RIYADH: Throughout the Riyadh season, Greek restaurant Hellenika in Alkhobar created a pop-up situated on the Riyadh Water Tower. Hellenika’s modern dishes are designed to be shared, making it a perfect selection for group eating.
Chef Evangelos Liakouris heads the kitchen on the Seasons pop-up in Riyadh and explains the pondering behind the sharing idea. “Mainly, for us Greeks, meals isn’t just about nourishing ourselves as a result of we have to eat and get vitality; it’s a part of the tradition – to sit down collectively on the desk and talk about the subjects of the day, to carry folks collectively, households and associates,” he informed Arab Information. “You may evoke feelings by being all collectively and improve reminiscences, and the hyperlink is meals.”
For Hellenika’s native clientele, Liakouris explains, the restaurant has tailored some conventional Greek dishes with Arabic accents.
“We’ve got a dish known as talagani, which has similarities to halloumi. A Greek Cypriot gentleman fell in love with a girl and moved to the Kalamata area of Greece (to be together with her). He knew how you can make halloumi cheese, so he created one thing much like it however with completely different traits – that is talagani,” he says. “And certainly one of my favourite Center Japanese desserts is knafeh. So what I did was I took kadaifi (a Greek pastry) and (made it right into a heat and savory dish). That concept comes from knafeh, so we took Greek merchandise and used them in a means that individuals within the native market will perceive.”
Right here, Liakouris discusses the worth of errors, the very best seafood and the significance of ego.
Once you first began out as knowledgeable, what was the most typical mistake you made?
(It took me some time to determine it out) it is all about meals pairing and seasonality – understanding how substances work. Then making a dish turns into a lot simpler. However typically it is vital to let errors occur; we overlook that a number of recipes appeared by mistake. However to know and use these errors in a great way, we have to perceive the pairing and the way the meals work not simply as substances, however as chemistry.
What’s one ingredient that you just assume can immediately enhance a dish?
I am unable to dwell with out further virgin olive oil. Our olive oil is a mix of two completely different olives, in order that makes it very particular. It has an acidity of 0.28. Olive oil should be beneath 0.8 to be thought of further virgin. So ours is effectively beneath that.
One other ingredient I really like is mastika (a candy liquor flavored with mastic). It comes from a single island, known as Chios. It is not going to develop wherever else. It prices round 3,000 euros per liter.
What’s your favourite dish?
My mother is from an island known as Icaria, so I prefer to make seafood. Folks at all times ask what the very best seafood is, and my reply is that the very best seafood is recent seafood. However it’s a must to be very light with him. Cooking a really stunning and juicy fish could be very difficult, from a technical viewpoint.
What’s your go-to dish if you want to cook dinner one thing shortly?
It’s a Greek dish, Trahana. It’s a small paste of cracked wheat (fermented in) bitter milk or yogurt, after which typically we use some flour or different substances. Once you wish to eat one thing quick, you are taking some broth or tomatoes or some yogurt and put this pasta inside. Combine in some herbs and feta cheese and it is a tremendous fast, scrumptious and nutritious dish.
how are you within the kitchen Are you relaxed or disciplined?
I’ll by no means put somebody in a nook and make them really feel uncomfortable; I’ll attempt to elevate their skills. That means you may (be productive). I at all times say that if you be a part of my staff, you might be underneath my umbrella and it is best to really feel secure. When folks belief you, they will work in a greater means. However in fact there are guidelines that everybody should comply with. For instance, anybody will be late, however in case you do not let me know, you will routinely be out that day. It is vital that everybody respects one another.
Cooks are presupposed to have massive egos. Right?
To be trustworthy, sure. If you wish to be good at one thing, it’s a must to be aggressive, and you’ll’t be aggressive if you do not have an ego. It is all about making a tradition and belief between folks in order that we will share the identical imaginative and prescient.