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Petros Kosmadakis, Brillant Restaurant

When was it you first realized you wanted to be a CHEF? 
My childhood is littered with cooking memories. I would constantly be underfoot in the kitchen when my Mother and Grandmother were cooking, always asking „what is this and why cook it on the stove and not in the oven or why you put wine in the food?” I can remember gathering my friends together and making them cook in the garden of our home, making fires and producing „make-believe” meals with supplies we stole from all our kitchens and cutting fresh herbs from the pots. What would I remember first....I still retain the smell of the pot, of the wood oven and the freshly boiled milk that would soon be cheese.

What is your earliest food memory?
Again we travel back through my childhood years to a period after Christmas when the pork bones with meat on them were placed in a strong vinegar, then smoked on the fire with plenty of sage, thyme and pine branches. This smoked meat was then stored in clay pots covered with pork fat. This was used for flavoring all the winter foods, such as my beloved „aktarma”, a variety of legume from Mother Earth that was cooked with the smoked pork. A very special taste and memory!

What was your first position in the restaurant/hotel business?
I actually began my career in the public sector, but the memories of smells and tastes were like sirens within me. During that phase, a relative opened a hotel and after much begging, I convinced him to assign me the kitchen. So in my 20’s, I found myself coordinating a staff of 6. I didn’t sleep much at night. I studied continuously. Once I finished Tourism School, I was ablet to transfer my passion into a professional activity.

As a Greek Chef, do you feel that Greek Cuisine has been undervalued and overlooked in world cuisines?
I believe that Greek cuisine has the propensity to become a leader in the world of gastronomy. Furthermore, Greek cuisine has already proved itself, having survived the passage of  time from eons past to now. Greece is a blessed place with ingredients and products bursting with taste, nutrition and freshness. The Greek primary raw materials represent the best elements of the country.

Do you feel that Greek wines and indigenous Greek grape varieties are  finally becoming recognized globally?  Do you feel that Greeks are starting to appreciate their own wines more?
I personally love and have involved myself with wine for many years now. Each day Greek wines and Greek grape varieties are being increasinlgy recognized internationally. Naturally, Greeks appreciate their own wines and this manifests itself in the increase in consumption lately. I feel very happy in the last few years that local varieties have finally found their appropriate place.  

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