Manolis Pantazis: Owner of restaurant Na Me Thimasai27-01-2015 13:25Mr Pantazis, you own the restaurant "Na me thimasai", which means "Remember Me". How did you come up with this name?
Well, it was Aggelos Petroulakis', my father' s in law idea. He is a writer, he's good with words, and he apparently wanted to give a name that would stay forever... Now, how did we come up with the idea of opening a restaurant? I have been in the cooking field for years and I always thought of creating something of my own. We discussed about it one day and decided to start the business...
Would you like to give us an insight into the character and philosophy of "Na me thimasai". Which is the identity of your business and its cuisine?
I would say that we combine Greek products to certain European culinary techniques that I think is the basis of a delicious and affordable kitchen. If we consider French kitchen as the A and Z and the one taught in every culinary school, I would say that I try to adjust my dishes on that, so as to give the best result on my clients' table.
Art and cuisine... As the owner and head chef of "Na me thimasai" restaurant, do you think these two terms are compatible?
Yes, undoubtedly. In the kitchen you take simple things, raw materials, and by using your culinary art and knowledge, you try to create something complex, related to many senses, such as sight, taste and smell.. as artists do.
How do you combine the concepts of food tasting and wine tasting in your business?
It's simple if you take for granted that the best wine is the one that suits someone's taste best at that specific time. This comes first. All the other follow: the variety, the characteristics, if the wine has been aged or if colours have been added... What is primary and respected is the wine to be the best for any person at that time and of course if it is perfectly combined with the dishes he enjoys, so that the last mouthful of food has the same taste momentum with the first one.
What would you recommend as to taste? Tell us the "not to miss" dishes of your restaurant.
What make us different from other businesses on the field of catering is the fact that we are constantly looking for the best materials. We search for fresh fish, we strive to have the most tender beef, pure cheese and olive oil, even if we have to drive a 800 km route to find it, driving from Larissa to Messinia, Peloponnese. I believe that all the dishes in our restaurant are equivalent. I find it difficult to say this one is better than the other.. like parents find it hard to talk better over a child.. We pay the same attention on a simple dish, like we do on a complex one. When I hear a chef saying "this is our best dish", I think of it as a mistake..
Manolis Pantazis (short CV)
Manolis Pantazis had his first contact with culinary art when at military service and has never stayed away from the kitchen since then! Taking advantage of a subsidized program of the European Union, he found himself workin as a trainee in a Belgian restaurant. There, he learnt the secrets of French cuisine, so when he returned back to Greece after seven months, he easily worked as a chief in five star hotels in Rhodes. Then he went back to Larissa city to work for the Imperial Hotel. After gaining multiple experience in many catering businesses, he decided to open his own restaurant. So, the last few years, he's been the head chef of the "Na me thimasai" (=Remember me) restaurant, where he creates unique and tasteful dishes that impress even the most demanding...
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