Eat A Frenchman in Santorini
How would you describe your menu at Santoro?
At Santoro, we aim to highlight excellent Greek ingredients, using haute French gastronomy techniques. Our philosophy is through this meeting. We aim to give our guests an unforgettable culinary experience that combines the authentic tastes of Santorini, Cyclades and Greece as a whole, in a sophisticated style rooted in classic French culinary traditions.
What role do local ingredients play in shaping your menu?
Santorini has a wealth of excellent ingredients from which we draw inspiration. In our dishes, you will find many Santorini flagship products, including fava beans, cherry tomatoes, capers, its fantastic wines, and much more.
How difficult was it to marry the techniques of high gastronomy with local Santorini traditions?
I’ve sampled a wide range of products and learned recipes, both traditional and new, from locals across the Greek island. A chef in Santorini is lucky to have such a great selection of top quality local ingredients to work with. When you have such a variety at such high quality, and backed by long standing traditions, you can do many things.
What’s your favorite dish on the menu and why?
I love cooking fish. After all, I specialize in fish and adore the infinite creative choices it gives you as a base, since you can play with different sauces and a wide combination of ingredients. My favorite current dish at Santoro is the Cylinder of “Fava,” with bottarga, white chocolate and lime, a wonderful combination of exquisite technique and flavors that “burst” in your mouth.
Did the restaurant’s location and its magical views influence the design of your menu?
Santoro is located in a magnificent spot. For us, this is a great advantage but also a great challenge. It’s hard to compete with a view like the one spread out in front of our guests; our dishes must be just as spectacular. We hope they are.
What is your opinion on the modern Greek gastronomic scene?
Gastronomy in Greece is now in a new era. Diners have become more demanding than they were just a generation ago. They’re now open to new gastronomic experiences, know what they’re looking for, and hard to impress, which unequivocally raises the standard of dining. This is very important because it motivates our chefs to evolve and look for new techniques and ingredients to satisfy even the most demanding palate.
The original interview first appeared in Madame Figaro. It has been translated to English and lightly edited.