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  • Chryssanthi and the "love of her life", KostasChryssanthi and the "love of her life", Kostas© Cretazine
Crete as we Live it

Chrissanthi Michelaki (Katalagari)

Cretazine Tips

  • The restaurant “I Avli tsi Chryssanthis” is located in the small picturesque village Katalagári, which is 17 km from Heraklion. Tel. 2810751471 (closed on Tuesdays).
  • Be sure to try the "Milalevria", a pastry made of apples, and the homemade pasta, prepared on the spot! 

 

Published in  Humans of Crete
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I had to start cooking at an early age for my family. I got married very young, I had my daughter at 15. My first dish was soup with beef. Back then, cooking did not fascinate me

I started working at restaurants as a waitress. In 2003 I had my own tavern. It’s been three years since I bought this place in Katalagari

If I don’t like something I simply don’t cook it. 

I grew up in a traditional home, with my grandmother as a central figure. So I cook my dishes in the traditional way.

In the kitchen I believe in the importance of imagination. I read recipes but I never take notes. I want to have freedom!

We chose to buy this place with my sister because it had a nice view and it was quiet. From the beginning I wanted our guests to feel “at home”. Almost everyone who comes here becomes our friend. There is more than customer relationship, there is also emotional connection.

It struck me that tourists discovered us on their own, without guidance, this summer. We had a couple who were having their holidays in Hersonissos and came every day to eat here.

This summer we also had a special visit by chef Yotam Ottolenghi. He made a documentary on Channel 4. We found snails and cooked them with hulled grain. We also cooked “koukofava”, ”liver savore” (liver with rosemary fried in olive oil and vinegar), stuffed vegetables... He told us that he intended to put “liver savore” on the menu of his restaurants in London!

 

My philosophy in the kitchen? To cook with love and a sense of freedom.