In Conversation With Michael Psilakis, Pt.1

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Michael Psilakis portrait low resThe first time I saw or heard of Michael Psilakis is when he appeared on Iron Chef America vs. Cat Cora. Michael Psilakis is part-owner and chef of Kefi and Anthos, both located in Manhattan.

I had the pleasure of dining at Kefi last year when I visited New York and I was proud as a Greek when he cooked for President Obama and family on the occasion of Greek Independence Day.

I was fortunate to secure an interview with Michael recently and our chat went to over an hour! Michael and I discuss the recent opening of Eos, a Greek-inspired restaurant in Miami.

Michael and I have a wonderful conversation about his ventures, Greek food be it traditional or contemporary, the ingredients in Greek cooking, his approach to menus, growing up Greek in America, his memories of cooking in the White House, his future plans and his thoughts on where Greek cuisine is going.

With the interview clocking in at over an hour, I’ve decided to give you installments of the conversation.

From listening to my chat with Michael, you immediately detect his passion as a Greek and ultimately for Greek cuisine. I do hope you enjoy my chat with Michael Psilakis as much as I did. He’s is truly inspired and he’s definitely become a person I greatly admire.

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© 2007-2009 Peter Minakis

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Peter Minakis

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20 Comments for “In Conversation With Michael Psilakis, Pt.1”


Oh Gosh! What a great opportunity for you! this must have been so exciting! I’m glad you had this experience, I know it must have meant a lot for you.
Great interview, I look forward to the next installment :)


Wow, great interview! I’m not sure I could handle a 9 course Offal menu though. I liked the story about when he was a boy and having to kill the lamb & goat he had befriended. I can totally relate to that one. ;)


Great interview Peter – you were so professional. I look forward to the next bit!
P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!


Really engaging interview.
Went to the Kefi website to check things out- One thing that struck a chord w/ me was that the prices were on-par with what you’d find here in rural Kansas restaurants (if we could get octopus).
Would totally listen if you started podcasting, btw.


Oooh, how exciting to talk with him! He and Michael Symon (sp?) look so much alike. I like both of them! Great interview!


What a great interview, Peter! You have SUCH the Canadian accent. hehe ;) I definitely hope to get to eat at a Psilakis restaurant some time soon. Looking forward to the next segment.


WOW Peter! I am so proud of you! You did a fantastic job (as always). Psilakis is a very important asset for Greece and I hope that he will give Greek food the name it deserves. I am looking forward to the rest of the interview.


You did a great job! You gave him the floor and, boy, did he run with it…showing his professionalism, personality and passion. He’s quite a guy! I posted a little about Kefi & his newest venture, Gus & Gabriel, earlier this week.


This was great to listen to. As I have many friends who have or had Greek restaurants in the U.S.-I can identify with many of your questions regarding the menu. Very nice…Bravo sou!


Peter, this was just an interesting interview! You did a great job with questions and Michael was very open with his answers. I liked the part where he talked about offal and how everything the animal has to offer is appreciated in Greek cuisine. Another similarity with Azerbaijani cuisine, actually the cuisine of the entire region of the Caucasus, Azerbaijan being part of it, where every single part of lamb is used and nothing is thrown away. Off to listen to the rest of the interview:) Thank you!