During our recent visit to Greece we had the pleasure of meeting Teo and his team at Lifestyle Cooking Mykonos, where embarked on a cultural & culinary experience set upon the vibrant blue Aegean.More than just food–Chef Teo crafts dishes in front of you, ingredient by ingredient while you nestle in on the back of his beautifully crafted vessel.
Teo’s Dining Concept The menu is never fixed and is decided on the day. Teo simply, uses locally sourced or seasonal produce and whatever the catch of the day is. He understands the land and appreciates its produce and cooks with hardly any waste. It’s respectfully simple.
Far removed from the cliché of the all-powerful chef
Born in 1978, on a farm in the Southern region of Greece the son of market-gardeners was raised to respect working with the soil and its natural produce.This was where he developed his tastes at a very early age and quickly learnt to appreciate these ingredients, to preserve and of course, cook with them.
It was his early childhood and major influence from his father that established the path that would lead him down the road to culinary success. Teo manages his team rather like a sports coach who focuses, precisely, on teamwork.He has no time for egos, preferring to base his approach on mutual trust and human relationships, encouraging each person to develop their own potential.He has gone from strength to strength since coming to Mykonos from Athens, when he was just 17.Armed with his experience in top level restaurants and banqueting management in both in Athens and Mykonos his talent has been rewarded time and time again.
Known not only for his unique bohemian style, Teo Iliopoulos has created innovative cooking concepts reflecting Mediterranean influences
What inspired you to create Lifestyle Cooking?
TI: I was inspired by the realisation that basic authentic tastes and attitudes were gradually disappearing. I felt the need to preserve and promote the style of island life I was used to. Knowing that lots of people feel the same way, I decided to launch Lifestyle Cooking and share my experience with as many as possible.
You have been living on Mykonos for the past 20 years, how has the food culture on the island evolved?
TI:The food culture on the island has definitely changed in the course of the last 20 years. We all learn a lot about food, have the chance to experience different flavours from all over the world and shape our own ideas and opinions about them. Still it is remarkable how despite all the input that we have, we also get to appreciate what is traditional and genuine. The visitors of the island can nowadays find everything they would find somewhere else but at the same time get to taste the unique flavours and traditional recipes of Mykonos.
What’s your favourite meal?
TI: My personal favourite meal is a seafood feast. It has a lot to do with the fact that everything on the table comes fresh from the sea and we catch it out ourselves. There is a special kind of primitive feeling to the fact that we get our own food and that brings along a unique satisfaction. Lobsters, sea urchins, clams and mussels are just some of the things we put on our table and we call it a seafood feast for a reason.
Name your favourite ingredients which can be found on Mykonos?
TI: Thyme, tomatoes, figs, prickly pears, and obviously everything the sea has to offer!
If a visitor is looking to experience Mykonos off the beaten path, what would you recommend?
TI: A boat tour around Mykonos to see the remote beaches and places you cannot drive to.
A visit to the sacred island of Delos to feel that special vibe, also to the emerald waters of Rhenia island, ideally combined with a bohemian beach cooking experience.Feeling inspired-We’ve proudly introduced the Teo Edit: Contemporary, Made in England silhouettes, appropriate for land or sea, shop now.