Fried Greek Pastry with Honey and Nuts
"The woman who made the diples [fried dough] was like my grandmother—she wore a bib apron 24 hours a day," Michael Psilakis says.
Grilled Watermelon with Yogurt
This is Michael Psilakis's modern take on the traditional Greek combination of watermelon and feta cheese. It features the creamy yogurt he grew up eating in New York's Long Island: "My mom made it at home all the time, and we'd snack on it with honey after school."
Homemade Greek Yogurt
Homemade yogurt requires surprisingly little prep and keeps in the fridge for a month.
Orange Spoon Fruit with Feta and Spiced Almonds
"I have such an emotional connection to spoon fruit," says Michael Psilakis of the marmalade-like confection. Greeks might eat a spoonful of the sweet with an ice-water chaser as a midday pick-me-up or dessert; Psilakis likes spreading it on slabs of brioche toast and topping it with feta and almonds for breakfast or a snack.
Ana Sortun's pastry chef, Maura Kilpatrick, adds cinnamon and cocoa nibs to the syrup that soaks her chocolate baklava. This baklava is fabulous even with a basic honey syrup; no need for cocoa nibs and cinnamon.
Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with Honey-Glazed Apricots
Kate Neumann describes this cool, delicate dessert as "just fruit and cream, barely sweetened. It has the qualities of custard without the egginess. Greek yogurt makes it wonderfully tangy." She tops the panna cotta with dried apricots that she's plumped in wine and honey, often adding a scattering of crunchy, salty toasted almonds or pistachios.