“My father is a fisherman and my mother ran the family restaurant by the water. We kids were always on the go; we helped dad with his preparation for a night at sea, helped mum with the cooking and the daytime restaurant chores like hanging the octopus on our washing line, and then off we went - to the restaurant.
Once there, we would do everything we could. Peel potatoes, gut fish, serve tables- we did it all. It was truly amazing. I remember carrying trays of food to tables that were literally bigger than me; I must have been around 5 or 6 then. As the night went on and a young person’s tiredness kicked in, I would put 2 chairs together, grab a few tablecloths for cover and go to sleep. The chairs became 3 and 4 as I grew older.”

Words by Marianna Leivaditaki
Extract from ‘Aegean: Recipes from the Mountains to the Sea.’