Yiayias St Albans
With twenty Grandchildren, Yiaya Christalla (Yiayia is Greek for Grandma) inspired cousins Paul and Will to create their own kitchen. Fuelled by family love and a passion for good food, this is the Yiayias story.
Overlooking the sea, deep in the fiery fields of Famagusta, every childhood summer was spent at Yiayia’s house, the meeting point for our extended family. Each day started by firing up, filling to the brim and then sealing Yiayia’s homemade clay oven. We’d then spend our days exploring the island running amongst vines and caves to return home in the evening to a family feast.
A hastily assembled, long ramshackle table shaded by ancient olive branches and grape vines, would be covered with bowls full of Yiayia’s secret recipes. From Sheftalia (Cypriot sausage), Moussaka and Yemesita (stuffed peppers), to homemade Haloumi and freshly caught octopus, every evening Yiayia would serve a hearty feast.
While various meats would turn on the traditional Souvla (grill), the table would quickly fill with authentic Meze dishes. Yiayia’s handcrafted clay oven turned out steaming pitta that sponged her special dips fashioned from fresh ingredients – amongst them, Houmous, Taramasalata and best of all Aubergine Melizano.
As the sun set, Keo beer and Zivania would flow. The sound of Grandpapa’s violin would carry across the hills as Yiayia served sticky Baclavas, Galbrama Semolina Cake and her renowned rose flavoured ice cream.
The climate, culture, local ingredients, and love for family and food were the embodiment of Yiayia’s kitchen. Today, with pride, our own Kitchen strives to offer you a sense of the same.
We hope you enjoy.
Paul & Will.