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Paris Christofides

Paris Christofides

Paris Christofides is a World traveler, a connoisseur of lifestyle and a perceiver of situations. He has the charisma of seeing through things but seeing things coming in the future as trends although often creating trends! He is an extremely creative person capable of putting things together in a unique manner and has a way to present simple things in a stunning way. He is highly communicative and a people’s person thus a good trainer. He is flexible and adaptable coming from being a gypsy and an aristocrat the same time. His trade is being a consultant on food/drink and music, design and atmosphere, organization and management, personality coaching and…concepts, concepts, concepts!

Website URL: http://www.parischristofides.com Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Klelia & Christmas

in Booze
on: 13 December 2017

Klelia Aristotelous, a newcomer in the bartending profession started her experience of the first contact with the bartending experience as a student of a hotel and tourism management course.

 

 

‘At first, honestly speaking, it was a way to make extra cash but I was drawn to it, it came to my realisation that this can be my dream profession.  It is a profession that does not lock you between four walls, it always challenges you to be creative and it does not limit you. Techniques, colors, smells, densities and depths....and always in service of those seeking an experience. Love it now!’ Klelia Aristotelous

We have visited Klelia behind the bar and enjoyed quite a few drinks performed by her while poping a few questions in between. Promising new face behind the bar...we will keep an eye on her as the feeling hacker has is that she will go far in this field, so let’s see!

 

1. Women are  sensitive, charismatic, feminine, romantic and more creative than the average man. Does this help in creating combinations of liquid spirits  behind the bar

Gender has nothing to do with being a bartender.  It is about love and passion for what it is you do. A bartender never stops searching, learning and practising.  Creativity is something that is born by combining these elements. If you have the charisma to be romantic and scenic it will also help to make stories about every drink you mix.

 

2. When you have guests at the bar how do you approach them?

An approach with a smile!  It is important and essential to make you guest feel that they are in a safe and friendly environment so they can trust you, relax and unfold in front of you, ready to experience.

 

3. What is your inspiration when you are about to combine different tastes?

For inspiration I follow a line marked by the classic cocktails.  After that, it is important to consider body flavours that you are about to combine.  From that point onwards you experiment and try different things until you reach a satisfying result.

 

4. How do you see bartending as a profession?

Many believe that it is an easy profession. Nobody really gets how tough it can be.  It causes emotional and physical exhaustion.  Some may argue that it has an expiry date but it still is a fulfilling and rewarding job.

 

5. What is the next level of mixology according to you. We started with the classics we went sky up developing and incorporating molecular, craft syrups and spirits, smoked, infused, washed and all this jeargon...what's next?

You never know what is next.  Technology and our imagination keeps surprising us all the time. However, many bars have been looking at things in a more environmental way, so they are giving more emphasis on reducing waste. For example, in many countries bars stop using straws. So if you can achieve a cocktail with having no waste at all then, both the environment and your business win.

 

 

6. What are the best values in a bartender today?

Knowledge and personality are the best values that a bartender can have.  Because, knowledge improves your skills and personality gains your customer’s trust.

 

7. Who is your inspiration?

I don’t have a person that is my inspiration but I get my kicks definitely from the environment at my workplace. It is a bar which has a vibrant and inspirational team.  “Library” is one of those bars that does not hesitate to take risks and evolve.  It keeps high standard and strong character throughout. I like it this way!

 

8. If you had a chance to work in a bar anywhere in the world...which one would this be?

Personally it is not a matter of where but with who. So, if I had the chance to work anywhere in the world, where there is something for me to learn, get inspired and help me to evolve. I would dream to work with Simone Caporale!

 

9. Match the following food with cocktails or spirits

a. Grilled white fish with lemon butter sauce -  glass of white wine or a basil smash

b. Dark chocolate mousse with crystalized blackberries - a glass of cognac

c.  Roast duck breast with green peppercorns - Rum old fashion

d.  Maki rolls with smoked fish -glass of champagne or  a Gin and tonic

 

We challenged Klelia to create some Xmas cocktails for us with Diplomatico Planas.

