Food News

Cookbook of the week: Yiayia Next Door

A heart-warming book about helping others and overcoming grief, packed with traditional Greek recipes.

By Callum McDermott
A food account on Instagram blows up, then it announces a cookbook. It's a pretty well-trodden path at this point, but Yiayia Next Door is different.
Unfamiliar with the Insta-famous, Melbourne-dwelling Greek Grandmother? About four years ago, brothers Daniel and Luke Mancuso began to post videos of their elderly Greek neighbour, Yiayia (Greek for grandmother), passing them plates of home-made comfort food over the backyard fence.
The heartwarming relationship between the brothers and their neighbour immediately drew a dedicated online following. A 2019 profile in The Age propelled them even further, while also revealing the tragic backstory behind Yiayia's relationship with the brothers. In 2013, the Mancuso's mother Teresa was murdered by the boys' father, in their home. Yiayia helped to alert the police. Since then, Yiayia (and her husband, the often off-screen Papou) has taken on a surrogate role for the Mancusos – cooking them traditional Greek food, and passing it to them over the back fence.
The boys have since become active in the campaign to end domestic violence and have used their online platform to raise over $10 000 to support children and women experiencing family violence.
Yiayia Next Door, their new cookbook, is out now and packed with over 60 dishes – beautifully shot by acclaimed food photographer Mark Roper – including Greek classics such as spanakopita, tiropita, lamb, keftedes (meatballs), moussaka and more.
  • undefined: Callum McDermott