Despina Petri BSocSc
“Healthy food experience through education”
Welcome to my site, feel free to have a browse! Wow! The last few years have been full of busy-ness, lots of culinary skills learned and happy to have completed my trade certificate in commercial cookery, back in 2009, time really does seem to fly. Education for me is priceless and passing my skills and knowledge on gives me great pleasure. I consider myself a lifelong student and for me it is important to get acquainted with all issues that encompass food, and also passing on this information to the many students who have already attended many of my classes.
Hippocrates Culinary Institute (HCI)
At Hippocrates Despina not only shows you how to cook delicious meals, she teaches you about making it healthy for your body and sustainable for the health of the planet. From shopping trolley to plate learn to disseminate between the truth and hype in food marketing and labelling. What might seem like simple changes will have enormous and profound impact.
The classes are informative, hands on, real, factual, fun, whilst leaving attendees feeling empowered and positive.
Ingredients are sourced as locally as possible with a strong focus on organic. It is important to not only support local produce but reduce our food miles by doing so. Organic farmshare & farmers markets are the preferred suppliers for the Hippocrates Culinary Institute with the supermarket being the last option. The Australian public have supported the duopoly of Woolworths and Coles for too long at the cost of the consumer and the planet.
Why we support local & organic
- Fresher produce
- More nutrient dense foods
- Minimal food miles
- Pesticide, herbicide & insecticide free
- Genetic modification free
- Food irradiation free
- Support local community
At Hippocrates a wide range of different dietary disciplines are taught, these include macrobiotics, food fermentation, RAW cuisine, vegetarian and vegan. Specialised courses include herb and spice appreciation, unusual ingredients, sprouting and sea vegetables. The Institute also offers a wide range of international cuisines which reflect Despina’s love of travel and her Greek Cypriot heritage. Local chefs and teachers are invited to teach at the Hippocrates Culinary Institute (HCI), throughout the year.
Outcomes for students include:
- Understanding food labelling
- Understanding genetic modification, food irradiation and their implications
- Choosing more wisely at the supermarket for health
- Incorporating better eating habits for the long term
- Cooking delicious yet healthy meals
Venue: Hippocrates Culinary Institute
Based at Beautiful Broken Head in Northern NSW, just minutes south of Byron Bay. A purpose built kitchen and dining area for students which includes a comprehensive library and shop. The students will also be able to meet the chickens and collect fresh eggs for the class and also walk through the kitchen garden and collect ingredients for the days class.
The workshops are relaxed, with a hands on approach encouraged. Refreshments are also provided throughout the duration of the workshops, culminating into a meal at the end.
What to bring
All you need to bring along is a desire to learn and your appetite. Recipes and notes are provided.
These workshops are designed for small groups of 2 - 8 people so that everyone gets a chance to really participate and ask questions. One on one private classes are also available
Workshop time/ days:
Workshops are mostly held on weekends. Other workshops during the week can be organised for group bookings. Classes fill quickly and we recommend that you book at least two weeks in advance of your preferred date. All bookings are subject to availability.
You will be provided with a Hippocrates Culinary Institute apron for the class, which is available to buy at the end if you wish.
The cost will vary depending on the course and number of students attending.
Despina’s Greek heritage has been the inspiration that has ignited her passion for food. Despina’s grandfather was an ice-cream maker in a small village in Cyprus, and her mother is an amazing pastry chef, who has only in the last few years shared some of her culinary secrets and recipes with Despina. Despina brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience from her passion for organic and seasonal cooking, her background in human resource development and social sciences. It wasn’t until she studied social sciences that she realised that so many of societies BIG issues can be traced back to food in some way.Some of these food issues include world hunger, over-processed foods, labeling laws (or lack of), food miles, the environment, health, organics, fair trade, world hunger, multi-national injustices, unethical business practices, the growing gap between the rich and the poor, the breakdown of information at a grass roots level with people from all walks of life.
Some of these issues elaborated further -
Feel free to contact Despina for a personalised cooking workshop. Despina is happy to teach 1-10 students from a half day workshop to a full day. Otherwise check out the calender for up coming classes.
- The sharing of a meal around the dining table was a time when the family could come together, connect / bond, share stories over a meal. Despina increasingly sees this as being less and less the norm. People buying take away, eating out, eating in front of the television or in the bedroom etc. The family is suffering and doesn’t realise that the simple act of eating a meal together can have a profound and positive impact.
- Shipping food from one corner of the globe to the other is common place. The fossil fuels and energy required are having devastating effects on the environment. We are eating summer foods in winter and winter foods in summer. We have become disconnected from our food source and this has led to our growing disrespect and abuse of our most important natural resources which are responsible for our very survival on planet earth.
- The growing dependence on foods from across the planet has fuelled the need for more ways to store and preserve foods. We are reliant on toxic preservatives and preservation methods such as food irradiation (nuclear technology) and chemical additives. The cost to our health and the planet is too high.
- Health issues abound in our ‘modern’ day society – cancer, diabetes, obesity, stroke, heart disease, behavioural problems are just the tip of the iceberg and can be traced to our food choices. Just as food has the power to kill it also has the power to heal.
- Hunger, has been an issue for as long as Despina can remember. In a world that produces enough food, economics still dictate who eats and who doesn’t, the have’s and the have not’s. Sadly hunger is a disease of the modern world.