Vipp Jaswal – Fox News Radio

“I can’t praise you enough and what a feast it was!

I really believe in what you do, more so, after the dinner. I felt so full but I felt lighter and happier after the meal. In fact I was still full the morning after but I felt content. It was almost a spiritual feeling and something I can’t explain well.

Thank you again from the bottom of my belly!!!” – Vipp Jaswal – Fox News Radio.

Vogue Entertaining & Travel 2009

“Maria Benardis is a living Greek culinary dictionary barely pausing for breath to explain the etymology, philosophy and cultural significance of each dish in her impressive repertoire. And now the founder of Greekalicious cooking school in Sydney is on a mission to teach authentic Greek cuisine and its traditions.”

Olympic On Air magazine, issue Winter 2012 (In Greek and English)

“An ambassador of Greek cuisine. A woman full of love for cooking and her Greek heritage but at the same time passionate about reviving the ancient wisdoms and philosophies which apply not only to cooking but also but also to every aspect of life”.

SBS Feast Magazine November 2011 – “Top of the Class”

“A passionate embassador of Greek culture and history, Maria Benardis teaches Sydney siders how to cook the delicious dishes of her heritage with love and intuition”. “At Maria Benardis’s cooking classes you don’t just learn how to cook Greek food, you also learn about Greek history and culture and pick up a few life lessons.” “A spiritual slant on cooking”.

 D. Kennedy-Yorio

“Loved your presentation. I was riding by the library and the topic caught my eye. I just went to a funeral mass this am for my daughter’s friends mom. When she got up and spoke about her mom she mentioned how she will miss the cooking, baking and dancing. The priest responded how this was part of the mom’s love for her family. Than when I heard you speaking about the same subject I got chills. I also saw someone at the funeral who I have not seen since childhood from my old neighborhood in Jersey City. She was related to the deceased. What a small world. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October and had 2 lumpectomies, chemo and now going through radiation. I am a school nurse and have a lot of information to the students, teachers and parents. So I have my eyes and ears open for health information. Nice meeting you”.


“I would just  like to Thank You on such a wonderful course you conducted yesterday.

It was very interesting and inspirational. I took away alot with me.

I could not put your books down yesterday afternoon they are so interesting you really have alot to be proud of.

Once again Thank You and see you soon for my next course i book in too.

P.S I used the oil and vinegar last night it was a big hit.”

Thanking  You – Joanna

Julia Blanter – editor of

Greekalicious Greek Food

Greekalicious Food

“As a foodie I’ve been to a few cooking classes in my time but I can honestly say this was one of the best I’ve ever been to. The 3 hour class is a mixture of demonstration and hands-on making 3-4 dishes, followed by a sit-down lunch with wine. Maria is the most passionate and warm cooking instructor, with a philosophy of ‘eco, not ego’, meaning she supports seasonal ingredients, traditional recipes and cooking from the heart and not the stressful, competitive nature of cooking that we see in celebrity chefs and cooking shows on TV”.

Julia Blanter – editor of
View full article from Julie Blanter

TV – Channel 7, Sydney Weekender

“To be a Greek God of your kitchen, get sizzling with Greekalicious!”
Channel 7, Sydney Weekender.

View the Greekalicious video on YouTube

Sarah Tierney, Australian Traveller

“Maria welcomes each and every one of us like an old friend, making us feel at home and comfortable as we settle in for the class…We all leave with a new love of cooking and a little bit of the same passion Maria has for sharing and cooking Greek food, which is Maria’s aim with Greekalicious. She wants everyone to leave knowing true Greek hospitality and to be able to share her recipes with family and friends so eventually, everyone will be able to cook a Greek dish.”

Sarah Tierney


“Thank you for the wonderful Traditional Greek cooking class, we all had a great time. Your passion for Greece and your strong desire to share your knowledge of Greek cooking really came through in your presentation. It was a wonderful afternoon and we all enjoyed ourselves and learned how to make new dishes with ease.”


Alison Connolly

“Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the class on Saturday, so much so that I’ve booked myself into another already! Not only was the food lovely and directions easy to follow, your generosity of spirit and wonderful stories added another element that made the whole event truly memorable.”

Alison Connolly

Amanda Whitney

“My daughter and I recently attended your Thursday night class and we had a terrific time (you sent home extra dessert for my boys!) I promptly scoured the shops in the Penrith and Hawkesbury area and managed to scrape up the ingredients to cook the entire lesson last night. It was fabulous and my family enjoyed every last morsel. I consider myself an accomplished cook but you still taught me a thing or two – such as the damp towel on the filo and the natural bristle pastry brush, but I have always been rather lazy when it came to growing my own herbs. After seeing all your herbs from a balcony garden – I have redug a garden bed near our kitchen and planted all the herbs I usually buy. Thank you for providing the inspiration I needed to make this positive change and introducing me to a whole new range of recipes! We will definitely be back.”

Amanda Whitney

Selector Magazine Autumn 2014 edition

“An Ambassador of Greek Food” and “Her reason for starting her cooking classes reflects Tess Mallos’ reverence for the health merits of Greek Food”. “Thanks to educators such as Tess and Maria Australians have come to love Greek Food.”

