When I heard that Funky Gourmet won its first Michelin star, I was thrilled, but not surprised. They well deserved it and I am sure that they are going to win a second in the years to come.
Still, thick tears came into my eyes. I have been there to watch this mature, since it was still an idea, a dream. I think chef patron Georgianna Hiliadaki is a bliss and I was lucky to have been following her since day one. When she came back from her studies in the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, her father was so proud for his daughter that he was anxious to show her off. She had done her practicing in “Kitchen 82” with Charlie Palmer in the Upper West Side NY and then worked in the team of chef Ferran Adrià, constantly seeking new culinary horizons.
There, in the premises of “EL Bulli”, she worshipped the master of molecular gastronomy. I still remember the first bite I had, by her gifted hands. I knew right away that a shinning star had fallen onto the Greek gastronomy.
Georgianna had already met her talented partner, Nick Roussos, back in the States and they were imagining the whole plan, like all young people do. I was confident that their choice of Keramikos, as the Athenian neighbourhood to nest their new restaurant, was full of guts. And when you have guts, glory will surely follow. They picked an old neoclassic house, which they immediately renovated, giving it a modern, minimal touch. People from suburbs that never even knew the whereabouts of Kerameikos, are now storming in, giving the city center a boost as well. The mayor of Athens should have their name in a golden shield outside the City Hall, if you ask me.
Anyway, this is haute cuisine at its absolute best, stylized and sophisticated. It’s art on a plate. And if you can afford it, please, take your kids there as well. It is worth it all the way. They will get to witness what it is like to be served a small “olive tree” on the plate. They will basically be introduced to what fine food looks like, smells like, tastes like. And the rite of dessert is just divine. The whole team will come to your table and create a Black Forrest, where every single element of it is edible and delicious. It’s an experience that they will cherish forever. And who knows? Maybe this will mark the day, your little angels will admit they have decided to become a chef, like Georgianna, making you as proud, as her father is today.
By the way, Prix-Fixe Eight Course Degustation Menu lies at 78 Euro, drinks not included!
Paramythias 13 & Salaminos, Kerameikos, Athens
T: +30 21 0524 2727