There is something truly infections about David Tsirekas’ passion for food. From his weatlh of experience as a restaurant owner, Executive Chef and now Chef In Residence at Zeus, David’s joy carries through everything he does, to share the story of Greek food with others.
LET’S START FROM THE BEGINNING – WHERE DID YOUR PASSION FOR FOOD STEM FROM?
In a previous life I was a swim/water polo coach. I took up cooking when I was in my late 20’s when I was offered my sisters partnership in her restaurant. As I didn’t have any experience cooking, I started to read books to expand my knowledge as I believed there was more to Greek food than the usual suspects. I began to read everything from Homer’s The Iliad to Plato’s Republic and Pythagoras manuscripts to understand where Greek food had come from in ancient times, and progressed through history. I think the entire journey of the Hellenic empire from ancient times to now has been my inspiration and the love and nurturing my mother and father have shown through their love of cooking for themselves, our family and friends and community beyond that.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT GREEK FOOD?
That it has an immense history of cultural, spiritual and intellectual complexity moreso than the generic Greek food we have been served outside its own borders. I love to present it and tell a story behind the dish. Its important to deliver that story of food and its relationship to the people that create it.
YOUR WEALTH OF CULINARY EXPERIENCE HAS SEEN YOU BECOME A RESTAURANT OWNER, EXECUTIVE CHEF, CONSULTANT AND NOW THE CHEF IN RESIDENCE AT ZEUS. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY HAS BEEN ONE OF YOUR MOST MEMORABLE CULINARY EXPERIENCES SO FAR?
My continuing learning and understanding the nuances and evolution of Greek cuisine at all levels and making it accessible to more people. Expanding their appreciation of Greek cuisine again beyond the generic beliefs we have of what it truly is.
WHAT FOOD TREND HAS INSPIRED YOU RECENTLY
None. I like to set the trends in Greek food.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE ITEM ON ZEUS’ NEW MENU, AND WHY?
My favourite is actually balancing the meal with some meat off the spit and getting an assortment of salads. Best way to eat. And some chips with our mustard mayo!!!
WHAT MAKES ZEUS UNIQUE IN THE BRISBANE FOOD SCENE?
Brisbane is home to a wonderful close knit Greek Community. It best resembles the early Greek settlers and how they pioneered cafes and restaurants in Australia. In Brisbane, there is the largest Greek Island community anywhere and they were the first to come to Australia in the late 1800s to early 1900s. The Kytherians were renowned for their food hospitality, and this is synonymous with Zeus as well. They paved the way of introducing the benefits of the Southern Mediterranean diet. The food is a reflection of the climate and personality of Brisbane and Queensland, and is suited perfectly.