Secret santa

4 cl Diplomatico planas
2 cl St - Germain
1.5 cl home made grenadine syrup
1.5 fresh pink grapefruit juice
1 cl fresh lemon juice
fresh pomegranate and cinnamon stick for garnish

 

Christmas eve

5cl Diplomatico planas
2.5 cl chestnut and cardamom syrup
3 cl soya milk
1.5 cl fresh lemon juice
Spray with rosewater
garnish with dried rose

 

By Chef Nicos Constantinou

   

The Japanese began arriving in Peru in the late 1800s. Many factors motivated the Japanese to immigrate to Peru either in search of gold, the mild climate, the rich soil for farming, no epidemics etc as a result we have a fusion of these cultures as Japanese Peruvians, providing a platform for gastronomy to merge. This possibility of experimentation which this synthesis offers is today being exploited throughout the world. We met with Chef Nicos Constantinou specializing in Nikkei and Latin American cuisine.

 

. What is exactly Nikkei cuisine?

Japanese Food the South American Way…. At its simplest, Nikkei cuisine is the cooking of the Japanese diaspora. Japanese immigrants have found themselves in a variety of cultures and contexts, but have often maintained a loyalty to their native cuisine. This has required local adaptation over the last 100 years: the so-called Nikkei community has embraced a new country's ingredients and assimilated these into their cooking using Japanese techniques.

 

. How did you come across it and how did you get involved in it?

The desire to explore different ¬flavors and ingredients of the world in order to create aglobal style of cooking made me to travel a lot. The first time I came across Nikkei Cuisine was at Peru back to 2014

 

 

. How did Peru influence Japanese taste and vice versa?

Nikkei cuisine uses Peruvian ingredients prepared through a Japanese lens. In fact, most of Peru’s iconic fish dishes were actually made popular by Japanese cooks. Tiradito, the dish of raw sliced fish with aji pepper sauce, is considered a reinterpreted sashimi. Some ingredients that are now staples were popularized by Nikkei cooks for example Peruvian people never used to use octopus or eel.

 


Salmon Tiradito
Salmon, passion-fruit leche de Tigre, avocado mousse, black sea salt and sweet potato

 


Beef Tataki
Beef flamed and drizzled with virgin olive oil and Smoked aji panca, pear, passion fruit salsa, petals

 

. Give us your philosophy in approaching this style of cuisine.

Best available fresh ingredients are a must. Know your products, the balance of the flavors…For example Ceviche is rich in umami flavor thanks to the denaturalization of raw fish when mixed with lemon and salt. Chicha de jora, a beverage obtained from corn fermentation is frequently used in Nikkei dishes to bring out the umami flavor.

 


Lubina Ceviche
Seabass briefly marinated in Lime juice, Leche de Tigre – Tiger’s Milk, Aji Limo, Red Onions, nasturtium leaves, Yams, shiso and black garlic

 


Vieiras Ceviche
Scallops, Coconut leche de Tigre, radish, Cilantro, Red onion, Corn, Sweet Potato crisp

 

. There is sushi and sushi! What is the difference from Japanese traditional sushi and Nikkei sushi?

Techniques are the same, what is different is some ingredients like sauces   

 

. Give us some examples of best matching ingredient representing the fusion of these two culinary origins.

Aji Amarillo pepper with any fish, warm or cold

 

. Surely like most recent marriages of thoughts there is continuous evolution in this idea. Do you have a feeling which direction this is going?

Well is a big community of Chinese in Peru as well. The cuisine is called Chifa. Also New Mexican cuisine has an influence of Nikkei presentation.

 

. What are the most indifferent techniques in cooking this style compared to traditional French or Italian? 

The only thing that can define the difference between the two is the attitude with which they are prepared. Nikkei use dashi the French use stocks, sashimi is very similar philosophy with carpaccio …

 

. What would be your advisory tips to a younger chef approaching and learning this style of cuisine?

 Learn the ingredients use is very important to understand the cuisine.

 

. Are the skills needed by a chef different than the ones of a European cuisine chef?

