Greek Food!

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by matthew357, Mar 29, 2002.

  1. matthew357

    matthew357

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    So...I've got an interview coming up at a greek restaurant. Unfortunately I know very very little about greek food. I think my one experience of "Authentic" Greek food was in Las Vegas. Basically that was seven different kinds of meets carved off spits at the table. Good, but not really in depth.

    Anyone able to point me in the right direction as to where to read up? Maybe a book or two to look at?

    Matt
     
  2. athenaeus

    athenaeus

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    OMG Matthew good luck!!!

    Books?? I suggest you go to a restaurant in your area that you consider sucessfull and see what they serve.

    There are many books especially those of Diane Kochylas.

    Nicko who is an american who was worked in Greece finds them accurate.

    Also she has published a new FANTASTIC one under the title " The Glorious Foods of Greece" but this must be very sophisticated for a Greek restaurant in the states.

    But Matthew... Greek food is not chopped meat!!!

    It's casseroles or should I say ponds of olive oil where you can "fish" everything

    Vegetables, fish, meat!!!

    Oh and pies!!! learn the basic pies.

    Good luck and come back again to tell what happened :)
     
  3. matthew357

    matthew357

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    <<But Matthew... Greek food is not chopped meat!!!>>

    Yup, I knew my one experience surely didn't encompass much of greek food which is why I came here to ask.

    I'll have to go to ye ole local book store and look for Diane Kochylas.

    <<Also she has published a new FANTASTIC one under the title " The Glorious Foods of Greece" but this must be very sophisticated for a Greek restaurant in the states.>>

    Welp, the place I'm interviewing at is (if this restaurant groups past work is any indication) top notch. The thing that I like most about their menu is they focus on "Family" style dining. Where you buy the whole fish etc. There is an italian place near where I live that also does that type of "family" dining. Personally I find that kind of stuff in a restaurant environment exciting and fun.

    <<Good luck and come back again to tell what happened>>

    Worse comes to worst I'll kill them with enthusiasm.

    Matt
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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  5. cape chef

    cape chef

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    The Authors Last name is spelled.

    "Kochilas"

    In case someone wanted to do a search.
     
  6. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Matthew: if you have the time and money, go and eat at the restaurant before you have the interview. That way you can familiarize yourself with their menu, taste some dishes, and come up with some intelligent questions to ask them. And, you'll eat some terrific food!

    I know that the "Greek" food I've eaten is probably a pale imitation of Athenaeus's, but here's some info:
    1. Greek appetizers ("mezze") are incredibly varied and delicious. Lots of dips such as taramasalata, a puree of roe; tzatziki, minced cucumber in yogurt. Lots of cold vegetable salads (eggplant, roasted peppers, giant broadbeans).
    2. Skordalia: one of the most delicious inventions of humankind: a puree of potatoes and GARLIC, used as a dip or sauce.
    3. Lamb cooked every way imaginable. Innards, too. (Look in the postings of the past year for a thread on kokoretsi.)
    4. Fish, also simply cooked, especially grilled.

    Like so many other "cuisines," Greek food is based on fresh ingredients, simply prepared to highlight their natural flavors.

    Best of luck!
     
  7. matthew357

    matthew357

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    <<Matthew: if you have the time and money, go and eat at the restaurant before you have the interview. That way you can familiarize yourself with their menu, taste some dishes, and come up with some intelligent questions to ask them. And, you'll eat some terrific food!>>

    Heh, that would be probably next to impossible this weekend. Not only is it Easter Weekend...but Atlanta is also hosting the NCAA Final Four. Downtown (and the trendy area this restaurant happens to be located at) will be a nasty nasty horrid mess most of this weekend. And the interview is monday.

    <<Lots of cold vegetable salads (eggplant, roasted peppers, giant broadbeans).>>

    Now that's something I could get into. I've been on a 'Vegetable Salad" tilt lately. Mushroom salads...cucumber salads...all good...especially this time of year.

    I'll let you all know how it goes.

    Matt
     
  8. matthew357

    matthew357

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    Welp...interview one down, I think it went pretty well. Now I just wait patiently by the phone. This may sound crazy but it was just great to sit down and talk about food with someone that shared the same passion for cooking/working in a kitchen as I do.

