We had the opportunity to meet the warm-hearted, talented chef and beautiful soul, Krystina Kalapothakos. Krystina is a Greek-American chef and cookbook author, who lives in California, but visits Greece almost every year. She recently had her second cookbook published and it was a great honor for us to write an article for the gastronomy of Thessaloniki at this second cookbook, titled “a Drop of Ladi & MY GREEK SOUL”. We are extremely excited that Krystina accepted to give us an interview for our blog and tell us many interesting details about her life and her career!
We are very happy to introduce Krystina to our friends and followers!
1.Krystina, why have you chosen a career in the field of culinary arts, particularly as a chef?
My love for food started at a very young age. Both my parents are wonderful cooks, and we have many cooks on my dad’s side of the family in Greece. Growing up in a crazy Greek family who appreciates food was a good start toward my love for cooking. At the age of seven, I was officially making my own Greek recipes including spanakopita, keftedes, baklava, and much more.
In 2008, I acknowledged the passion I had for culinary art and enrolled in the pastry chef program at Le Cordon Bleu in Sacramento, California. In 2009 I graduated with my pastry degree. I later became a sous chef on the island of Skiathos working at a Tapas restaurant. In 2011, I tested my skills in a Japanese restaurant and became a sushi chef.
Kouzounas Kitchen is dedicated to my yiayia, Stavroula Kouzouna Kalapothakou. Yiayia was from Mani, Greece and was a fantastic home cook. I learned many of her traditional Greek recipes and now I share them through my blog. (I hope yiayia is looking down upon me smiling as I share many of her delicious recipes with my very own twist).
I fulfilled a long-awaited dream of mine recently. Back To My Roots cookbook was published on February 28, 2016. Back To My Roots is not only packed full of mouth-watering recipes, but I also share my personal story, kitchen tips and tricks, bits and pieces of the history of olive oil and its benefits, and much, much more!
2.What inspires you when you are in the kitchen?
3. You have already written 2 cookbooks. Share some details about your first cookbook ‘’ Back To My Roots’’. What is the meaning of the word “roots” in your life?
4. Now tell us about your second cook book “a Drop of Ladi & MY GREEK SOUL”.
This is a hard question because I have a special spot in my heart for all these places. But since I have visited Thessaloniki, Crete, and Athens the last few years, I would say I want to visit Mani again. I haven’t been back to our hometown since 2016, and I miss it so much. I have many memories in Mani and I would love to go back and visit with family.