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Home Dining

Historic cheese making & bread baking class

Host Mariana

$125.54 per guest

At a glance

Start time

10:00 pm


4 hours

Group size

2-8 people

Class language



The class explores the history of cheese making and learns how to make rennet, vinegar and plant juice based cheese curds and re-create an ancient Greek goat and sheep cheese recipe.

You will then be taken through the many aspects involved in creating different types of period breads- from making sourdough to kneading and from baking to using the bread as an ingredient in various dishes- using period cookbooks and other traditional primary sources. The breads are baked on hot stones, in a replica of a 5th century pnigeus (portable earthenware oven), on a replica of a Byzantine portable grill and in the heat of a traditional wood fired oven.

How long is this lesson? 4 hours
Start time: 10:00 am
Days available: Monday
The lesson is also offered on other dates upon request, if time permits.


White cheese made with goat milk and fig- juice rennet.
White cheese made with sheep milk and vinegar rennet
Whey cheese
Bread baked on hot stones
Bread baked in a replica of a 5th century portable oven
Bread baked in ashes and on a replica of Byzantine grill
Traditional pita bread covered with tomato, onions etc, baked in the heat of a wood fired oven.
Ancient Greek bread ''pudding''
The ''lazy woman's '' cheese pie.


The class takes place in a 300 year old olive grove situated in the village of Daratsos, 5 km from the city of Chania.

Daratsos is connected by regular city buses. The bus leaves from 1866 square and stops at the small square of the village. The house is within easy walking distance (about 200m)
If you prefer to get a taxi, the taxi queue is opposite the bus station.

Contact Host




I am an experimental archaeologist-food historian, who recreates Greek historical recipes using




from Pickering

Mariana Is a very knowledgeable host and I truly enjoyed the bread and wine making she demonstrated. I am so looking forward to her sending us the recipes The lunch she prepared was delicious and I am definitely going to make it for family. If you are a foodie you will enjoy her company and everything she offers.

Dimitri Eliades

Dimitri Eliades

from Brisbane City QLD

This was for me a very memorable experience. Mariana is not only a cook but a formally trained in Archaeologist and Sociologist with an emphasis on trends in food developed over many centuries. As Mariana made the cheeses and breads she outlined the trends through conquering nations, culinary explorers and their adaptation to Cretan cuisine. Her explanation of the historical introduction of certain foods and cooking techniques to Crete and beyond made this much more than a "here's the recipe" course. Sitting in the garden surrounded by olives trees, hanging the freshly made cheese on the tree to strain, whilst a variety of breads with and without toppings cooked in several open stone fires and an outside oven (fourno), made this, to me, a valuable and enjoyable learning experience. Before leaving Australia I was baking bread in a cast iron pot. Mariana explained the emphasis on clay pot cooking in Crete and a number of techniques, their historical roots and their uses today. Thank you Mariana and her husband John for being fine and accommodating hosts.




from Rome

I took the 'Eating in ancient Greece' cooking class. It was a cooking lesson, a history lesson and a meal all in one! I enjoyed it very much. I was by myself but Mariana had me group with four other lovely people and we learned so many interesting things and cooked and laughed. A very interesting class by an experimental archaeologist who is an Gourmand award - winning author as well. Food was great.

Anna Delhaugh

Anna Delhaugh

from New York

I’m thoroughly fascinated with Mariana's cooking courses. I took two of them and I enjoyed the entire process, from mixing historically-appropriate ingredients and cooking over an open fire to using replicas of historic equipment and tools. Mariana is extremely generous with her knowledge and responded to every question in such a warm and nuturing way!

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$125.54 per guest


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