Greek chef Yiannis Lucacos gained wide recognition in Greece thanks to his participation in the TV show «Master Chef» as a judge. It was an experience, he says, which helped him expand his potential and delve into new culinary journeys. Prior to that, he recognises various significant points in his career: First of all, his studying Mechanical Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University, in USA, where he gained knowledge which proved to be extremely useful even after he decided to focus on cooking professionally. Then, his work as a chef at «Semiramis», a member of the «YES!Hotels» group at Kifissia (one of the northern suburbs of Athens), where he acted as head of a restaurant for the very first time. And of course the opening of his very own restaurant, which meant acting as a businessman apart from being a chef.
When asked what has determined his culinary personality, Greek chef Yiannis Lucacos reminisces upon childhood memories and explains that what one eats growing up can affect both the way one cooks and the way one consumes food. The smells coming out of his mother’s kitchen was what first got him interested in cooking, at a time when it hadn’t occured to him that this could be a viable professional choice. What started as a hobby, soon allowed him to make extra income while studying at the university, until it was obvious that becoming a chef was his calling and he enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America.
After returning to Greece, in 2000, Lucacos focused on Greek cooking with a twist, combining the country’s recipes and ingredients with various international references. This apporach results to a personal style which might change according to season, but always has quality as a cornerstone. In 2009 he opened «Psomi & Alati» (meaning «Bread & Salt»), a restaurant at Chalandri, Athens, where he also created «The Seminar Project», a place where he gives cooking lessons. Apart from these, he does consulting at other restaurants, has published books and done cooking shows on TV, and maintains a strong presence online, through his website and the social media.
One of the most distinguished Greek chefs, Yiannis Lucacos believes that Greek gastronomy has evolved impressively over the years, yet there is still room to improve while also supporting Greek producers. It is a strong belief of his that Greece has a lot to offer the international culinary scene, that’s why expanding abroad is one of his goals.
Direction & Post Production: Alexis Skoulidis
Grooming: Roula Lymperopoulou
Interview & Texts: Paris Kormaris
Project Manager: Agapi Tsakpinoglou
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