Star studded chef Ioannis Parikos, one of the most talented and respected Greek culinarians, was lucky enough to begin his career at Varoulko: The Michelin awarded restaurant which unfalteringly belongs amongst the best in the country for 20 years now. Learning on the side of legendary chef Leuteris Lazarou, Parikos acquired a solid technical basis that helped him evolve and flourish through his work in several internationally acclaimed establishments, in Greece and abroad. His extensive range of collaborations include the 3-star Epicure of the Hotel Bristol in Paris, the 2-star Sea Grill in Brussels, but also Spondi, Hytra, Life Gallery and Water Restaurant in Chalkidiki, for which he secured 10 prestigious Xrysoi Skoufoi awards (Golden chef toques) in 10 consecutive years. This season the celebrated chef joins forces with the Semeli: The It crowd’s favorite hotel in Mykonos Town that is more often than not, behind the birth of all new trends in the glamorous island of the winds.
“You can have sushi in Mykonos. Or french, italian, american, tapas and everything in between -fusion is very much in vogue. However, it won’t be that easy to find a memorable, representative and thoroughly delectable, contemporary Greek cuisine. Greece though, is much more than its landscapes or beaches. It is also its people, customs and folks, music, dance, habits, culture and gastronomy. Those who visit our country want to know what Greece is all about; and a great way to do so is through its tastes”. With this mindset, Ioannis Parikos, nowadays creates at the Semeli a cuisine which is based on Greece and its products; whilst especially at the KRAMA restaurant the emphasis lies on time honored, traditional recipes. “We believe that the Greek element is rather absent from the island’s gastronomic scene. This is why we have put together a Greek oriented menu”, Parikos stresses.
This applies to both of the Semeli restaurants, however Thioni has a more international flair so as to appeal to a broader range of palates. KRAMA on the other hand, proffers a balanced as much as imaginative amalgam of classic Greek dishes, reinterpreted according to the zeitgeist’s mandates. “The focus is on traditional dishes which are reimagined through new lenses, both in terms of techniques as well as aesthetics and presentation. At the same time we have incorporated on the catalogue a host of seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, from Mykonos and the Cyclades”, explains the Semeli’s chef.
Parikos aims to present unique plates with which someone can fall in love. Indicatively the menu includes dishes such the slow cooked lamb with celeriac and bulgur from green roasted wheat. This is actually the chef’s favorite as he is partial to lamb.
“Our goal with KRAMA’s menu is to invite its guests to embark on a culinary journey throughout the country. We want to introduce them to local flavors, as well as traditional Greek tastes, through our creations,``he states.
After all, Greece, and all things Greek, are rapidly evolving into a cutting edge trend worldwide.
“During the past few years, Greek gastronomy has been on the rise, with the aid of the considerable tourist influx in our country. Greek chefs and producers nowadays leverage local products -something quite unusual before. We can now positively say that gastronomy in Greece has reached a very satisfactory level” Parikos asserts and adds: “ Mykonos with its great popularity and its glamorous jetsetters, couldn’t be absent from this game. More and more restaurants in the island gain significant awards and distinctions; in fact they have nothing to be jealous of in relation to the capital’s finer establishments”.
A growing number of high end Athenian restaurants move to Mykonos for the summer season, bringing along their “rock star” chefs. “ Any celebrity culinarian must combine experience, diligent work and impeccable gastronomic credentials, if the restaurant that they lead is to flourish. Certainly for a cook to gain recognition, years of hard effort are required. Both in terms of education as well as of practicing that knowkledge” Parikos underlines. “In a cosmopolitan destination, such as Mykonos, a chef’s prestige plays a marked role in the popularity of the restaurant. We shouldn’t forget however that the culinary result must match said reputation, if the restaurant is to be truly successful”, he concludes.
Having time and again proven his talent, ingenuity and creative prowess through a host of palatable collaborations, Ioannis Parikos, this year creates his magic at KRAMA and Thioni of the Semeli. Accompanying him in this undertaking is another gifted chef, Yiannis Kotzias. Yet apart from their remarkable culinary creations, the other forte of the Semeli’s restaurants is their one of a kind atmosphere: Imagine sophisticated cocktail party meets romantic dinner, with surprise shows and music lives added to the mix. Think of an all senses experience, in absolute synch with the island’s energy: Distinct, unique, exciting and impossible to forget.