Maria Loi loves her homeland. As the official Ambassador of Greek Gastronomy, as designated by worldwide culinary organization the Chef's Club of Greece, she makes frequent TV appearances and has authored more than 36 cookbooks and 150 articles in magazines -- and her work on ancient Greek dining was the sole official volume of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. Since migrating to NYC, she's opened Loi Restaurant (203 West 70th Street; 212-875-8600) and has cooked for President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and 250 White House guests. The sassy chef, who's sometimes called the "Martha Stewart of Greece," recently released her latest treatise, The Greek Diet: Look and Feel Like a Greek God or Goddess and Lose up to Ten Pounds in Two Weeks with health journalist Sarah Toland.
All photos courtesy Key Group Worldwide