Kathy Tsaples is the proprietor of Sweet Greek in the Deli Arcade at the Market. Sweet Greek offers homemade classic pastries and ready-to-eat Greek cuisine. Everything is made freshly on the premises with produce from our Fruit and Vegetable traders. On weekends there are special offerings such as Loukoumades (honey doughnuts) or Avgolemono (traditional egg-lemon chicken soup).
Kathy learned to cook at home from her mother but didn't start her career in food for many years, heading into financial services instead. "I spent my days doing market research and analysis. When my sons were studying for VCE I took some time off to be at home with them. It was during this time that I pursued my passion for cooking and perfecting my Greek recipes."
"Not satisfied with just the home cooking, I approached a friend who ran a very succesful gourmet deli. I worked there for 7 years and became manager of the store. There I learnt about retailing, food products, suppliers and cheese management skills.
I always held the dream that one day I would have my own store where I could display and sell the food that is so close to my heart and my heritage."
Kathy was the manager of Sweet Greek when it opened at the Market in January 2011 and later became the owner. She says "This is the ideal home for myself and my food. I love to make delicious Greek sweets and savoury dishes such as mousaka, pastitsio and Greek soups."
|Traditional Kataifi pastries at Sweet Greek|
Kathy also started importing products directly from Greece that she considered vital for any pantry.
"I wanted to create a store that became a necessary stopoff for customers. I want to awake the senses and make people feel good, through food. We have a core menu but naturally, changes occur to reflect the seasons."
|Spinach and feta pastries at Sweet Greek|
Another of Kathy's dreams came true recently, when she held in her hands a copy of her first book Sweet Greek: Simple Food & Sumptuous Feasts. Her book is a beautiful collection of Kathy's favourite recipes, bound together with the story of her life, her family and challenges, including overcoming a diagnosis of stage 3 breast cancer during Easter 2009.
The book is published by Melbourne Books, with photographs that will have you desperate to try these dishes. You can either follow Kathy's recipes and tips or pop in and taste her cooking for yourself. Kathy was interviewed by Rafael Epstein on 774 ABC Melbourne recently and this link provides details of four of her Easter recipes, including Slow Roasted Shoulder of Lamb, Cauliflower Salad, Dolmades and Red Dyed Easter Eggs.
|Kathy Tsaples of Sweet Greek with her namesake book|
From Thursday to Sunday this week, Sweet Greek will host a feast of traditional Greek Easter delicacies, including Mairitsa (Greek Easter Lamb Soup) and Thiples, which are a pastry made for Greek festive days. There will be Tsoureki (Greek Easter bread) and dyes and stickers for decorating white eggs.
|These Australian-made candles celebrate Greek Easter at Sweet Greek|
And the most beautiful candles. "We light the candles at midnight mass on Saturday, it's a symbol that Christ has now risen and we carry that flame home to light our own candles."
Kathy's book and store, are in a sense, her own flame. She shares her warmth and her story, through her food and her words. Sweet Greek will be released on 8 May 2013 and will be available at all good bookstores and of course, Sweet Greek itself.
163 Commercial Road
South Yarra VIC 3141
Phone: 03 9826 0608