NEW YORK – Family and friends gathered at Ousia for a viewing party in support of the first appearance of the Livanos family, owners of Ousia- among other restaurants, on ABC’s Family Food Fight on June 27.
Brothers Johnny and Enrico, and mom Lorena, are competing on the cooking competition based show that offers eight families the opportunity to battle for the title of “America’s No. 1 Food Family.”
The lively Livanos family, from Westchester, NY, is best known as restaurant owners of Ousia, among other well-known restaurants, including Molyvos, named for the family’s village of origin in Lesvos. The mother and sons trio use their Greek-Italian (Lorena is of Italian descent) culinary skills on the show in competition for a $100,000 grand prize and the coveted title.
Nick Livanos spoke to The National Herald about his wife and sons’ participation in the cooking competition, noting that he is so proud of them and was excited to see their first appearance on the show. He also thanked TNH for its coverage, mentioning that the family in Greece was happy to see the article in the Greek edition.
The anticipation was building at Ousia as everyone waited for the show to begin at 9 PM. The moment the Livanos family appeared onscreen, on the TVs all around the restaurant and bar area, applause and cheers filled the space. In the first round, they impressed the judges, including Greek-American celebrity chef Cat Cora with a delicious spanakopita made with olive oil and not butter. Cora was skeptical about the use of olive oil instead of butter to brush the phyllo dough, but after tasting the Livanos’ spanakopita, she said she was a changed woman.
Their chicken cutlets also wowed the judges as American chef Graham Elliot exclaimed, “This chicken is sick!” For those unfamiliar with the slang, that means very good. Lorena noted that the recipe they used was from Nona (grandma) Giovanna.
In the following round of the competition, the Livanos family presented their take on the classic American burger, fries, and milkshake with the show-stopping shish-ka-burger, fries with rosemary and sea salt, and a baklava milkshake. The judges were again impressed with the flavors and originality of the mom and sons, as Cora pointed out how well the Livanos family works together and also cares about the presentation of the food.
During commercial breaks, many took to social media, noting the many posts in support of the Livanos family. Mini-burgers, also known as sliders, and milkshakes were being served as well for those at the viewing party to get a taste of the recipes on the show. A special drinks menu, including cocktails made with Gin Mare, was also available.
For those interested in the outcome of the show, spoiler alert, for those who have yet to see the episode, the Livanos family was pronounced safe and will appear in next week’s episode. Cheers and applause then filled Ousia once again as family and friends congratulated the members of the team who were present, Johnny and Lorena. Enrico was out of town.
Everyone is looking forward to the next episode and wished the Livanos family all the best in the competition.
ABC’s Family Food Fight airs on Thursdays at 9 PM.