When I recently received an invitation to take part in a intimate masterclass with Chef David Tsirekas, Chef in Residence at Nostimo Restaurant, where he was going to showcase his signature dish, Pork Belly Baklava, I couldn’t reply ‘yes’ quick enough.

I’ve long had a love affair with all things Greek, the islands, food, architecture and history and to have the opportunity to be treated to a Greek cooking class by an award winning chef, was definitely an opportunity I wanted to be part of.

Chef David Tsirekas hasn’t always been a chef and before entering the world of hospitality he was a swim and water polo coach who would earn extra money on the side with casual jobs in the hospitality industry where he learnt basic cooking skills.

In 1998 we was offered a partnership in his sister’s Sydney restaurant, Perama, and although his skills were basic he began to learn and understanding Greek cuisine by reading ancient literary texts to build a picture of where Greek cuisine come from, what path it had travelled and how it became what we know today. Perama got its first Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Hat in 2001 and kept it until 2011 when David moved to Xanthi in Westfields

The hero dish of our Masterclass was David’s infamous Pork Belly Baklava, the dish he created when at Perama in 2001 and which came to him in a dream, this dish is the perfect merging of savoury and sweet flavours and is the reason you need to visit Nostimo pronto.

Our evening of learning and enjoying delicious food also included –

Melitzana (Eggplant) Dip with Pita Bread


BBQ Haloumi with heirloom tomatoes, kalamata olive paste

Pork Belly Baklava date and pistachio, crispy filo pastry, served with date and mastic sauce

Lamb Kleftiko

Horta wilted greens, lemon dill, olive oil

Caramel Baklava Ice Cream layered with vanilla bean ice cream, caramel fudge and baklava nuts

The flavours of each dish were AMAZING, I loved EVERYTHING David prepared. The lamb was succulent and the combination of flavours in the Lamb Kleftiko parcel was outstanding, the Pork Belly Baklava was out of this world, the Horta simple but sensational and the Caramel Baklava Ice cream was the perfect sweet finale to a wonderful Greek food odyssey.

In David’s words his cooking ‘depicts Greece through the ages’ however he continues cooking Greek food outside the box but with traditional foundations and food which I’m sure you will enjoy as much as I did during my intimate masterclass.

Nostimo Restaurant

Where – 29 Edmondstone Street, South Brisbane (located inside The Greek Club)

Hours – see website

Telephone – 07 3844 1166

Website – www.nostimorestaurant.com.au