My talents as a chef have also grown over the years as I follow in the footsteps of my father and grandfather, both of whom were chefs, and my great uncle who once cooked for the royal family of Greece. Since 1999, I have been visiting Greece almost every year where the traditional cuisine of Crete, with its emphasis on wild ingredients, has inspired me to bring my knowledge of herbs and wild plants into the kitchen.
In 2000, I and my partner, Robinette Kennedy, founded Wild Crete Travel LLC and began leading culinary tours on Crete. I have also taught classes on Greek and Cretan cooking at the Emory University Center for Lifelong Learning and hosted a number of wild foods dinners in Rabun County. I regularly teach week-long Greek cooking classes at John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC.
I continue to practice herbalism at my office in Clayton, Georgia. For information about booking an appointment, click here. My book, Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians (2006), is one of the foremost resources on regional native plant medicines.
About Patricia Kyritsi Howell
My herbal studies began at age 16 when I bought a copy of Return to Eden by Jethro Kloss and started harvesting wild herbs from the prairies of Northern Illinois. My early clinical training was limited to the few times my younger sisters were willing to drink the teas I concocted.
As a college student at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, where I studied media arts with an emphasis on film and television, I was famous for the menstrual cramp elixir I made by the gallon and sold to the other women in my dorm.
In San Francisco I worked in the music business for a number of years as an audio engineer for Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Jackson Browne, Bonny Raitt and many others. Leaving the rock and roll fast lane, I worked with Chef Janice Chapler at the Westside Bakery Café in Berkeley where I began to develop my cooking skills.
In 1989 I enrolled in the California School of Herbal Studies, studying with David Hoffmann, Amanda McQuade Crawford, Tim Blakely, Mindy Green and James Green. After completing the CSHS program and additional clinical training, I moved back to Illinois where I met Althea Northage Orr, an acupuncturist and herbalist who founded the Chicago Center of Psychophysical Healing and the Chicago College of Healing Arts. Together we started Living with Herbs Institute, the first herbal training program in Chicago. I also opened my herbal practice using an approach to herbalism that incorporated my training in traditional Western herbalism with the energetic principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and a strong commitment to using local plant medicines.
In 1993 the Healing with Herbs Institute expanded and began to offer herbal trainings in Atlanta, Georgia. Five years later, we moved the school to the mountains of northeast Georgia and became the BotanoLogos School of Herbal Studies. Since then, BotanoLogos has been the only school in Georgia to offer in-depth herbal education. I am the school’s director and primary instructor.
Learning to cook with roasted chestnuts with Chef Manolis Marakakis at Milia Eco Retreat Center in western Crete.
A popular speaker and teacher, I have presented my work to many groups and professional organizations including: American Herbalists Guild, American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Cullowhee Native Plant Conference, Emory Center for Lifelong Learning, Foxfire Museum, Georgia Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association, Georgia Master Gardeners, Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences, International Congress of Ethnobiology, International Herb Association, John C. Campbell Folk School, North Carolina Natural Products Association, School of Medicine: Emory University, School of Pharmacy: University of Georgia, State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Southeastern Women’s Herbal Conference, and Veterinarian Botanical Medicine Association.
I served three terms on the Governing Council (board of directors) of the American Herbalists Guild, currently co-chair the AHG Symposium Commitee, advise the Atlanta Botanical Garden on medicinal herb programming, am the co-founder of the Georgia Herbalists Guild and on the advisory board of the Ladies Homestead Gathering.