Loi’s mischievous grin and sparkling eyes have made her a food superstar; she is a popular television chef in Greece and the author of dozens of cook books. She owns an exquisite gourmet restaurant in idyllic Nafpaktos and has a line of Maria Loi dinnerware and kitchen appliances. The Chef’s Club of Greece, a worldwide culinary organization has recognized her as an official Ambassador of Greek Gastronomy. She is also the founding partner in a fashion company.
Maria now shares her expertise and knowledge with American audiences. She quickly earned a reputation as the U.S. leader in authentic Greek cuisine and ingredients: In May 2012, Maria was invited to cook for President Obama at the White House.
Her pasta line, Loi Pasta, is now available nationwide through Sysco Foods, with other Greek products hitting shelves early 2015. She is a frequent television guest and speaker on the topics of Greek cuisine and culture, and healthy eating. Maria has been invited as one of America’s top six female chefs to the 2014 Fortune Magazine and James Beard Foundation: The Most Powerful Women Summit. Maria’s restaurant, Loi, was a favorite of the media and celebrities and a staple on New York’s Upper Westside from 2011 to June 2014.
Maria is deeply involved in Greek and America causes that care for children in need. She is a founder of Elpida (the Greek word meaning “hope”), a foundation to support children with cancer. She oversees a fund that grants university scholarships to underprivileged students.
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