Not really.

 

. Where have you experienced and were mostly impressed by Nikkei cuisine?

Restaurants  Maido in Lima and Pakta in Barcelona.

 


Picante de Camarones
Prawns, Moromi Miso sauce, Purple potato, spring onion, baby corn, crispy yam and lime

 

.Your motto?

I have an absolute passion for cooking and have done all my life.  I am very creative and love to make new and exciting dishes to serve to my customers. 

 


Director/Executive Chef Nicos Constantinou runs a Consulting company for Concept Development, Menu Development, restaurants start up, Training and Seminars. His personnal trainings and experiences he accumulated over the years from various locations such as  Nikkei, Peruvian Japanese upper class Restaurant in Miami, Florida, Usa; Coya Miami, Peruvian Restaurant Chain, Usa; Above Eleven Peruvian Japanese Fine Dining, Bangkok, Thailand. He has been practically trained in Paris, France  at the Henny Penny training center and in Italy for regional cuisine with practical training at  Rustichella d’Abruzzo.

 

The two are poles apart. It takes all sorts behind the bar those that are professionals no matter how they present themselves and those that just make a point to present themselves in all tattoo designs, body deforms, fancy aprons and hairstyles or not! My point is don’t be misled!

Bartenders are found  in places where drinks probably cost more and usually are the first to say good evening to you. Any of the others are usually untrained part timers or any bar staff leftovers, with no desire to grow other than being there for some extra cash and Mickey Mouse maneuvers from holding a bottle to filling a glass.

Bartenders are respected individuals,  as trained professionals that studied their drinks and backgrounds, learned and achieved, and have probably developed professional etiquette towards dealing with the public but at the same time they are like chefs where they have egos, complex beasts and  would be difficult to be handled at busy and preassurised times, but this is out of my story!

Economies, culture and social status positioning in some economies have not been encouraging  many to invest time and effort into the bartending profession but since the vodka revolution since the 90’s more and more manpower passion is pumped in the drinks industry. Bar staff or bartenders are like djs some that play well , some that not play well but look good and plenty of both sprouting.

The drinks companies  have been on a rat race as to what to produce and be different and win an extra share of the market. They appeal to manpower and use interesting personalities to launch and promote their new stuff. In fact this race is more similar to the ones of the perfumes industry! However these promoters, so called ambassadors are setting the ways on how to look, how to do it and what to do next as the newcomer bar staff are victimized to follow the trend and feel you are in the box and upgraded in  knowing more and more.

With growing  knowledge, self esteem and with some elements of good character, hopefully deriving from the upbringing of individuals, we come across wonderful personalities behind the bench,  representing at least the labels in displays behind them. It is enough to remember the right measurements and analogies, handled the bottles and gadgets with respect and with a slight eagerness to please…voila, a correctly balanced drink placed in front of the customer all in all to give an experience or a simple pleasure.

It is simpler than what most think! No one is asking the bartenders to dive into books and on line media and get lost in words like fermentation, blending, matured or casks, degrees and acidity…. If they do get into the details of knowledge  it should be to form a base to stand on instead of some random bits of information floating in the brain and expressed here and there as weapons to impose personality issues achieving a light impression. But what is more important to the establishment they represent and to the customers approaching the bench are the social skills and the goodwill to please them. If you are a bartender you should be a natural in giving and listening.

GIVE - A good word with a genuine smile. Try be the person who walked or drove and parked the car, probably meeting someone else there or not, budgeting already what to spend on time and moneys or the lady feeling a little uncertain  as to the table she would declare presence until her company comes, they both need a red soft carpet to feel comfortable and important to be walking in and you probably  don’t have one. They could do with a greeting and a warm smile acknowledging them coming in and declaring peace, yet alone the following word reassuring ability to serve, as in  “ would you like to take a seat at my bar or at the table here?”  or ‘ ill be with you in a second’ ‘ or what can I do for you?’ and all in all, words of offering efforts and suggesting good times ahead. And  this follows many ‘encores’

LISTEN- Don’t assume just because you are thrilled by your recent ego win of a new combination of liquids so called according to you cocktail, that everyone should try it. People have different tasting buds and ideas in their heads that are not in line with everyone else, and all changing at different times. So, listen to them after you suggest ideas like cocktails, beers, wines? and then question the taste prior to trying to match that and even suggest a little tasting adventure. Also have in mind that most of the time people do not have a clue what they want to drink which bring us to the psychologist expert trying to guess what may be their need to please them.

If there is no hints then play safe and suggest an easy way out. Aim to go for adventures on the second round of drinks which is when you have the opportunity to make a new friend and your boss a new dedicated client.

There are those that are trained well with good or bad personal marketing, those that do not know what they are doing with good personal marketing, there are those who have reached the impossible and know it all (!) with the attitude of Marlon Brando where unfortunately marketing works and finally those that are not interested and are there to kill time and win money. The axe is long and everyone  behind the bar is positioned here. Respect to the bartenders!

 

p.s. Random indicative photos shown with respect to bartenders featured.

We have visited the celebrated and possibly the busiest bar in Limassol, ‘Μανταμ’ Madame, where the highly trained people behind the bar are cool and modist. There was Christos Tirzlakis an upcoming charismatic bartender who just came back from visiting Ireland as he won the Jameson Cyprus Competition 2017 stating with a smile “ I have a lot to learn, I first want to become a good bartender before I become a mixologist or something like that… as a bartender I am what everyone wants me to be, a listener, a server, their lawyer ….I try my best !” .

There was the man himself behind the concept of Madame, Mr.Stephanos Athanasiou stating “ when I am looking for people to work with us I am not judging anyone’s past or career on what they can do. I allow then to drop off everyday life issues and relax with us, I’ts simple, be yourself,  a human being and forget about stirring and shaking! Just relax and be a nice person, the skills and knowledge you will build with us”.

On board with Stephanos approach which is chaneled throughout the bar’s energy we met another persona, Laura Meilunaite, being there with him since stones and wood and participates quietly behind the creations and the dealings prior to surfacing a new cocktail and not only. We reccon that such a lady on board the team, probably keeps balances and handles a lot more on back scenes of what customers see in a bar! Here is what we hacked out of her! 

 

 

. Coming from Lithuania and having finished your studies in Office management you trained for an ambitious high end bar. What personal qualities of yours were important to achieve your positioning behind the bar?

First of all coming from other country gives me this different approach to everything what is going on behind the bar. I have studied Office management so I say now that  “Madame” is my office. My colleagues already know that I am super punctual and believe me it is very difficult to be punctual in Cyprus. While I am always in time, everybody are just always late. So I have to be very patient and I am trying my best to adapt to this Mediterranean life style. I always choose  a compromise than an argument, that is a very useful working in the bar. I like to socialize, meet new people, interact with customers. I am very active person in general - roller blades, stand up paddling , windsurfing, bicycle- I am a big fan of action and dynamic activities so working behind the bar fits this category perfectly!

 

 

. What would be your advise as the most important points for women thinking to approach this profession seriously?

In any hospitality business the most important thing is to be passionate about your job, this is a key point in every business actually. If you like what you do it will make things easier, so just go for it! I believe that bartenders profession is for people who are extroverts because you are always surrounded by people, it is so essential to channel good energy and create positive vibes. Also be able to work in the team is one more crucial point. You can be great as a individual but bar is a team work playing field. Don't be afraid of challenges and be creative! (More like unisex advises).

 

 

. What happens when a new bottle/label appears on the bar?

After the first look at the bottle/label I always judge the style and design. Is it interesting? Is it something you notice in the bar shelf? After that follows tasting and  deeper research of the product.

 

 . As a woman bartender in service and being a multi task persona you probably fit in the following category. Mothering starting bartenders, customers being everything from patients to intellectuals, from flirters to ‘arrogant’ men, young ladies feeling insecure or super confident, frustrated and happy and all those circumstantial people approaching you at the bar. What is the mechanism that you as a woman try to apply in order to deal with all that?

