History of Greek Food

Before the (male) chef became a chef, he was…

Who rules the roast might rule the seas

Before the (male) chef….

Lefteris Lazarou, Varoulko’s head chef

….became a chef,

Nicholas Tselementes, the moderniser of Greek cuisine.  

He was a chef for many years at the St. Moritz Hotel. 

he was an archimageiros (chief- cook).

An archimageiros in restaurants, often based in fine hotels,

 Cooks  (mageiroi) in the kitchen of  Aktaion hotel ~Palaion Faliron

or an archimageiros on a ship….

…. an artist in the kitchens of the rich.

He was  a mageiros in Byzantine inns (pandoheia)

Βυζαντινό πανδοχείο βρέθηκε στα Τέμπη

Byzantine inn (Tempi, 829-842)
Photo: Vasiliki Paschali – ΑPΕ-BΕ

 and in  Graeco-Roman taverns.

Reconstruction of a Roman taverna from Demetrias /Thessaly (Museum of Volos)

He was an excellent cook in the kitchen of the rich,

in Greece

Casa Romana / Cos island

in Rome

where Greek cookery stood in high regard and an archimageiros could rise to great heights of civic importance
“the conquered thus conquered the conquerors”.

During the Hellenistic and Classical periods, a mageiros was a high- skilled cook*, a culinary specialist, a butcher and a tradesman (demiourgos).**

Of course, he was an artist in the kithchen of the rich.

But before a mageiros became a mageiros, he was a priest
responsible for  slaughtering, roasting and dispersal of sacrificial meat.

Preparation for symposium~ Evrytios krater (Corinthian black -figure krater)
*Cookery was recognized as techne (art or skill).
** It was this time that commerce filled the tables with white bread, abundant fish and vegetables, and Persian banquets had a profound influence on Athenian eating habits.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

One thought on “Before the (male) chef became a chef, he was…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *