This foodie destination was recently awarded with one golden hat: it embodies the meaning of both gastronomy and gastrophie
Executive chef Olivier Campanha and head chef Vani Barbouti are the owners of the acclaimed F&W restaurant. F&W —which also has as sommelier the unique John Makris Aiws— was recently awarded with one golden hat: Greece’s prestigious culinary distinction. The popular restaurant resides in the chic area of Kolonaki, in front of the small square at the end of Xenocratous street. This foodie destination embodies the meaning of both gastronomy and gastrophie. If a gastronome devotes themselves to the art of cooking (so as to prepare and present a food and wine menu that enhances each time the education of our palate in a friendly environment), a gastrosophe is the person with a professional experience in gastronomy and hospitality.
One thing is for sure, after enjoying a panoramic view of Athens from the restaurant’s prime location near Lycabettus Hill, one cannot help but savor the contemporary specialties. The menu of the restaurant is influenced principally by nouvelle cuisine which was created during the 1970s and 1980s as a response to the decline of the preceding haute cuisine.
The main features of nouvelle cuisine (which owes its existence to Fernand Point , the student of the great haute cuisine chef Edoua Nignon) are exhibited in F&W’s menu: for example, the simplification of its menu, and the minimization of cooking time and the use of fresh ingredients on a daily basis from the local market which are incorporated in the menu itself. As far as sauces are concerned, the roux (flour and butter) sauce is totally excluded, for the taste pendulum swings to sauces that ‘enliven the spirit and leave the stomach light’.
The main features of nouvelle cuisine are exhibited in F&W’s menu
The next element that clearly defines the F&W menu can be also examined firsthand after a three minute drive from Megaron, one of the two Athens’ primary cultural centers. This very element comes from the next big step in modern cuisine, molecular gastronomy. The term coined by the physician Nicholas Kurti and the physical chemist Herve This, means the pairing of science with gastronomy.
French chef P. Garnaire who collaborated with This after completing his training, consequently became Campanha and Barbouti’s executive chef at the restaurant Sketz in London. Garnaire’s culinary influences result in the integration of some of the main elements of molecular gastronomy in the daily menu of F&W. That means the preparation of smaller portions and more dishes on the one hand, and the cooking of meat for more time in low temperatures on the other. At the same time, the use of jellies and foams and seemingly unusual combinations, like chocolate and blue cheese, becomes another characteristic of molecular gastronomy cuisine. Its ultimate goal is to avoid taste saturation, achieve ultimate meat tenderness and flavor, and enhance overall the sense of taste.
The disciples of the proud tradition of gastronomy and gastrosophie offer their services all over Europe, including Greece thanks to F&W. It is worth a visit in order to partake in this modern interpretation of Mediterranean cuisine.
Fresh Langoustine From Pefki Evoia / Tempura & Jelly Lime – Hibiscus / Plancha & Satay / Cooked a la Minute / Baby Beetroots – Colored Baby Carrots / Mascarpone Ice Cream- Brown Rum Jelly
Grilled Red Tuna -Malabar Peppers
Photos by Antonis Tsoulos