Sustainability seems to be dominating conversations everywhere, emerging as the trend of our time. In discussions surrounding gastronomy projects, sustainability often takes center stage as well, reflecting this phenomenon.
There is, of course, good reason for this; both environmental awareness and the need to curb costs are growing more important with each passing day, particularly as raw materials become more expensive. Zero waste is not a passing fad, it’s a necessity.
In Greece, when we talk about sustainability in gastronomy, it’s almost obligatory to refer to a project that has achieved remarkable success in a short period of time. Peskesi is a restaurant located in Irakleio, Crete, offering traditional local cuisine. It serves dishes that go beyond fulfilling the basic need for sustenance, acting as carriers of culture and history. These dishes are prepared not to impress but rather to effortlessly convey the richness of the Cretan soil. Pure ingredients and recipes that have withstood the test of time are presented through contemporary and sustainable methods.
In 1998, the owners of the restaurant established a 12-hectare farm in Charaso. They cultivate their own vegetables, herbs, and fruits using organic and biodynamic methods. Their olive groves yield high-quality extra virgin olive oil. They maintain beehives and raise their own animals. The facilities are open to the public (by appointment) for visits, allowing people to explore the premises and the estate, and to indulge in the products they produce, accompanied by raki, wine, or cof- fee. The Peskesi team also organize cooking classes, where participants can engage in the whole process, from harvesting to preparation. The chefs share insights into the nutritional value of the products, traditional recipes, and practices that have shaped Cretan cuisine.
RESERVATIONS FOR TOURS, CLASSES, AND DINING CAN BE MADE THROUGH THEIR WEBSITE.
Embracing the spirit of the circular economy, Peskesi started with the slogan “From farm to table” and have now come around to endorsing the reverse flow as well, “From table to farm.”
This means that nothing goes to waste, and any surplus returns to the land as fertilizer or becomes feed for the estate’s animals. In doing this, Peskesi ensures the responsible use of resources such as water and energy. Through intensive research, they are able to deconstruct every dish and calculate the energy consumed in its preparation. Reducing their energy footprint is one of the key priorities of their sustainability project, an effort which is ongoing.