CULTURE

Pastry master shares skills

A sweet veteran returns to the baking table this week, offering novel as well as more conventional ideas. Stelios Parliaros, the well-known patisserie-chef, is currently hosting a series of seminars to please passionate beginners and confident connoisseurs alike. The sessions, which kicked off earlier this week, run to February, 2006. During the seminars, aspiring patisserie experts will pursue a number of skills: basic patisserie such as chocolate mousse and custard; well-known desserts such as baba au rum or tarte tatin; patisserie decoration; traditional Greek patisserie; biscuits, pies and cakes; pastries with chestnuts and fruit and Christmas specialties. Besides the more traditional recipes, Parliaros will be offering alternative choices such as panettone with chocolate pearls and spices, mousse cheesecake and chocolate truffles with truffle oil. Born in Istanbul in 1959, Parliaros came to Greece after graduating from high school. In 1980, he opened the first in a series of «Fresh» confectionary outlets, featuring lower usage of sugar than what was perceived as customary at the time. The small chain was a success and grew, while Parliaros kept broadening his patisserie horizons by attending classes at the Le Notre School and the Patisserie School Escoffier at the Ritz in Paris, and the Valrhona school in Lyon. Parliaros’s collaboration with «Fresh» was terminated last year and, subsequently, he established his own seminar space in January this year – his experience in teaching was also enhanced by his collaboration with Parousiasi stores, where he was a founder of the Cookwell seminar series. In the last few years, Parliaros has also collaborated with Gaea, the Greek quality-food company, coming up with intriguing products such as olive confit and mastiha jam. Parliaros is also the author of several confectionary books; his new effort, «Olo Sokolata» (All Chocolate), published by Sideris Editions, is due to hit bookstores next month. Besides teaching others, Parliaros remains a student himself and, while keeping up to date with world patisserie affairs, he is constantly experimenting with local ingredients, taking Greek confectionary a sweet step ahead. For more information on the seminars call 210.646.4864 or visit www.parliaros.gr. Each seminar costs 60 euros.