Kuzina Restaurant is located in downtown Athens at Thiseio, at Adrianou 9, opposite the train tracks. From the verandah of this beautifully restored three-storey neoclassical house, the view to the temple of Hephaistos in the foreground and the Stoa of Attalos in the background, the Ancient Agora and the Acropolis above it is unsurpassed.
Running the show in Kuzina’s kitchen is Aris Tsanaklidis, one of the first generation of chefs who contributed to the renewal of Greek cuisine. His mother, herself an excellent cook, and his birthplace, Thessaloniki, a city with a rich gastronomic tradition, provided his introduction to good food and interesting tastes. At the age of 20, he went to the US, to study in Washington, DC, where he worked part-time in an Italian restaurant to make ends meet. There he became aware of his love for cooking and quit his university courses in political science to enroll in the Culinary Institute of America.
After that he pursued an international career and by 2006, when he began setting up Kuzina, he had worked in well-known restaurants in the Virgin Islands, New York City, Mexico, Japan, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Washington.
His cosmopolitan background and acquaintance with so many different cultures have defined Aris’s gastronomic personality, turning him into one of the most imaginative and daring chefs of his generation. At Kuzina, Aris presents new ideas with the finest ingredients Greece has to offer, creating Greek dishes with particularly strong fusion overtones.
Aris opened his heart to us:
“We, the old guard of New Greek Cuisine, went through difficult moments in our day to convince the public we were on the right track. The environment was not very friendly. Eventually, though, we managed to open new roads. I am pleased that young Greek chefs today are open to all countries with a gastronomic tradition, because they are hard working, imaginative, flexible, and they have learned to survive under difficult conditions. I help them whenever I can with my contacts so that they can try their luck abroad.
Greece has exceptional fish, unique herbs, amazing lamb and kid, and we have the possibility through these products, if we develop them properly, to become an even greater presence in the food sector”.
There are no ‘must taste’ signature dishes at Kuzina because Aris likes to change the menu constantly, and in any case he and his team have so many ideas that it would be a sin not to propose them to his diners. His formula has worked so far. Kuzina is one of the few Athens restaurants with a Michelin star.