The story of Yiayia’s famous baklava

Yiayia Sylvia lived on the tiny and beautiful Greek island; Kastellorizo for many years, and her legacy lives on as her baklava recipe is actually famous on the island, here’s why…

Sylvia has been making baklava since she was young, but 20 years ago she developed her own recipe that became well known to many locals, including the mayor who frequently asked her to make it for them.

Each year in June The Lycian-Kaş Culture and Art Festival is held between the city of Kastellorizo and Kas, Turkey which is 2km away by water. Keen to showcase the local delicacies at the festival, the mayor of Kastellorizo asked Sylvia to make her baklava and enter it into the cooking competition, competing against many other local dishes and judged by a cooking school in Kas.

Sylvia went on to win first prize; a green kettle that is still in her house on Kastellorizo. Since then, the award winning baklava has become famous across the island and is well known throughout many Greek communities in Australia.

The secret? It’s in the simplicity. Traditionally baklava is a much heavier pastry with walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, but this recipe is a much simpler dish using just filo, almonds and lemon, sugar syrup.

To celebrate Yiayia Sylvia’s winning dish, we’ve created a baklava cocktail to pair it with; hazelnut, walnut, honey, almond, cream, filo disc, pistachio dust.

Check out the Atmos menu here.