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Greek fine dining


ScottyBoy
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Hey all,

A long term client has asked for Greek as the theme for a dinner. I have very little experience with these flavors and dishes. I'm looking to put a more refined touch with flavors and plating. Could any of you steer me towards restaurants or books I could look to for inspiration?

Thanks everyone!

Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

My eGullet Foodblog

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Two options, as I see it. The first is to fly to Melbourne and dine at George Colambaris' restaurant, The Press Club. The second option is to order the book online. I have seen it on Amazon and Book Depository. You want 'The Press Club' and not his other books, which are aimed more at the home cook wanting to eat dips, grill lamb and garfish and maybe make moussaka. I cannot think of anyone else in Australia that does Greek fine dining. A Greek friend of a friend cannot think of anyone either. That said, if you can track down a copy of the excellent 'Wild Weed Pie', you might come away with a couple of ideas.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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Maybe try Opa in Los Gatos to get some ideas...

I visited Greece once a couple of years ago. The best food there makes subtle use of fresh herbs and sea food. Greek style yogurt with a high fat content is often used for sauces. I recently improvised a chicken dish with a lemon and dill flavored yogurt sauce which I felt was in the spirit of Greek food.

I hope that helps.

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You could maybe do a Greek salad style version of your amazingly beautiful salad in soil.. Otherwise you could do

Riffs on well known and classic dishes with more refined plating/recipes like a moussaka, gavos etc - please make sure to post pictures afterwards!!

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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Check out website for varoulko in Athens, really wanted to eat there when I was in Athens but never got round to it - might have sone ideas to inspire you - also I did a blog of the week I was there with lots of pictures (all very casual restaurants but inspiration comes in many forms..)

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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Desert is the biggest wall I'm hitting...

I've hed several Greek desserts/sweets, but I'd say that the stand-outs were moustalevria and melomakrona (I may have botched the spellings big-time); they were unusual and interesting, but still accessible.

I've also had various variations of dried figs stuffed with ganache and coated with chocolate/cacao. I don't know whether they're strictly speaking Greek, since I've also been told they were Portuguese, Spanish, and (I think) Maltese. But they are insanely good.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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you could definitely do a riff on individual Galaktobureko.. make the semolina custard and put it inside twists of phyllo.

the cookbook "Three sisters around the greek table" has a individual variation bougatsa that I think you could convert to use as individual galaktoboureko

"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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I am greek, the desserts that were mentioned are spot on. We also make a walnut cake that we serve with ice cream. Also loukoumades are served with cinnamon and honey but if I would go for something really greek I would choose mastic as the main flavour or my dessert.

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I am greek, the desserts that were mentioned are spot on. We also make a walnut cake that we serve with ice cream. Also loukoumades are served with cinnamon and honey but if I would go for something really greek I would choose mastic as the main flavour or my dessert.

Loukoumades are delicious. My only caution about mastic is that it's a flavor not everyone enjoys...me particularly. :)

Diane Kochilas is a really good Greek cook and her recipes are classic but up to date. Here's her website: http://dianekochilas.com/recipes

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Across the Bay from you is the restaurant Kokkari and they just published their cookbook Kokkari:Contemporary Greek Flavors, which should inspire you with ideas. They also have Evvia in Palo Alto. The book is worth acquiring and the restaurants are worth investigating.

"A cloud o' dust! Could be most anything. Even a whirling dervish.

That, gentlemen, is the whirlingest dervish of them all." - The Professionals by Richard Brooks

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you all for the ideas! The dinner went off without a hitch but like a fool I brought my camera and forgot to take pictures.

Thanks again!

Would you mind sharing what menu you ended up with? I would love to know. Thanks!

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I baked some rosemary bread and cured some olives, warmed them both up and had some nice greek olive oil.

Charred Octopus on eggplant puree and some tzatziki.

Chickpea soup, dried chickpeas cooked with onion and garlic pureed and fresh chickpeas added whole, some fresh oregano oil.

Sous vide and roasted squab breast and lamb loin. Slow cooked garlic cream baby chard and dandelion greens and a jus from the bones.

Little individual portokalopita cakes (thank you Goatjunky) with cinnamon and preserved orange syrup. Made some hibiscus-vanilla ice cream.

Already got follow up emails from 8 out of 10 guests thanking me for a wonderful meal and talking about booking in the future.

Thanks again, I'll be asking this forum a lot more now!

Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

My eGullet Foodblog

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