Crete’s Culinary Sanctuaries Announces Olive Harvest Tours
Crete's Culinary Sanctuaries organizes tours in Crete, Greece, that cover culture, nature, organic agriculture and cuisine. CCS now offers winter tours from November to January. “The olive harvest season is a wonderful time of year to be in Crete,” said Nikki Rose, CCS founder. This trip is for people who want to see the real side of Crete, participate in the exciting harvest activities and learn a lot about olive oil. Olives have been cultivated in Crete for over 4,000 years, so there’s a lot of ground to cover, including valuable healthy cooking techniques.
CCS programs are tailored to small groups and presented exclusively by resident experts. Crete’s renowned healthy cuisine and organic gardening, including the production of olive oil, cheese and wine are intertwined with visits to historic sites and botanic hikes. Optional outdoor activities can also be enjoyed – from cycling along the country roads to paragliding over the valley. “Our visiting friends join us in villages they may never find on their own and get to know residents who are delighted to share their knowledge about culture and cuisine,” said Rose. By building a network of family farms and small businesses, CCS created the strength in numbers people need to share their knowledge and continue their work in disappearing traditional trades.
Crete has a fascinating past, but that’s just one part of the picture today. “Any place we visit, whether it be New York or Nepal, is more memorable when we spend time with local people. That’s the connection we make in Crete, while sharing valuable cultural, culinary and gardening information with our visiting friends,” said Rose. Agriculture and culture are strongly linked in Crete, as you’ll soon discover!
Nikki Rose is a Greek-American, professional chef and writer (primarily for Slow Food), living in Crete. Her articles focus on culture, food, farming and environmental issues. She is also working on a book and documentary that mirrors CCS programs. Rose has designed cultural-culinary preservation seminars since 1997, featuring prominent chefs from the diplomatic sector, culinary schools and fine dining establishments from around the world. 15 members of the CCS network are featured in Television New Zealand’s “Taste Takes Off” culinary travel show, to be aired in November.
Kostas Bouyouris, co-designer of the CCS project, is a noted agronomist and founding member of the Mediterranean Association for Soil Health, based in Crete. Bouyouris has worked for over a decade on innovative projects to expand sustainable organic agriculture in Greece. His programs link organic farmers directly to restaurant kitchens and create an essential bridge between agriculture and tourism. MedASH organizes many community projects, including training young farmers and organizing children’s gardens. Bouyouris was a guest speaker at Slow Food’s Terra Madre conference in October 2004.
CCS programs have been featured in National Geographic Adventure, Islands Magazine, Lonely Planet, The Guardian (UK), Slow Food, and Greek Circle Magazine, among others. Their programs are certified by major conservation and sustainable travel (ecotourism) organizations and approved by the American Culinary Federation for continuing education credits.