    Matt
    -With my fingers crossed of course
     
  9. athenaeus

    athenaeus

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    So...what did the owner asked you???
    Did he asked you about Greek Food???:bounce:
     
  10. matthew357

    matthew357

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    <<So...what did the owner asked you???>>

    To be honest I can't remember any specific questions he asked me other than about any previous experience I had. Basically we just sat down and talked about the restaurant, how they like to prepare and present their food, and about the Culinary Institute of America. All in all a great conversation. One of the most amusing things to me was that I had thought to myself more than a few times that if I got the job I would spend as much time there as I could. Basically that they would have to tell me to go home to get me out of the kitchen. But, I didn't even mention it, instead he did. He said even though 40 hours a week was the law that spending as much time there learning as possible would be a good idea. I couldn't have agreed more.

    <<Did he asked you about Greek Food???>>

    Yup, and I told him up front that I knew next to nothing about Greek food, but that in and of itself was very exciting to me because I would learn so much about the food as well as about the ingredients that I had never experienced before. Ouzo for one, I really don't like the taste of anis to be honest with you, so learning about anis flavoring and using it will be a whole new world for me.

    The more I think about it, the more I realize it's gonna suck if I don't get this job. It would really be a perfect environment to work and learn in.

    Matt
     
  11. athenaeus

    athenaeus

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    In my opinion you did very well for admitting that you knew nothing about Greek Food! he would know immediately!
    Did you tell him that you have a crew of people here ready to help you?? ;)

    If you don't get the job is not the end of the world! I hope you will though!
     
  12. matthew357

    matthew357

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    Whoo hoo. Got the job. If anyone needs to reach me I'll be busy doing the "happy dance" for the next couple of hours.

    Thanks for all the help and info everyone.

    Matt
     
  13. suzanne

    suzanne

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    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

    Learn a lot, and have a great time there!

    P.S. "Be careful what you wish for -- you may get it."
     
  14. athenaeus

    athenaeus

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    Hey Matthew!

    That's great!! You begin your carrer by cooking real food !!
     
  15. kimmie

    kimmie

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    Congratulations Matthew357! I agree with Athenaeus: you did good by telling the truth!

    Let's do a little dance in the kitchen [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  16. isa

    isa

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    Congratulations Matthew!
     
  17. matthew357

    matthew357

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    Thanks for all the well wishes everyone. My first night is past me and I have to say I'm more excited now than I was before going in to work, hopefully I'll be able to get to sleep.

    The whole evening I felt like a wide eyed newborn, but I'm learning!

    Matt
     
  18. kylew

    kylew

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    Congrats Matthew!
     
  19. matthew357

    matthew357

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    Welp, day three has come and gone, figure I'll share a few random thoughts and musings.

    My first is that I realized tonight how much I'm really enjoying this. Even though I was standing there with a table full of grape leaves that I had to get rolled into Dolmadikia (if you can ever try one of these do, they are, simply amazing) while at the same time four fish had just come back to be scaled, gutted and scored, and my back and feet were killing me, I was still (in the back of my mind at least) having a blast.

    If you have to scale and gut fish, wear gloves, I learned how beneficial this is after I had torn my hands to shreds.

    Knives are a valuable commodity, guard yours with your life. Swinging around a fish scaler like a deadly weapon seems to work. Also, when you really really need a steel, it will mysteriously vanish, when you don't need it, it will always be in the way.

    If you had told me a week ago that I would be LOVING fennel and leeks, I would have told you that you were crazy. Now, I do really love them both.

    Prassopitakia taste much better after you have made 200.

    If the pastry chef stops at your station for a few seconds and you ask him if you are scoring the fish properly, much laughing will ensue as the Pastry Chef walks off.

    Having the cook at the Grill station say "Good Job on that fish" is amazingly gratifying.

    Even though I'm just doing the repetitive grunt work right now, I'm still loving every minute of it. Every minute I spend in the Kitchen working I am reaffirmed in my belief that this is what I really want to do.

    Working in a three star (hopefully four after our next review) restaurant is everything I've expected and more.

    Matt
     
  20. athenaeus

    athenaeus

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    WHAT?????

    You work in a three star Greek restaurant???

    Oh well I should have know when you mention that you prepare prassopitakia!!!:lips:

    Hey Mat, do you serve dolmadakia with a lemon sauce??

    Hmmm You know Greeks are having the lent this period and instead of making the original domades they make the yalanzti (fake) ones. Just rice with a lot of onion and mint (to help you digest it ;)

    This one is served with yoghurt whicj is not allowed during the Lent but it's not as bad as meat ;)

    Tell me what else you serve?:bounce: