Moore-Pastides moves with ease and familiarity around the kitchen, clearly enjoying the opportunity to share her love of Greek food and healthy eating.
“I’ve been teaching cooking for the community-at-large in USC’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program for five years, and I still enjoy it,” she said. But, I love having a student class. I’ve also taught two one-time honors classes, so when I was asked to teach this class, I thought it was a great idea.”
The class begins with a short lecture on the food topic of the day. Moore-Pastides teaches a chapter a week from her book, “Greek Revival.” A recent class was all about meat. In Greek recipes, meat is served with vegetables and is more of a condiment.
The class of 15 students was divided into pairs who were assigned to prepare a particular meat entrée. Senior Nick Osterfoss, already a part-time kitchen veteran of a local restaurant, was cooking chicken kabobs.
“I love it,” he said. “Besides the fact that we get to learn about preparing food, we cook it and eat it—and it’s all healthy.”
Psychology major Melissa Laitner, who wants to be a nutritionist and dietitian, says this class is a good way to jumpstart her education about healthy diets. There’s also the bonus of having Moore-Pastides as her instructor.
“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “She’s very personable, and it’s one of my favorite classes.”
As Moore-Pastides went from station to station, she made gentle suggestions: adding a little more parsley to the remoulade, slicing the meat a little thinner for the lamb pockets, or focusing on technique when using the pastry brush.
“I’m thoroughly enjoying this class because with many other obligations, I have few opportunities to spend meaningful time with our students, and this way, I get 15 of my very own students for eight weeks, and they bring so much energy. I’m really inspired by their interest in healthy foods and sustainability.” Kali Orexi! (Bon Apetit!)