Best Restaurants of Australia

“Listen to Maria Benardis talk about Greek cuisine for five minutes and you’ll be overcome by the urge to surround yourself with feta, olives, herbs and spices, and transform these raw ingredients into a feast for friends and family. Such is her passion for Greek cuisine and her belief in food as a celebration and expression of love.”

Review by ‘Best Restaurants of Australia’ during 2007.

Sally Hammond

“If we were outside shaded from the Greek sun under a fig tree we couldn’t be happier” writes Sally Hammond about her recent Greekalicious experience.

View the full review from Sally Hammond

Melissa Grounds

“Maria made a veritable feast including Greek dips, dolmades, salads and roast vegetables. The piece de resistance was the baked apple, almond and cinnamon dessert…something of an aphrodisiac!” says Melissa who attended a Greekalicious class along with her new date Andrew.
View the full review from the Sydney Morning Herald

The Australian, January 31, 2009. Judith Elen, “Class Acts”.

“SOME cooking schools teach classic techniques (sauces, boning birds, knife skills) or

specialist skills such as chocolate or pastry making and others the practical ins and outs of family food. Among the most transporting trips into food education are those that unveil national cuisines: travel while you cook. Maria Benardis’s Sydney school, Greekalicious, is one of these, and her knowledge of the food of her homeland and its most ancient origins is inspirational. Benardis, who is evangelic about Greece and its food…the depth of Benardis’s commitment to her calling and her research is limitless. She is on a mission to reveal the subtlety and diversity of Greek food and to dispel the false impression that the cuisine is exemplified by lamb, filo pastry pies and the ubiquitous “Greek salad” (such a thing does not exist, she says; every island has its speciality and the hundreds of salads that could be called Greek are all different).” “There are no complicated techniques; the focus is on seeing how it is done and, importantly, understanding the nature of the food and its ancient origins. Short of being there ourselves, this is surely our most direct line to the authentic food of the islands. Things can only turn into an odyssey from here”.

The Savory Pie Making class taught by the extraordinary Maria Benardis was really terrific. Not only did we all have fun but the food was easy to make and tasted delicious plus our fellow “chefs” really were delightful and enhanced the experience. – Sioux C.

This was my first cooking class. I came by myself and was very nervous because my cooking skills need polishing. The instructor was out of this world amazing and made me feel comfortable throughout the process – please give her a raise 🙂 The food was the best I ever had! All attendees were super friendly and cordial as well. I’ll definitely be back! – Sierra M.
Excellent class and teacher very in tune with students – Grace P

Maria is a delight! She offers high level skills tailored with encouragement, perfect for our family. The results were delicious! We look forward to perfecting and improvising on the recipes as she suggested. Many thanks for working with us to design the perfect event! – Cheryl K

Maria was an amazing instructor! I appreciated her ability to share both general and task-specific cooking tips while guiding the group in an engaging way. Officially a fan! – Charlotte H

Great experience! Our instructor was knowledgeable and very helpful. She made it so fun. We’ve recommended to many friends. Thanks for offering virtual classes! – Alaina B

Amazing! Maria is a great teacher, and so encouraging. Loved every second of the class, and so excited to take more from her! Thank you, Maria. – Sarah P

The class was great, and really fun! I loved that she included some variations. I would take another class with Maria in a minute! -Julie B

I made a delicious board using things in my frig. She taught me to use a few leftover items to make each board unique. Will take her class again. – Deborah R

Maria was excellent as always. She makes you feel like you’re in her kitchen sitting on a stool chatting away about whatever you’re cooking with her. I love that she calls her students chef. Thanks for the free class. I’d gladly pay for online classes. Cheers! – Paula N

Wonderful Class! Maria was great. A lot of fun. I would take another class in a heartbeat- Lisa K.

Teacher was amazing. The professor was very knowledgeable and funny which kept the class interesting. She covers everything from the history of pizza, making the dough, sauce and the assembly. The best part is that you get to eat the wonderful pie you made. I really recommend a class with her. – Denise D

Chef Maria was excellent. Her story and the experience were one of a kind. Highly recommend this for friends, couples, families, teams… – Brandon R

Maria Benardis was an absolutely amazing instructor. She was able to accommodate my party of 16 people without a hitch. The class was truly informational and fun. Not one person in my party had any complaints and all would love to return for more of your classes. Thank you for making my wife’s birthday an unforgettable one! – James V
Maria was a very engaging instructor and has a very interesting life. She simplified the process and we were able to pick up very quickly! – Aine C

We had an amazing time celebrating our anniversary with Maria’s cooking class. Not only was the class made to be simplistic and entertaining, but we took away skills that we are excited to keep practicing in our own home and tricks of the trade we can use for years to come. Thank you for a fun night! – Kaitlyn K

We had so much fun! Not only did we learn how to make an authentic meal, but we also gained a greater appreciation for the art of cooking. Really eye opening, even life changing. – Kelly M.