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Chef Goes Greek October 29, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.

Chef Michael Psilakis grew up in a traditional Greek family, complete with big parties and lots of food. At his two Manhattan restaurants, Onera and Dona, he puts his own inventive twist on Greek cuisine. 

As the eldest son in a traditional, first-generation Greek family on Long Island, N.Y., Chef Psilakis was destined to embody the hospitality and appreciation for food so highly valued by his party-loving family. “Fun” in the Psilakis household often meant gatherings of up to 30 or 40 guests, during which the young Michael ran drink orders, refilled trays and helped with the cooking

He was the first member of his family to go to college where, to please his father, he earned a degree in accounting and finance. After college and a short career as a waiter, he bought a trattoria, christened it Ecco, and one day, when the chef didn’t show up for work, Psilakis had no choice but to step in. A year later, with Psilakis in the kitchen, Ecco received a two-star rating from the New York Times.

The opening of Onera allowed Michael to return to Greek-inspired cuisine. But he was still busy managing the eatery and he missed simply cooking. That dream came true when his friend, restaurateur Donatella Arpaia, asked him to become executive chef at her new restaurant, Dona. He accepted and began crafting a menu that celebrates the bounty of Southern Europe. Esquire magazine has named Dona one of the best new restaurants in the U.S. for 2006.

Related Links > http://www.oneranyc.com 

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