Balducci's Welcomes Celebrated Chefs to NY, DC and CT Stores During Month-Long "Taste of Greece"

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October's Greek Festival to feature cooking classes by Executive Chefs of Zaytinya and Barbounia Restaurants, over 50 new products, food tastings and a vacation giveaway to Athens.

A month-long celebration of Greek Mediterranean cuisine allows us the opportunity to showcase the rich heritage of Greece, and how its traditional flavors impact so many of our favorite dishes.

Saturday marked the official start of Balducci's Taste of Greece, a month-long celebration of the rich flavors and culinary trends which have made Greek cuisine so popular in recent years.

From September 29-October 20, all ten Balducci's stores in MD, DC, VA, NY and CT will feature over 50 new products from Greece, host free master chef classes in conjunction with area restaurateurs and offer customers a chance to win a dream vacation for two to Athens, Greece.

"For years, Americans have admired the Greek Mediterranean diet for its simplicity and intense flavors," noted Balducci's CEO Barbara Parasco. "Taking heed, Balducci's is proud to kick off a month-long showcase of our favorite offerings from the Mediterranean."

Each store in the Balducci's chain has prepared a full calendar of in-store sampling events for Saturdays September 29, October 6, October 13 and October 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day. Customers should check their local store or http://www.balduccis.com for a more detailed calendar of activities.

In addition to in-store sampling, Balducci's has planned a series of free master chef demonstrations with noted restaurateurs, including:

°Chef Mike Isabella, Zaytinya Restaurant
Saturday October 20th, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Balducci's of Bethesda, MD
Join the Head Chef of Washington DC's favorite mezze restaurant, Zaytinya, as he samples a host of small plates from the Eastern Mediterranean.

°Chef Tim Reardon, Barbounia Restaurant
Thursday, October 25th, 6:30 p.m.
Balduccis of Chelsea, NY
Old World will meet modern flare during this special event with Executive Chef Tim Reardon of New York City's Barbounia restaurant.

°Chef Michael Marchetti, Columbus Park Trattoria
Saturday, October 6th , 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Balducci's of Westport
Join Mediterranean Chef Michael Marchetti for a special tasting of Greek olive oils and a demonstration of Greek favorite, kalamari.

Balducci's Culinary Directors have also prepared a full menu of Greek Mediterranean-inspired dishes for each store's prepared foods case, including Htipiti, Moussaka and Spanikopita, as well as various fresh salads and wraps.

Some of the authentic products showcased in Balducci's aisles this month include:

°Evangelia's Cookies with Grape Must: Greek-style olive oil cookies with petimezi, resulting in a crunchy biscuit with a toasty, cinnamon flavor.

°Biolea Olive Oil Koroneiki Olives Stone Milled with Fresh Lemons: A lush, buttery extra virgin olive oil accented with the flavor of fresh, zesty lemons pressed right in with the olives.

°Eleona Koutali Sweets: Plump, ripe fruits--tangerines, figs or honeyed grapes--floating in a refreshing syrup. Try spread on a thick slice of country bread.

°Bolero Wafer Sticks and Crepes: These crisp, flaky wafers are filled with creamy, decadent flavors such as Lemon, Vanilla, or Cocoa. A sweet accompaniment to a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

"It is typical for our merchants to find exceptional new products in their travels around the world- olive oils and cheeses especially," added Pascal Jubault, Balducci's Vice President of Buying and Operations. "A month-long celebration of Greek Mediterranean cuisine allows us the opportunity to showcase the rich heritage of Greece, and how its traditional flavors impact so many of our favorite dishes."

In addition to various food and wine samples, customers will have a chance to win a six day/five night dream vacation for two to Athens. Starting Saturday, September 29, entry boxes will be posted in each Balducci's store; no purchase is necessary to enter. The final drawing is scheduled for October 31.

For more information, or to find a Balducci's near you, please visit http://www.balduccis.com.

Balducci's Food Lover's Market is one of the largest specialty food companies in the country, with 10 stores and 4 restaurants, and a heritage that dates back to 1916. Formerly operating under the names Hay Day Country Farm Market, Sutton Place Gourmet and Balducci's, the company was purchased in November 2003 by an investment group led by Bear Stearns Merchant Banking. The Balducci's flagship store on 8th Avenue in Manhattan opened in December 2005. For more information on Balducci's, visit http://www.balduccis.com.

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CARRIE FOX
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