I treat all customers the same, always being polite and caring. Bartender is like a psychologist some times, so as a very good listener I think I am doing a very good job on this part. People come to the bar for many different reason, but the most important one is to relax, have a good time and have fun. As a person behind the bar I can offer them their favorite drink, serve some snacks, have a chit chat. I believe that me and my colleagues have created a very nice and friendly connection with all customers so everybody can find what they are looking for.

I could describe myself as a multitasking person, yes! It’s a perfect quality for this dynamic work in the bar. Also being a part of a very good team helps this mechanism to work.

 

. What is Madame for you?

Madame is the place where I fell happy and I can express myself. I love vibrant weekends and casual weekdays in the bar. Everyday has its own charms here.  I saw how Madame opened its doors for the first time and it is always a big pleasure to see satisfied customers, people who come and spend their time here. This bar is constantly evolving and developing its own unique style. Madame is like a real Lady changing her clothes occasionally, but the most important thing stays the same: She is welcoming, flirty and full of positive energy! I am very proud to be a member of Madame family.

 

 

. Can you pair a cocktail with the following food? 

a. Fresh oysters – glass of champagne or French 75

b. Smoked Haddock- pint of Czech pilsner

c. Basil Pesto pasta- Mexican Garden served in Madame :) Keep it herbal!

d. Coconut curry- pint of wheat beer for citrusy and fruity mix of flavours

e. Salmon and avocado rolls- why not to try with Martini?

 

 

. How would you begin to examine a new cocktail presented to you?

First of all is how it is presented -  garnish, glassware,  colours. Next step is aromas and only then tasting – is it balanced , drinks texture and flavour layers?

 

. What is the ideal bartender for you?

The ideal bartender is this person who helps you to  choose your drink using his/hers skills and experience. It doesn't need to be a cocktail, it can be beer, wine or any other drink. I believe that there is a perfect drink for everyone. Ideal bartender - polite, organized, tidy, good communicative skills, creative, original but never arrogant!

 

. In which direction will mixology develop in the future?

We are in this age when bars became like big laboratories. Number of techniques and pieces of equipment are used to create cocktails, infusions and mixtures. Trends are changing so quickly. I am fan of simplicity so whatever changes will come in the future I hope that quality of the drink, fresh ingredients and cocktail taste will stay essential aspects.

 

. Do you have mentors and why?

When I arrived to Cyprus and started to work in the bar I had no previous experience. I was lucky to have Stephanos Athanasiou as my colleague so I count him as my mentor. Concept of hospitality and overall understanding about bar business came through his point of view. It is really rewarding to have him as a friend and a boss. 7 years working together with different catering projects and now Madame, I think  it says it all :) The best team!

Also while working in Madame I had opportunity to meet Julio Bermejo, the creator of Tommy's Margarita, and Tomas Estes, ambassador of tequila in Europe, both of them showed me how important is to be passionate about what you do! 

 

With its roots from the monks of Kantara, since the Venetian times of Cyprus (1450-1500 AC) the family Filipou inherited this unique recipie for FILFAR liqueur. The recipe was passed from grandmother to mother and daughter so that it’s production eventually begun to be bottled after 1940 in Famagusta. Today the distillery is at the village of Monagri just off from Limassol in Cyprus, producing other than Filfar orange also lemon, mandarin and bergamot liqueurs.

Filfar orange (34 % vol) is established amongst a few Cypriot spirits that Cypriots should be proud of like Zivania, the unique Anglia’s Brandy or Brandy in general, Comandaria etc.

 

Tasting notes of Filfar orange

An evident nose of orange leading to elements of perhaps chocolate aroma, slight mountain herbs and rather smooth palate with a slight burn. The soft burn gives way to a long lasting sweet orange taste and after taste.

