Despina has a huge enthusiasm for using the freshest ingredients in her cooking. Perhaps she was inspired by the fig, pear, and pomegranate trees that grew in her childhood backyard, or maybe it was the access to the freshest fish in her coastal hometown of Chalkis, Greece. Despina moved to the U.S. in the 1970s, where she worked as a registered nurse for over forty years. Despina is married and has two daughters. Her love of home cooking has rubbed off on her older daughter, who started Boubouki, a Greek food stand at the Essex Street Market. In addition to cooking, Despina loves to draw and paint.