Introducing… JetSet Kef!

14 Nov
There’s a pecking order in the Kefi family.  It developed a few years ago in a drafty New Jersey kitchen with diced onion on the floor and eggplant puree splattered on the walls–my brother had convened the Greek branch of the family, and he and I were about 5 hours into a 48-hour cooking spree running up to the Big Fat Greek Easter.  The hierarchy was clear: I was the Chef, and he was the Sous Chef.  If he valued his place in my kitchen, he would not so much as spread olive oil over a sheet of phyllo without my giving the go ahead.
Since then, we’ve improved our cooking and he’s improved his location and station in life. He now lives in Dubai and has been promoted from Sous Chef Kef to (drum roll please…) JetSet Kef!
He’s a man’s man, woman’s man, man about town– never in one city (let alone continent) for too long, he’ll be reporting on the Greek American life outside America.  
And now…without further ado: JetSet Kef!
Known in a previously life as ‘Brother Balz’ (subject of a later post), I am the member of the Kefi family who spends the most time globetrotting.  Ostensibly, it’s for work–but really, the travel is all about searching for the best dish combining yogurt, eggplant, leafy greens, cucumber and some sort of tomato situation.  In short: in search of Kefi.
You can find my photo in the embarrassing Kef family photo here  or in the scary  picture above.  If you think the serious face is uncharacteristic for a member of Cult Kefi, you’re right:  the beast known as the Greek government (or at least a photography shop with a license from the Interior Ministry) told me I needed to “look serious” for my Greek ID photo.
Given my JetSetKeffing, I have gotten to know the Greeks all over.  First place I met some was Paris (more on that in next post).  Then when I was JetSetKeffing in Egypt, taxi drivers always wanted to be my friend because my mom was Greek.  (Typical conversation: –“Are you Arab?” –“Nope, Greek.” –“Aaaah, you speak Arabic because you’re Greek!” … no response from me to illogical taxi driver.  Repeat same exact scenario 2-4 times per day.)
Dubai being what it is, your personal and professional life ends up looking like a bit like a mafia; everyone groups with his own and then sticks together.  When I joined my office in Dubai, there was one other Greek.  But the state of affairs being what it is, Greeks in Dubai and in my office have steadily increased over the past year (crise economique oblige), and so my own personal Greek mafia in Dubai is now in full effect.
I look forward to exploring the hidden Greekness of every city, from the best baklava in Barcelona to the small souvlaki spot in Seoul. 
PS: please accept my formal and sworn testimony that I rigged the elections for Board Supreme president from 1992-1998.  I hereby forfeit any right I have to run for re-election and assert that my sister, Chef Kef, is the reigning Board Supreme president and all authority associated with the office are hers.

One Response to “Introducing… JetSet Kef!”


  1. The Terror Twins Do It Again: Greek Easter 2014 Part I | Cooking Up Kefi - April 22, 2014

    […] the past, JetSet has graciously served as the sous chef. After three years apart on Easter, my dear brother returned to America with his spinach swag […]

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