 

Filfar development:

The truth is that tourism in Cyprus since its development in the early 70’s and in search of local produce has with time recognized a good authentic orange liqueur coming straight from Cyprus oranges. Cyprus oranges were regarded a delicacy in British grocery stores those days. Served at bars with ice or straight after a meal and a bottle to take back home as a holiday souvenir has definitely increased awareness, demand for exports and increased production.  One should remember that Cyprus in its early days had no system to promote its products to the world and at least since the standardized bottling of this product, if it wasn’t for the tourists the product would have stayed buried like many other production efforts.

Another factor to consider is that throughout the history of the island of Cyprus, its inhabitants never had the change to grow and develop feeling proud of the island’s products which is being proved through times by the lack of support and or the preference to imported products. Nowadays one should study the sudden explosion in using Pisco from Peru, or Mescal from Mexico, rough liquors at their original form and now refined , blended, infused or matured in some sort of method for marketing jargon by the drinks companies worldwide, only to all follow the new trends and not stay behind! Suddenly the Peruvians and the Mexicans have believed in their products buried years under their ancestor’s dreams! Now we have trendy Mescalerias in Mexico and the rest of the World……!  I am sure Zivania Cyprus mountain drink, Greek Tsipouro, Raki or any other hard liquor from Slovakia or Poland would have been also good enough to play with and mix in cocktails! But no spirit company went that road yet!!! So why Cypriots are not using and promoting their own products? Someone else is doing it for them ! Perhaps the tourists?

I wonder if Filfar is mixed with whisky and served with ice if it will taste better than Drambuie or if it is shaken with Zivania, basil etc if it can taste close to an Orange Caipirinha or mixed with any chocolate form in coffees, or cooked in a chicken dish with fresh Thyme or glaze a red meat with honey and peppercorns or………….Never ending ideas. Here are some cocktails created for Speakeasyhacker by a few bartenders around the island.

 

Dimitris Koumbarou

Dimitris as an inquisitive Bartender, continuously researching  and experimenting with new products. After professional training he has been worked at Ritual lounge Soma, Guru bar and now the Bartender in charge of the The Lounge at Napa Plaza hotel in Ayia Napa. 

Ginger and coriander Daquiri

4 cl Capucana Cachaca

3 cl Filfar Lemon liqueur

1.5 cl Fresh Lime

1.5 cl Real Ginger Puree

Fresh coriander leaves

Bashed lemon grass for garnish

(Method shake and strain into a chilled martini glass)

 

Giorgos Ashiotis

Giorgos comes from Cyprus. He is studying deep into the subject of mixology with his fort being Notes and Spirits label & bar in Nicosia. He has been participating many competitions in an effort to enlarge his experiences. His inspiration comes from his favorite book ‘ Liquid Intelligence ‘

Morning Nest

6 cl Buffalo Trace Bourbon infused with pistachio oil

1.5 cl Dolin rouge

1.5 cl Noilly Prat

1 cl Filfar orange

1 cl cold brew coffee syrup

(Shake and strain into a glass with ice and garnished with caramel thread)

 

Pavlos Aslanides

Pavlos comes from Thessaloniki/Greece where he has worked with many teams at reputable bars such as Vogatsikou 3 and Spitaki Cocktail Bar. He took part in many bartending competitions with distinction. He declares a rum fan while amongst the people that inspired his is Ago Perone and Marian Beke on the knowledge of ingredients. Pavlos is currently the head of Bar operations at the Columbia Beach and Columbia Restaurants.

From Cyprus To Japan 

3 cl Filfar Mandarin 

4.5 cl Masticha Skinos

Drops of rose water

3 cl fresh lime Wasabi paste 

(Shake all ingredients with ice and strain in a tumbler with ice. Top up with crushed ice and garnish with lemon and pink peppercorns) 

 

Marios Evripidou

Marios comes from Cyprus and has been a key player bartender at the Four Seasons Hotel in Limassol since 2009. He represents the hotel in various bartender competitions while he is studying the subject of mixology through International Bar schools and academies.

4.5 cl Pergamot  

3 cl Tanquaray gin

4 cl freshly squezed  pomigranate juice

2 cl passion puree

(Shake with ice and pour in a tumbler, topped with crushed ice and garnish with passion fruit and mint)

 

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