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Q&A with Michael Psilakis

Throughout the New York City Food & Wine Festival this weekend, Eater welcomes bloggers, journalists and food world stars to our lounge at the Standard Hotel. As the peeps pass through, we're going to chat them up and spit out the dialogue here in this business, From the Eater Lounge. Right now: chef Michael Psilakis.

2009_10_michaelps.jpgSo what have you been up to this week at the festival? MP: Well, I did the Burger Bash last night—we did a French dip hamburger from [my new restaurant] Gus & Gabriel. I’m here with my son and we’re going to walk around and see everyone.

Any changes happening at Gus & Gabriel? We’re having fun, it’s been a good restaurant for us. We’re in the process of putting some tv’s in and taking a few notes out of Wells’ review. Also, we have a couple of new dishes coming up for the fall menu.

What else has been happening restaurant wise for you? MP: Now, the biggest project for me is down in Greece. I’ve been down there a few times and it’s an exciting project not only because I’ve been wanting to open a project there for a long time, but it’s also going to ultimately be one of the largest green properties in the world. We’re going to have all of our own farmers and livestock on the property. The guy who’s helping us putting it together has been working on it for over twenty years.

What’s going to be the concept behind that restaurant? MP: It’s always been my goal to showcase Greek food in the states. I’ve wanted to align Greek cuisine with the more well known ones—French, Spanish and Italian. We’ve been able to do a lot of that here. But my big idea for this new restaurant is Greece is that I want to take that back there and show them what we’ve been doing here. I’d also like to get back to more formal dining with food that articulates what’s going on in my head.

Anything on the horizon here in the states? MP: There’s stuff here on the table in the states, but the Greek thing is really dominating everything for me. It’s penciled to open up next May. So, until then, that’s the only thing I’m concentrating on right now.

You’ve obviously been insanely busy. MP: I always do a couple of things at the festival. I have two different other things going on in Miami as well. I wrote a cookbook and am in the middle of all the things associated with that. I was also a judge for Guy Fieri’s show. So, yeah, I’ve been busy. Right now, it’s all about getting back into the kitchen and getting down to the basics.
· All NYWFF 2009 Coverage [~ENY~]