INTERVIEW WITH AN OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR FOR GREEK GASTRONOMY® 2020 IN THE US | DEMETRIOS PYLIOTIS

"Via the GTBB organization Greek gastronomy remains intact, the standards are clear while the professionals' creativity and innovative mindset are respected and even cheered!" Chef Demetrios Pyliotis Honorable Ambassador for Greek Gastronomy® 2020

Mr. Pyliotis Honorable Ambassador for Greek Gastronomy® 2020, our organization GREEK TASTE BEYOND BORDERS® GTBB is very proud of your participation in our global network for promoting Greek gastronomy and Greek products worldwide.

How do you feel that you have been proclaimed as an official Ambassador for Greek Gastronomy® 2020 and tell us about your participation in GTBB team?

The status of Ambassador for Greek Gastronomy®and the honor to receive the golden medal are extremely precious for me. These are symbols of tradition and heritage blended with the freedom to explore, experience and offer the same to others via the Greek kitchen’s creations, our dedication, passion and hard work. Even further, the receival of the above is a major recognition and fulfills me with pride as I can be a small part of the glorious past and present of the Greek gastronomy which, on the top of its unique flavors, is alive and able to trigger human feelings and emotions.

GTBB organization has first set the goal to promoting Greek gastronomy and Greek products worldwide and organizing the first global conference of Greek gastronomy. Which is the position of Greek products in the USA? And also how has the Greek modern taste been adopted?

Here in the USA, the Greek products keep gaining popularity while the olive oil remains the corner stone of this creative construction. The progressively stronger presence of Greek restaurants within the last decade has triggered the attention and has also boosted the interest of those living in or visiting the USA.

The Greek modern taste is uniquely attached to the old traditional one. It is impressive the degree that the new dishes are aligned with the past recipes, how balanced the outcome is and how similar the experienced American traveler finds the flavors, either when being in a small taverna in the sunny and sea-salted Kalamata area where I come from, or when being in Miami where I am currently professionally activated. Therefore, I would say that we are talking more about a natural continuation of the Greek flavors’ exploration rather than an adoption of an unknown gastronomy which “just landed” in the USA. 

How did you manage to build such a significant career in the heart of Miami? Tell us about the celebrities that you have served so far.

Chef Demetrios smiling… I am thinking if I should be diplomatic and politically correct, or if I should just reply spontaneously… as usually I will do the second because Greeks are spontaneous, they are inspired by the natural reactions and the clear words. Well, certainly the USA and particularly Miami as an elite visiting destination is one of the most competitive professional environments globally. Each day I think that I still need to do and offer something more to people around me. I agree with St. Jerome who said “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Till your good is better and your better is best”. I feel responsible for the people who trust my services, products and overall experience and I also feel responsible for the team surrounding me who also work hard to achieve Poseidon’s collective outcome. The above are my driving force; this is where my smile and energy are rooted.

Poseidon Greek is more than just a restaurant; it is an international hub open to host everyone. Some of the celebrities who I can think of are numerous NBA players such as Dwyane Wade, Justice Winslow, Kelly Olynyk, Hassan Whiteside or the Team’s President Pit Riley (as I am one of the on-pitch cooks for the famous Miami Heats), Paul Pierce and Ray Allan (Boston Celtics), Chris Copeland (Indiana Pacers), actors such as Kim Kardashian, Jenifer Lopez, the  Major League Baseball player Alex Rodrigues, top performers from the music scene such as Dj Khaled, Fat joe, Drake, Mark Antony, Ricky Martin, Paul Gouzman, the legentary Fabio Lamborghini (nephew of Lamborghini company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini) various politicians, people of influence from governmental authorities such as Ambassadors or Consul Generals and numerous international top business professionals. Additionally, very often celebrities from Greece honor Poseidon Greek with their visit, being some of them: Giorgos Tragkas, Natalia Germanou, Sakis Tanimanidis, Themis Georgantas, Mad clip, Joshephine, Master Tempo, Vegas, or specialist in our segment such as: Akis Petritzikis, Timoleon Diamantis, Eric  Moscahlaidis (owner of Krinos food), Nancy Kontos (owner of Kontos food) and many many more.

 

The organization of GREEK TASTE BEYOND BORDERS® GTBB certifies Greek products and Greek restaurants globally with the prestigious certifications of honor as “Authentic Taste of Greece – Gold Award”, “Ambassador of Greek Taste – Gold Medal” and even more official titles with significant role. Tell us how important are these certifications for Greek gastronomy?

I truly believe that the GTBB organization is for the Greek gastronomy and products the most precious initiative I have experienced until now. The personalized approach toward us the professionals, the meaningful promotion, the offered certifications or accreditations and its overall standards of excellence position, the GTBB is the most impactful supportive mechanisms that Greece could activate for the purpose. By being an active member of the GTBB network and accreditation, a professional is supported to safeguard the quality and the authenticity of the delivered services and products. In our days it is so easy to start blending concepts to boost profitability, driving things to an unclear outcome which might even be confusing to the clientele or even cause damage to the destination which is to be reflected or expressed via the tasteful creations… Via the GTBB organization Greek gastronomy remains intact, the standards are clear while the professionals’ creativity and innovative mindset are respected and even cheered!

The global conference of AMBASSADORS OF TASTE® will take place on 19th of October 2020 at the emblematic lighthouse of Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC). Tell us how important is for you this upcoming annual conference and how meaningful is your awarding under the shadow of Acropolis?

It goes without saying that the type of establishment and the location where this great conference is planned to be realized are very inspiring and greatly appreciated. The Conference of Ambassadors of Taste® is highly expected by globally located top professionals in the segment and my presence took immediately the first priority in my very busy agenda. It is important to remember our common denominator, which is Greece and its authentic products and services, its heritage and civilization, in the way they have been trusted to us by the past Greek generations and in the way we should deliver them to the upcoming ones. I am confident that all these upcoming exchanges with be very enriching for everyone present, physically or virtually, while the expected presence of the Greek Minister of Tourism to the event is also deeply appreciated by me.

Chef Demetrios… Mr. Pyliotis Honorable Ambassador for Greek Gastronomy® 2020, it was a pleasure interviewing with you! We look forward to meeting you in our global conference in Greece October 19, 2020 – Ambassadors of taste® – at the Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (NFCC).

Let’s finish this wonderful interview with taste… Please share with us two favourite recipes of Greek modern cooking.

Ookk! I love it when one asks me for a service! The following two recipes are: 1) The Octopus which drove me to the achievement of the first prize in 2014 in the chef showdown competition in Miami and 2) Chicken filet with airline cut served with root vegetables, petimezi (natural grape molasses) and pistachios which is one of Poseidon’s modern Greek dish.

Grilled Octopus

Dry Figs, roasted chick peas, butter beans, orange, purple cabbage jus, gremolata (herbs) foam and lemon sauce

 

Airline chicken

Topped with petimezi (grape molasses ) and pistachios served with rood vegetables (rutabaga, turnips, purple potatoes ,baby organic carrots) 

 

 

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