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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsThe modern Greek cuisine in “Los Angeles Times”

The modern Greek cuisine in “Los Angeles Times”

The “Los Angeles Times” published a reportage by Diane Kochilas from Athens, for the modern Greek cuisine. The taster, restaurant critic and owner of the academy “Glorious Greek Cooking School” in Athens, when she first came here 20 years ago, she understood that taverna is an institution for the Greeks.

After the Olympic Games and the return of a generation of young, cosmopolitan Greeks who had left to study abroad and came back home the tastes changed, with a special emphasis on the Japanese and Italian cuisine.

Now, Greece faces a financial crisis. But the correspondent thinks positive. In a city like Athens where the restaurants are really expensive, the last two years we have more and more tavernas. Not old tavernas that changed their decoration, but a new generation with reasonable prices. The owners emphasize on the dishes decoration and presentation, they rework the traditional dishes with a twist.

The taverna was always in Greece a place to go for home-cooked food. For most Greeks, taverna is more an excuse for discourse and if the food is familiar, all the better.

One of the favorite Kochila’s restaurants is “Kuzina” of A. Tsanaklidis on Andrianou Street. As the chef says, “the Greeks became Westerns. They want a fancier image for the dishes, but they also want the familiar tastes they grew up with. Taverna is in the Greek DNA”.

He describes the recipe of “melitzanosalata” and a dish made of spaghetti with a meat sauce composed of sausages.

Another favourite Kochila’s taverna is “To Mageriko tis Nagias”. Her favorite dish is eel with pearl barley. Her food is based clearly on the Greek classics but with a personal touch. “People respond to simple food,” says the owner Nagia Pigaditi. “Especially now, with the crisis, food needs to provide comfort, even when you eat out.”

Another original taverna is “Psomi & Alati” that seems like an old grocery store . As the chef-owner Yannis Loukakos said: “I come from an haute-cuisine background and I use techniques from the haute cuisine to prepare my simple dishes in my taverna”.

These three examples consist the new tavernas generation. The good news is that there are many choices for the visitors of Athens, in reasonable prices. These places are in the $25-to-$35 range per person.

The most important thing is that the cuisine of these new tavernas seems like the home-cooked food. While the home-cooked Greek food does not usually exists in the Greek restaurants in the USA, the taverna’s food in Greece is enough to attract tourists in Athens.

The reportage is accompanied by three Greek recipes and a photo from the restaurant’s KUZINA roof.

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