The Chef

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Welcome to Koukoumavlos

MEET OUR RENOWNED CHEF
NIKOS POULIASIS

A celebrated chef in Greece and abroad. He receives Torque d’Or, the most prestigious culinary award in our country, every year. Talented, unpredictable, intelligent, spontaneous, always in love with creative gastronomy and Santorini, Nikos Pouliasis will surprise you with his elegant and inventive dishes.

Cooking is an adventure. A road full of options… For the past 28 years cooking has always been a constant part of Nikos Pouliasis’ life. His growth as a chef has been a fluid experience gained from trial and error. “In cooking there is no perfection. The moment that the cook creates a dish and says, that’s it, I got it, the same moment he also reaches his limits, in order to surpass them the next time. And you must surpass them.  If you believe that what you created is perfect, then there will be no evolution…”. 

People from all over the world share his passion for cooking. They enjoy his creative dishes and fine wines at his predominant restaurant, Koukoumavlos, in Fira-Santorini. They also enjoy his company, since Nikos is not only an excellent gastronomy chef, but also a very energetic, friendly and extroverted person. Creativity is an innate part of his personality and when you combine his drive with his creative brilliance, you have a combination that’s tough to beat…

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The relationship with Santorini. Many years now both of them look like as if they are dancing a tango, sometimes following the rules, sometimes improvising in such way that no other partner could follow. And this is what makes them …inseparable!

“To Santorini I owe the continuous transformation of my dishes and the new suggestions that appear in the menu each year. The phrase: there is nothing more permanent than the temporary, fits perfectly both to Santorini and my cooking… My relationship with this volcanic island is extraordinary. What it means to me could not be explained in social, psychological or historical terms. In my case there is something more: it is the way that the notion of decay and death is revealed to me and how it gets through me. Wherever I may roam I get the feeling of the definite. And as soon as I realize this, I feel reborn, because I have experienced and understood it”.

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Ingredients and memory. As soon as you taste his dishes you realize one simple truth: There are no …rules in his cooking! The ingredients are combined in unpredictable ways. You will be served with small “pieces of art” where every bite is a real gastronomic adventure. Don’t analyze it, or try to rationalize: Just enjoy it! “Cooking is not supposed to be understood 100%. Otherwise it leads to dogmatism and conventions. If we do not stand in front of what is called tradition and criticize it, we cannot go any further…”, says the Chef.

His technique and skills may play the main role, but his asset is the ability to inspire true feelings, through unexpected combinations. “Cooking is a utopia. It is a temporary form of art. It only survives through the reconstructing memory. From the first bite you should be able to tell, by the spark of memory, the ingredients composing a dish. And that is what makes it interesting. Without the memory there is no pleasure in food”…

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Enjoy our elegant dining hall and terrace offering stunning views to the Santorini volcano and the caldera.

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