Corfu Food and Wine Festival presents award to distinguished chef Nikos Sarantos
CORFU. Spianada Square was full of tempting aromas and delicious food. The 2nd Corfu Food and Wine Festival opened last night with an impressive celebration of culture, tradition and history.
The Festival opening ceremony took place in Corfu Town's central square where leading chefs from the Corfu Chefs Club, in collaboration with the State Vocational Training Institute of Tourism, prepared and presented traditional Corfiot cuisine to the public and local producers showcased their products and businesses to visitors.
Chefs from Italy, Russia, Britain and Israel along with students and their teachers from the Centre de métiers et de l’ Artisanat du Tarn programme (Erasmus) presented dishes from their own traditional cuisine which has influenced Corfu gastronomy. Music and dance from all the participating countries complemented the multicultural flavour of the festival, and of Corfu itself.
The distinguished chef Nikos Sarantis was presented with an award - Gastronomic Traveller of the Year. "A cook differs not at all from a poet," said the Greek philosopher, food connoisseur, cook and pleasure seeker Archestratus, who lived in Sicily in the 4th century BC and is considered to be the father of western gastronomy. Nikos Sarantis has worked in many places including the Hilton in London, Kuwait and Addis Abeba as well as the Rameses Hilton Hotel in Cairo and the Royal Teheran Hilton in Iran.
Following a successful career abroad he became Executive Chef at several Greek hotels including the Corfu Hilton and left his mark on what is now called 'creative Greek cuisine'.
He first used the techniques of the professional kitchen to cook traditional food and even before 1990 he used special Greek ingredients such as mastic and myrtle to help add new tastes to well-known dishes.
For 11 years he was Menu Consultant for Aegean Air.
27 years ago, when he founded the Greek Chefs Club, his dream was for a professional team to research Greek cuisine in depth and to prepare and present it to the world. He had the inspiration and persistence to set up the Chefs Club in order to encourage healthy competition between future chefs in an annual competition. And he succeeded!
Yesterday, Corfu Chefs Club presented an award to this great Greek chef in recognition of the many years he has dedicated to promoting Greek cuisine.
See the Festival programme here.
See more photos here.