Ross School - Senior Project 2008-09

Student: Brendan Guldi

Mentor: Liz Dobbs

Title: Faie

Hellenic civilization has impacted the world like no other. It is noted well for its ancient philosophy, mathematics, literature, politics, and science, but how about its cuisine? The development of Hellenic cuisine has been impacted by the social and political context of each region that encompasses Greece. With each dish comes a individual story that's on every Greeks plate. Whether it be Alexander's march on civilization or the Byzantine Empire and its Imperial courts who standardized Greek cuisine. Or even after the fall of Constantinople when the Italians dominated their island colonies and influenced Hellenic cuisine rather than Italian cuisine during their ancient colonization of Italy. Everyday Greek cuisine is an embodiment in the modern era of thousands of years of history on one single plate.


            Historical events and the explanations that surround them have always been a particular fascination for me. Specifically, I have been drawn to the ancient culture that is my heritage, including the Hellenic civilization of antiquity, the great Byzantine Empire, and their effects on present day Western culture. In prior grade levels, I have studied the importance and contributions of the Italian Renaissance, being the rebirth and celebration of ancient knowledge and cultures past.

            In a recent school trip with the founder of the Ross School, “The Golden Matrix” excursion held out for me the opportunity to venture to the countries in which these three cultures formally resided. I believe that this trip truly increased my appreciation and understanding on how and why these cultures impacted the world.

            As a child, I was fascinated and intrigued by my grandparent’s Greek assimilation of the American culture and the “Grenglish”, a mix of Greek and English words spoken in their home. Thus began my journey and the first steps toward comprehending the cultures and civilizations which inhabited the Hellenic Peninsula. I began formal studies of the early Greek cultures by weekly attendance on Saturdays to the Greek Orthodox Church’s Greek School. The Fourth Crusade by Quellet and 1453 by Roger Crowley advanced my knowledge of the Greek and Byzantine empires, leading to a higher standard of discussion of these prosperous societies. My interest in this time period inspired me to create a Hellenistic-based senior project. Physically witnessing the landmarks has undoubtedly given me a deeper understanding of the culture.

            As I mature, I continue to be immersed and surrounded by Hellenic culture since my maternal family’s origins and roots are Greek. In effect, I have been raised in a Greek household; my family are members of the Greek community of the east end as well as the Greek Orthodox Church of the Hampton’s.  Reading books about the Byzantine Empire is an enjoyable way of seeing how the ancient empire connects to the present day, including current events.

            In my freshmen year we studied the Italian Renaissance, and the important impact it had on Western Europe. I was interested in the Italian culture of the time, more so given the almost universal love of things Italian in today’s modern culture!  I discovered the events surrounding the Council of Florence when the Byzantines fled Constantinople in fear of the Ottoman siege. I began to have a better sense of the obsession with power that drove the Medici ruling family. I also gained an appreciation of the famous artists who left their mark in Florence. Such was my interest that I signed up for the Italian M-term that year. I learned basic and first level Italian. In addition, in the summer of 2007, I travelled extensively throughout France and even had an opportunity to sit in on a cooking class at Le Cordon Bleu School in Paris.  I am currently enrolled in Sixth Year French and hope to continue my studies on a University level.  As a High school graduation requirement, we create a senior project.  In an effort to bring together my interests of diverse cultures, cooking and business, I have elected to create a Regional Cookbook that illustrates the historical implications on cuisine.  It offered a perfect opportunity to share my diverse interests and create a keepsake of family and friend’s recipes.

Works Consulted

Aldrege, Mathew. Personal Interview. June-December 2008.

Asimov, Isaac. The Greeks A Great Adventure

Clarke, Jeff. “barbecue souvlaki © Jeff Clarke #976776”. Fotolia. 2008. Viewed Dec 15, 2008. <>.

Crowley, Roger. 1453. New York, NY. Hyperion. 2005.

Dobbs, Liz. Personal Interview/Instruction. June-December 2008.

Dbulkin. “Spinach Pie”. Dreamstime. 2008. Viewed Dec 16, 2008. <<.

Hoffman, Susanna. The Olive and the Caper. New York NY: Workman Publishing Company Inc., 2004.

Jborzicchi. “Roasted Vegetables”. Dreamstime. 2008. Viewed Dec 16, 2008. <      image2192593>

JMB. “Baklava on White © #10935874”. Fotolia. 2008. Viewed Dec 15, 2008. <>.

Kagan, Donald, Steven Ozment and Frank M. Turner.  The Western Heritage. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearsn Prentice Hall.      2004.

Karayanis, Dean and Catherine Karayanis. Regional Greek Cooking. New York, NY: Hippocriene Books, Inc., 2008.

Kayann. “Minoan palace - Knossos - Crete- Greece © KaYann #7540610”. Fotolia. 2009. Viewed Jan 7, 2009. < http://us.fotolia.      com/id/7540610>

Krieg, Saul. The Alpha and Omega of Greek Cooking. New York, NY. Macmillan Publishing Col, Inc. 1973.

Lerich, Robert. “greek island cafe © robert lerich #888726”. Fotolia. 2008. Viewed Dec 15, 2008. <>.

Lerich, Robert. “greek taverna meal with wine © robert lerich #995212”. Fotolia. 2008. Viewed Dec 15, 2008. <>.

Leridon, Phillippe. “Fleurs d’amandier © Philippe Leridon #578348”. Fotolia. 2008. Viewed Dec 15, 2008. <>.

Mikari. “Windmill on Zakynthos Greece”. Dreamstime. 2008. Viewed Dec 16, 2008. <>

Otilia. “Lemons in White Bowl --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis”. Picasa. Viewed Dec 15, 2008.<>

Poulos-Guldi, Catherine. Personal Interview/Instruction. June-December 2008.

Poulos, Alkimini. Personal Interview/Instruction. June-December 2008.

Prieston, Eleni. Personal Interview. June-December 2008.

Poulos-Guldi, Catherine. Personal Interview/Instruction. June-December 2008.

Poulos, Alkimini. Personal Interview/Instruction. June-December 2008.

Prieston, Eleni. Personal Interview. June-December 2008.

Raia, Stephanie. “Cypriot Cooking.” June-December 2008.

Spiro, Sam. “bushels of lemons under window © Sam Spiro #827266”. Fotolia. 2008. Viewed Dec, 15. 2008. <>.

Strykowski. “Yogurt Soup with Cucumber”. Dreamstime. 2008. Viewed Dec 16, 2008. <>

The Recipe Club of Saint Paul’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral. The Complete Book of Greek Cooking. New York NY: Harper Collins  Publications, 1990.

The United Nations International School. International Home Cooking. New York, NY. Quebecor Printing. 1997.

Vias2002. “Octopus hanging to dry near the beach at Halkidiki in Greece © vlas2002 #6145264”. Fotolia. 2008. Viewed Dec 15,    2008. <>.

Wiseman, H.M.. “18 Centuries of Empire: The Greek Perspective”. Aug 31, 2008. Viewed Dec 4, 2008. <>.

Yeung, Alex. “Santorini, Greece © Alex Yeung #3110627”. Fotolia. 2008. Viewed Dec 15, 2008. <>.

A Personal Thanks to:

James Caputo              Aphrodite Daitsis          Margaret Dimotsis        Liz Dobbs

Richard Dunn              Thomas Guldi              Dria Mallios                 Patience Pollock

Alkmini Poulos             Catherine Poulos-Guldi           Eleni Prieston  Stephanie Raia

Courtney Sale Ross      Tom Tannion

Community Member (Details)

Outside Consultant: Eleni Prieston

What She Does: Restaurant Owner