Tinos Food Paths
Tinos Food Paths is an organized movement of entrepreneurs who belong to the Tinos Association of Restaurants and Tavernas whose aim is to develop and promote local food resources. The – mainly young – people in the restaurant business on the island have bonded with others in the wider gastronomic sector – producers, wine makers, pastry-shop owners, and brewers – to highlight Tinos as a gastronomic destination.
“The philosophy of the movement is not only concerned with promotion. Above all it focuses on collaboration and the attempt to understand and manage the food sector. We believe that through hard work and by keeping on the alert, slowly but surely, our pride in the treasure we hold in our hands can help us bring another dimension to this place”.
The main activity of the Tinos Food Paths is the events organized around the island in the second week of May.
“The number of volunteers has multiplied, lots of people want to get involved, so we’ve created activities that fill up the entire week. After several years, we have gotten to know each other, become friends, as professionals we’ve shared our joys and sorrows, we’ve looked each other in the eye, and this is the most important aspect of the venture because behind our love for the island there is this feeling of a common goal. Everyone is taking part on a voluntary basis, not just people in the restaurant business, but also those with no connection to food, such as electricians, plumbers, drivers, marble workers, and everyone finds something to do based on what they know how to do”.
At some point I asked myself what force unites the ‘kids’ of the Tinos Food Paths, apart from the high standards and ethos of the organizers, what keeps them working together to keep creating and surprising us. What is it that has motivated this whole movement, inspired such widespread participation and involvement?
Perhaps it is the tradition of community that persists on the island and which has vanished in so many other parts of Greece. Take the custom of the ‘Kavos’ for example, which used to take place around Christmas and the New Year, where the ‘heads’ of each family in a village would get together around a big holiday table to discuss the village’s issues and needs.
Perhaps what we see here is the Tinians’ talent for living together and respect each other’s differences – a wonderful example Orthodox and Catholics existing in harmony.