by Vrej Sarkissian, CEO of Anoush
It's impossible to grow tired of Mediterranean cuisine — and not just because of the amazing flavor.
I grew up eating my mother's meals filled with fresh vegetables, herbs, whole grains, and lean cuts of fish and meat. Even now that I'm a no-holds-barred foodie, enjoying foods from all over the world, I find myself yearning for the simple yet flavorful Mediterranean meals.
Luckily for me, I work at Anoush — home of the best Mediterranean food this side of, well, the Mediterranean. Plus, everyone's confirming the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet. A landmark study in the New England Journal of Medicine confirmed what the people of the Mediterranean have known for centuries: a diet of fruits, vegetables, legumes, olive oil, nuts, and fish can help prevent heart attacks and strokes in high-risk individuals.
And did I mention it's delicious and versatile?
That's why working at Anoush Catering is such a dream: we've been serving Mediterranean cuisine for 27 years to our L.A. guests, and now we can prove we're enhancing their health! In addition, since Mediterranean food focuses on the inherent flavors and aromas of the ingredients (instead of complicated preparation technique), it's perfect for special events: light, vibrant fare that leaves your guests satisfied but still able to dance the night away.
How to Add a Taste of the Mediterranean to Your Event
Gather your guests over a myriad of shared appetizers, or meze, as it's known around the Mediterranean. Some of my favorites:
- creamy hummus with warm pita bread
- decadent dips made of little more than roasted tomatoes, eggplant and garlic
- and savory herb salads with fresh cheese
These small complementary dishes can serve as starters, or when served in stages, comprise the whole meal itself. Encourage your guests to pop a few glistening ripe olives, too — the polyphenols found in olives reduce inflammation and protect their cells from damage. (Now that's a conversation starter!)
Fresh fruit is also a vital component in the Mediterranean diet, and, sadly, often overlooked at parties. Satisfy your guests' sweet tooth with ripe berries and fresh red grapes, which have antioxidant levels as high as the so-called super-fruit acai. Inviting displays of fresh, seasonal fruit also serve as eye-catching decor. And don't forget the prized fruit of the Mediterranean: the jewel like pomegranate. Ancient Mediterraneans ate pomegranates for love and strength — naturally, pomegranates strengthen the heart.
Finally, a Mediterranean inspired menu evokes sunny, breezy days along the coast, which makes it no-brainer for outdoor gatherings this spring and summer (and considering it's Southern California, fall and winter, too). Think shish kabobs under the stars, fire roasted vegetables poolside, or grilled tilapia on the beach.
So celebrate your next event with a Mediterranean feast. There's just so much to celebrate!