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Christos Kentrianos, Mouragio, Agios Nikolaos

When was it you first realized you wanted to be a CHEF?
From the age of 12, I cooked at home for my family- all traditional Cretan foods. I loved to experiment and create even at that age because I would cook instinctively without any recipe, just using my imagination. I knew already then that this is what I really want to do with my life. 

What is your earliest recollection that relates to food?
My Grandfather cooking goat with fresh green beans and the wonderful aromas that permeated the whole house.

Why do you find food so appealing?
The so many varied aromas that you can discover and the taste while eating and especially the tastes that linger after eating.

What was your first position in the restaurant/hotel business?
Working in a luxury hotel in Agios Nilolaos on the Salad/Cold platter section. I would prepare 36 salads for the Salad Buffet and many cold appetizers.

When did you have your own establishment and where was it?
Mouragio is my first establishment and it has been open since October of 2006.

What world cuisines influenced you the most? What Chefs were your inspiration?
For sure it would be Italian. I consider that cuisine the most creative. They eat foods and food combinations that we have trouble even imagining. I have eaten the most amazing combinations. They take food seriously! A young German Chef that I worked for in Minos Beach Hotel inspired me to be creative in plate presentations and to always make everything special and unique.

As a Greek Chef, do you feel that Greek Cuisine has been undervalued and overlooked in world cuisines?
Yes I believe it has been largely ignored and wrongly so since Greek cuisine is complex and very creative and has no limits in its combinations of foods. For example, it is one of the few cuisines that combines vegetables as in integral ingredient with meats and fish and not just serves them on the side.

Who’s the cook in your house?
My Mother. She is still a far better cook than I will ever be. 

Any advice for aspiring cooks?
To only do this if you really love cooking and love the foods that they create.

What would you have for your last dinner and who would you choose to eat it with?
Lamb or Goat baked in a wood oven with potatoes and I would choose my Grandfather because all that I am, I learned from him since the age of 12.

 

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