Recipes for fulfillment: Chef Evangelos Liakouris talks Greek meals and a brand new pop-up in regards to the season in Riyadh
RIYADH: Throughout the Riyadh season, Greek restaurant Hellenika in Alkhobar created a pop-up positioned on the Riyadh Water Tower. Hellenika’s up to date dishes are designed to be shared, making it an excellent alternative for group eating.
Chef Evangelos Liakouris heads the kitchen on the Seasons pop-up in Riyadh and explains the considering behind the sharing idea. “Principally, for us Greeks, meals is not only about nourishing ourselves as a result of we have to eat and get vitality; it’s a part of the tradition – to take a seat collectively on the desk and talk about the matters of the day, to convey folks collectively, households and buddies,” he advised Arab Information. “You possibly can evoke feelings by being all collectively and improve recollections, and the hyperlink is meals.”
For Hellenika’s native clientele, Liakouris explains, the restaurant has tailored some conventional Greek dishes with Arabic accents.
“We have now a dish referred to as talagani, which has similarities to halloumi. A Greek Cypriot gentleman fell in love with a woman and moved to the Kalamata area of Greece (to be together with her). He knew learn how to make halloumi cheese, so he created one thing just like it however with totally different traits – that is talagani,” he says. “And one in all 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 method that folks within the native market will perceive.”
Right here, Liakouris discusses the worth of errors, the perfect seafood and the significance of ego.
While 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 components work. Then making a dish turns into a lot simpler. However typically it is vital to let errors occur; we overlook that a variety of recipes appeared by mistake. However to grasp and use these errors in a great way, we have to perceive the pairing and the way the meals work not simply as components, however as chemistry.
What’s one ingredient that you simply suppose can immediately enhance a dish?
I am unable to stay with out additional virgin olive oil. Our olive oil is a mix of two totally different olives, in order that makes it very particular. It has an acidity of 0.28. Olive oil have to be beneath 0.8 to be thought of additional 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, referred to as Chios. It is not going to develop anyplace else. It prices round 3,000 euros per liter.
What’s your favourite dish?
My mother is from an island referred to as Icaria, so I prefer to make seafood. Individuals at all times ask what the perfect seafood is, and my reply is that the perfect seafood is contemporary seafood. However you must 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 it’s good to prepare dinner one thing rapidly?
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 components. While you need to eat one thing quick, you’re 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 method you’ll be able to (be productive). I at all times say that whenever you be part of my workforce, you might be below my umbrella and you need to really feel secure. When folks belief you, they’ll work in a greater method. However after all there are guidelines that everybody should observe. For instance, anybody might be late, however in case you do not let me know, you will robotically be out that day. It will be significant that everybody respects one another.
Cooks are purported to have large egos. Right?
To be trustworthy, sure. If you wish to be good at one thing, you must 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.