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2017

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Sunday, 26 March 2017 13:36

Trends today

The sum up is just like marketing clothes and cosmetics nowadays.

I know some clever people gather around the table and decide how to create trends in the world to suit countries’ economics. I know how they are thinking, I’m a hacker! I have watched their articles and what they do to us through their clever marketing. So, I suppose I went behind the scenes of our internet pages, it’s a paradise of small words flying in all directions! I researched back and forward, read slogans, politics, economic reports, listened to music videos and felt the attitudes towards branding Food and beverages. I came up with these on trends of today.  

 

Demand for foods from exotic regions will keep growing, while ‘free from’ products will have the same pattern. Regions like Cuba, Indonesia and Korea seems to be the trends coming in, while pulses i.e chick peas, odd lentils and the introduction of pulses flour will contribute to recipie diversions. Although ethnic cooking at home will remain a trend, there is a growing interest in age groups 16- 25 to cook with new approaches to experimental taste, convenience, and more choice.

Do not waste a thing! Scraps are saved to become stock, peels and trims are oven dried to become a snack, recycle, re spice and re invent, the common words in a kitchen today. Hand made foods are back to culture roots, remixed and fused with anything exotic.

‘Wasted education’ restaurants are popping up in trendy cities across Europe and the U.S. catching the interest of the various groups, catering also for religious sensitive, vegans, gtutten free, and other ‘free from’. 

Know your body and your food alongside the keep well and spiritual activities are on the grow too and appear on the services of bars and restaurants and hotels too.

Inevitably all these trend diversions affect the beverages across the bar scenes. Cocktail menus are taking advantage of the trend for marketing reasons too, recycling all, not wasting, marinating, infusing etc Calories are taken into consideration too. Drinks have no names but atmospheres ! They project an image to go with your mood , your status, your fitness and they tend to make you feel an atmosphere about it. Self esteem is taken into consideration.

 

Fresh juice companies will have a ball with mixing ingredients as the world market is getting used to ethnic foods and accustomed to more taste challenges. We went through the aloe vera and the green tea versions and their packaging, now its more on atmospheres packaging and lots of waters – juices such as ginger, coconut, yuzu and more coming from Asia. Alcohol free drinks are also on the high in certain hemispheres due to religious groups.

 

Alcohol companies will carry on the madness of re inventing the brands with a new label and diversifying products to compete to the loosing sipping sales drink share to cocktail drinking share. This borrowing the qualities of each other by quick barell ageing will continue. More brands will bombard the already saturated market with more overrated spirits. Gin had a good stand for a few years and will remain in the hearts of it’s drinkers, rum increased it’s audience and still will be explored, whisky increased it’s  market share winning a female appreciation worldwide but feel the vermouth coming in…, being a very diversified and versatile ingredient and marying with most spirits although standing grand on its own too, for those that know it. It will have a fair chance to market growth as recent generations had no chance to explore it yet. Wine companies worldwide will start experimenting producing it with their local elements, since they have explored all possible grapes varieties imported and mixed with local origin grapes.  

Finally coffee! Woh! Still increasing consumtion while the market awakens to new tastes from around world.More expertise, new production methods on retail but home too, more gadgets and although getting info on the origin of the coffee it will be all about the atmosphere that will project in relevance to well being just like cocktails, just like marketing clothes and cosmetics nowdays! 

 

Published in Eats
Sunday, 26 March 2017 13:12

Antonis Kourkoutas

‘I haven't worked at a Michelin starred restaurants or next to a famous chef so I would say I'm self taught chef’
Antonis Kourkoutas, Executive chef

 

 


A dish is a proposal, a composition. How is the idea born?

Usually I choose 1 seasonal ingredient that I want to make something with it. Then step by step I add flavors and textures that work well together to create something interesting.

 

When you compile a dish what is your aim?

 My aim is to create something tasty, balanced, unique and beautiful of course. It must be interesting, must have texture, shape, movement….

 

Lightly seared tuna belly | almond gaspacho foam | truffle | nitsume pickled yellow mustard seeds | olive oil

 

What are you hobbies?

My hobby is martial arts but I like watching movies and travel when I have the opportunity.

 

Where are eating trends heading, you reckon?

Globally we see a mix of cultures and cuisines where there are no limits. The base is to choose local and traditional ingredients and use modern techniques. Some food trends that are going on are sophisticated street food, fermentation, zero waste, healthy snacks and also we have a huge rise in vegan and vegetable cooking.

 

Gin tonic oyster | onion-cucumber-ginger relish | tosaka nori | tobiko yuzu

 

Lots of male chefs are inspired also by women. What about you?

Yes indeed, many times when I create a new dish I have in mind some ladies that maybe going for this, so it has to be light, healthy, elegant and like this way a new dish is born inspired by women

I also get inspired by the season, something that  I ate or smelled, a book that I read, a restaurant that I visited, tableware, weather, photos

 

Colour and food?

