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Taste Greece with Chef Giannis Margaris

We met Chef Giannis Margaris at the Melograno Restaurant on the island of Kefalonia and talked about how his love for Greece is expressed through his dishes and the Greek contemporary gastronomic scene.

Creativity and passion are some of Giannis Margaris ‘ qualities, which is why his work enriches Greek gastronomy with new expressions. His love for Greece and the sunkissed Greek products grown either over the mountains or next to the sea-inspired him to elevate every menu he designs with mouth-watering dishes blended with unbeatable fresh aromas, delicious flavours and surprising combinations that offer each guest a journey around the roots of the blessed Mediterranean earth. Giannis Margaris, the rewarded chef, took over the new entry in Kefalonia’s restaurants, Melograno All Day Restaurant, and soon made it the place to be on the beautiful Ionian island, welcoming local and international guests to a delectable gastronomic journey like no other.

Born and raised on the beautiful Greek island of Zakynthos, Giannis Margaris loves everything Ionian and Greek and is inspiring enough to challenge his endless creativity. Hence, being on the neighbouring island of Kefalonia to take over the cuisine of the new restaurant Melograno All Day Restaurant, gives him a sense of “feeling like home”.

Melograno All Day Restaurant is a new restaurant right in the heart of Argostoli’s main square, and before you even taste it, the beautiful boho decoration invites you inside. It is the new great challenge for the Spathis family known in Kefalonia for their bakery and pastry shops chain. The Spathis family envisioned their first restaurant to showcase the island’s gastronomy and found the perfect match in the hands of chef Giannis Margaris. Their love and constant search for top-quality Greek products, his deep knowledge, his broad experience and many success stories in his background, and his unquestionable talent make him one of the favourite chefs on the Greek contemporary gastronomic scene. Giannis Margaris loves the variety and unique tastes of Greek products. His incredible talent made Melograno restaurant ‘the talk of the town’ from the first day of its opening in July 2021.
The picturesque square of Argostoli became then fusion o flavours and aromas that come out from the kitchen of Melograno All Day Restaurant, inviting passers-by to join the promising deliciousness and joy in its happy interiors when, of course, there is an available table are Melograno All Day Restaurant is now a destination on its own.

What made you decide to take over Melograno All-day Restaurant?

Melograno is a new restaurant in Kefalonia, and from the start, the aim was to highlight the local products that are made on the island and are unique. Such products are the locally produced wines- especially the local sweet wine is exceptional!- the local varieties of cheese, the sweets with a long tradition and many more. The first thing I began working on before creating the menu was to ask for all the fresh, local products made in Kefalonia to be brought into our kitchen. I worked on how these unique products can be or add a new experience to every possible plate. I was genuinely amazed by the Kefalonian tastes, and I didn’t want to lose them. Moreover, these fresh, locally made ingredients are now the highlight of our cuisine as the guest can taste Greek and international specialities with the island’s unique signature. I believe that this makes Melograno restaurant so unique and is why it became the meeting point for the whole island, visitors and locals alike, as we have guests coming from around the island to taste our menu from early morning until late in the evening.

What do you think about Greek cuisine?

Greek cuisine has an identity with many recipes and dishes that are world-famous, like the simple Greek salad, for example; I can’t imagine any place in the world not serving a Greek salad! It always makes me happy to hear about every effort abroad to show the richness, uniqueness and extraordinary tastes we have in Greece. Greek cuisine is based on simplicity, and it is inspired by it. Its central core is the fresh, exceptionally tasteful local products that need so little to create a mouth-watering plate. The challenge is finding these amazing local products and presenting them carefully and right in Greece and internationally. The role of my generation is this, to point out and travel the Greek gastronomic wealth and successfully get the perfect positioning and place in the worldwide food scene. After all, the Mediterranean is a heavenly place on earth. In addition, we have now a return of the younger generations back to the agricultural field, and the fact that they have more knowledge and technology in hand makes me believe that there is more to see in the future than what is now evident in the Greek cuisine and gastronomy.

What are some characteristic plates on your menu for Melograno All Day Restaurant?

I would suggest the Greek Caprese, nut-crusted fried “graviera” cheese served with pomegranate cream and crushed “mantoles’ on top, the fresh tomato sauces with the local sweet wine, which I like to use a lot in my recipes, and of course the fresh fish.

What makes Greece so unique as a travel destination?

Greece is the sun and the incredible sea and coastlines, like the ones in the Ionian islands, where the beauty of the waters is truly mesmerising. The traditional cuisine with an enormous richness in freshness and aromas that have so much potential to grow even more so that more guests from around the world can have the pleasure of experiencing it. Greece is a taste full of fresh, surprising aromas that remain unforgettable in your heart, simple and honest as the country itself.

Melograno All Day Restaurant | Pl. Vallianou 1, Argostoli, Kefalonia | 281 00 +30 2671 022297 |  info@melogranorestaurant.gr

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