The Greek edition of Cypriot chef Andreas Mavrommatis’ cookbook, titled, 45 Recipes from Greece, Made with Love is now available by Gastronomy Essentials, following the success of the French edition published by Ducasse. The award-winning Mavrommatis made a name for himself in France with the gourmet delicacies of Greece and Cyprus served in his restaurant, Les Mavrommatis, in Paris, the first Michelin-starred Greek restaurant outside of Greece, proving Greek cuisine’s place on the map of world gastronomy.
Full of recipes sharing the authentic flavors of Greece and Cyprus, the cookbook features the praises of renowned filmmaker Costa Gavras and Greek-French journalist and entertainer Nikos Aliagas, just two of the famous people who are fans of Mavrommatis and his cuisine.
Each of the 45 recipes in the book invites readers to discover new Mediterranean flavors and smells, to travel with all their senses from mainland Greece to the Aegean islands, Crete and the mountains of Cyprus. They are all inspired by Mavrommatis’ childhood in his village of Limassol, his mother’s kitchen, and family dinners. Using local Greek and Cypriot products and enriching Greek cuisine with French cooking techniques, he manages to create sophisticated dishes that retain a strong Mediterranean character. His updated, yet traditional recipes include lentil soup with manouri cheese, roasted quail in vine leaves with honey, thyme, and bulgur pilaf with pistachio nuts from Aegina, pork cheeks with quince and retsina, moussaka, roasted halloumi, and gazpacho with strawberries and tomatoes.
Costa Gavras said “My dear friend and chef Andreas presents to you recipes that come from Greek wealth, created in the manner of Mavrommatis and come from all sources that fed him, “sans jamais assouvir sa faim” (without ever erasing hunger), as our mutual friend, Georges Moustaki, sang.”
In the book’s preface, Nikos Aliagas writes, “Andreas Mavrommatis, an alchemist who accurately transfers our emotions to his dishes, draws his inspiration from the purity of olive oil, the velvety texture of a red wine, the bittersweet oregano… This man is a poet and his recipes will thank you in a thousand ways. Bon appetit!”
Mavrommatis is considered a pioneer in promoting Greek cuisine abroad, “a meeting place for lovers of another Greece, far from the gastronomic stereotypes that characterize it,” according to Aliagas. Today, Mavrommatis and his brothers, Evagoras and Dionysios, are co-owners of the popular restaurant chain Maison Mavrommátis based in France, with four restaurants in the City of Light, one in Cyprus, and nine Greek and Cypriot specialty food shops in Paris, Nice, and Marseille.
Their creative, traditional Cypriot and Greek cuisine, in its modernized version, incorporating French techniques, is beloved of many celebrities and politicians including Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuel Macron, Nicolas Sarkozy, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Garry Kasparov, Carla Bruni, Giorgos Dalaras, Georges Corraface, Alexis Tsipras, Yiannis Varoufakis, and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The greatest recognition for the three brothers from Cyprus came on March 5, 2018 when Les Mavrommatis” received the first Michelin star for Greek cuisine abroad, which it continues to maintain. A few weeks later, Andreas Mavrommatis was awarded the Gold Medal of the French Cooks and became the country’s top chef and ambassador of Greek gastronomy in Paris.
Born in a small village in the Pitsilia region of Cyprus and a lover of French culture, Andreas Mavrommatis went to Paris in 1977 to study psychology. But working in a restaurant for a living, he discovered his love of the culinary arts and the entrepreneurship associated with it. So he decided to switch careers and studied gastronomy at the famed Lenotre School. In 1981, he and his brothers opened a small grocery in the 5th District of Paris, with products from Cyprus and Greece. Some time later they created their first restaurant, Les Delices d’Aphrodite, followed by Mavrommátis, two “Bistrot Mavrommátis” and eight more specialty food shops.
Their stores also sell their own brand of products with Greek flavors, which they pack at their factory in the suburbs of Paris and as an indication of their high demand they sell 150 kg of taramosalata a day. Greek-Cypriot delicacies in France have become so popular that the book includes special reference to halloumi and Commandaria as well as a guide to Greek products like PDO feta, graviera, kasseri, kolokassi, Kalamata olives, Chios mastic, and Greek yogurt.
Mavrommatis’ book is available online: cucina.gr