Colour is very important in a dish since it's the thing you see before you taste it. It has to be vibrant and natural and it has to match the atmosphere of the plate that is going to be served in.

 

Pomegranate mackerel ceviche | hummus | green apple | lime | jalapeno

 

Idols?

David Kinch/Heston Blumenthal/Daniel Humm/Pascal Barbot/David Chang/Grant Achatz/Dominique Crenn

 

What are new ingredient marriages you think?

There is no certain marriage but we see that chefs tend to use Japanese cuisine often in their dishes mixed with their county's cuisines and products

 

Yellowtail tartare | cherry tomatoes confit | basil | tapioca cracker | horseradish aioli | nori powder

 

What is the future for Antonis?

As every chef I would like to open my own restaurant...until then I continue to experiment with my personal cooking style and become better as time goes by.

 


Quick bio

Antonis literally grew up in a Greek restaurant and didn't believe that he would become a chef.

He started as a pastry chef and although loved desserts he quitted that to eventually become a Head chef, now with 14 years experience in the kitchen.

He graduated a private cooking school “chef Doéuvre’ but he also has a food and beverage management degree.

He has been working mostly at restaurants and caterings and at the moment he is the Executive sushi chef at Ithaki restaurant in Vouliagmeni –Greece. He is a food consultant, responsible for developing many menus and organizing food theme events.

 

‘I haven't worked at a Michelin starred restaurants or next to a famous chef so I would say I'm self taught chef. I spend a lot of time researching into books and I am deeply interested about taste, techniques, quality and the presentation of a dish. Everything I post online is not only to show something beautiful but something that tastes good as well.’ 

 

Published in Faces
Saturday, 18 March 2017 09:27

The woah factor!

There is no legal definition of the production of a gin aged in whisky barrels.  Is it a whisky or a gin? It is certainly not the first brand where distilleries produced gins spending time in whisky barrels. It’s a gin with a tea color approach to whisky and an experiment!

Koval barreled gin follows the same pattern of artisan production to organic grain to bottle mentality gin as its highly awarded Koval dry gin with the difference of resting it in Koval whisky barrels, eventually bottling a unique crisp spirit that should appeal to gin and whisky drinkers alike, if possible!

Crisp spirit, toasted coriander, rose hip, juniper, angelica root, notes on caramel, honey, vanilla, malt and evidences of wood spices. Perhaps long wood spices on the palate too! 

Like most premium spirits, enjoy it sipping straight from the bottle or with some ice and play gin or whisky lover! But then again if you’re looking for a way to switch up that Negroni or Martini, perhaps a barrel-aged gin will do the trick. 

Here I stirred one part barreled Koval with two halves of vermouth rosso and bianco with a couple of Indian roses for extra floral notes. You will still get that oaky finish and you will be drinking something between a Μartini and/or a Manhattan!

Koval barreled gin is another successful fine spirit under the expertise of Doctor Robert Birnecker master distiller and CEO of Koval distillery in Chicago. It won the GOLD MEDAL 2016 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition and GOLD MEDAL 2016 New York World Wine and Spirits Competition.

Our next looking forward presentation from this distillery  will be the KOVAL barreled peach brandy, when it reaches our ports, which is dedicated to the aunt Susan of the CEO an artist sculptor hence a beautiful floral bottle.

 

Published in Booze
Sunday, 05 March 2017 12:44

Upcycle & Closed Loop

Re-use not waste 2017 is all about minimizing not only waste in cooking but drinks waste too, all those leftovers of syrups and bits from various cuts destined to fill the bin!

 

 

World trend for bartenders to create cocktails from leftovers!

In bars that serve  many drinks per day it is nowadays important to maintain something interesting and delicious that does not produce so much rubbish. Everything is at our disposal ! Bartender Rich Woods from the Duck & Waffle restaurant in London, has brought back his Urban Decay menu which upcycles anything from the fridge that would normally end up in the bin. His recycled Mai Tai mixing rum, lime juice and a liqueur made from distilling used coffee grinds in alcohol and syrup flavored with nutshells. Daquiri is made with sour milk, banana skins and coconut husks.

White Lyan and Dandelyan bars have modern botany ‘closed loop’ menus created by the most studious of bartending gentlemen, Mr Lyan (Ryan Chetiyawardana) who wants to show that luxury doesn’t need to be excessive and wasteful. He uses excess cucumber pre-sliced for G&T, lemon husks are becoming sweet falernum and he even tries to experiment with dissolved egg shells.  His  ‘ closed loop’ philosophy is that each drink is grouped by ecosystem rather than ingredient. But it's never for its own sake. Closed-loop drinks offer cost savings -- "a bar has certain margins it needs to make to function" -- and ecological value.

We have gone though molecular and its performances now it seems to be fermentation and its immense opportunities for sustainability.

Published in Booze

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