You are an official Ambassador for Greek Gastronomy for the year 2019. In which country are you located and where do you offer your valuable services as an executive chef ?
I work at one of the high end Greek Gastronomical Restaurants in Dubai, UAE [ENA restaurant] which gives me the opportunity to share my thoughts with the locals and the many tourists that come to Dubai.
Your Motivational or Inspirational quote?
The Greeks have always been artistic people. I can’t act, draw, paint or sculpt but I’ve always loved expressing a different side of my creativity on a plate. My Personal style of cooking, getting great ingredients and allowing them to speak for themselves, means that the shapes, colors and texture altogether form a small universe.
What is your belief and opinion about Greek culture & gastronomy and how you react to the “heritage” you derived?
Growing up in Kalavryta, my family was always surrounded by incredible farms and we always had such great produce! Unfortunately, Greek cuisine doesn’t get quite as much attention around the globe as many other cuisines. I’ve always wanted to show the world the experiences I’ve been so lucky to have, such as collecting fresh herbs from the mountains near my family home. I find the best way to do this is to take thousands of years of great culinary tradition and modernize them, both in terms of palate and presentation. While opening Ena, I traveled back to Greece four times and with fresh eyes, which made me, even as a Greek, appreciate even more the huge range of culture, dishes and ingredients the country has to offer.
What does Greek cuisine mean and how it must be demonstrated to the rest of the world? Are you in favor or against its modernization? Would you prefer it remains totally traditional?
As the world is developing we need to adopt and develop with it and not stay held back, but we also need to make sure the traditions and cultures; never be forgotten because without any of that none of us would be here, so therefore what we can all do is with tradition being the foundation we need to build on it with modernization.
Describe us your hobbies during your free time…
A lot of Charity work because as we all know with great power comes great responsibilities, and I’d like to share that with the people (No one has ever become poor by giving out to the society).
Also I take care of my health with doing Cross Fit and many other more sports in my barely spare time.
What would you plan on cooking for an important institutional person abroad, who doesn’t know the Greek cuisine? And what would you cook for a child – again in a foreign country who has never been in touch with our culture – with the ulterior motive to familiarize them with our unique flavors?
(Institutional person abroad) Lamb Shank Tarhanas, a Succulent dish that’s been cooked slowly over 14 hours in a sous-vide
(For a child) Hilopites with Kimea , a traditional dish I used to love when I was a kid where my mother used to make for me on every Sunday . A dish that I grew up to when I was a child
How do you feel after being presented with this title of Honor “Ambassador for Greek Gastronomy”?
The title and the position I was given recently by the GTBB is one of the many important achievements in my career and also it is fast track to being a recognized chef after all the long hours of hard work.