No surprise that George Chryssaidis is Greek and proud of his heritage. He’s the exuberant owner of three restaurants in St. Augustine, Florida: Athena Cafe, Georgie’s Diner and the Alcazar Cafe in the Lightner Museum. Each has its own style and menu, but all serve fabulous,sensual food. That’s because George infuses his emotions in the mixture–plus one secret ingredient.
Food preparation begins with olive oil and not just any olive oil– only Frixa. George imports Frixa, the purest, first press extra virgin variety directly from Greece. Imagine the skin of a green olive melting into a translucent orb, that’s the color and consistency of the bottled liquid- a hue I’d call Grecian goddess green.
A small simple bowl of oil was presented to me and like a classic Greek beauty, it needed no frills. The dish glistened with golden highlights, the kind you might see in Aphrodite’s hair. Should you choose to add a spoonful of aromatic oregano (George also imports this spice as it grows in the wild- right on the stalk) and a pinch of salt, you have perfected a dipping sauce. Frixa is so divine you might make an entire meal of it smothered on bread. I’m not kidding!
George pays homage to the elixir from Frixa, his hometown hamlet with a population of 500, using about 20 liters a day in his restaurants. I must tell you, I have never tasted such rich and decadent hummus.The best part is that Frixa olive oil is now for sale to customers, so you can take it home and cook with it. Bottles come in three sizes: 250ml, 500ml and 750ml.
St. Augustine stands as America’s oldest city, the site where Ponce de Leon discovered the Fountain of Youth. In ancient Greece and Rome, it was believed that olive oil brought people strength and youth. Frixa oil, found only in the US in St. Augustine, has its own vital force, one that leaps to prize winning heights, perhaps drawn from its roots in nearby Olympia. This very special ingredient will certainly improve your kitchen creations. On the other hand, I’m thinking of trying it as anti-aging emollient on my skin. Who knows, it just might make me more than a mere mortal. It certainly has for George.
To order Frixa oil or wild oregano contact George Chryssaidis at 904 823 9076 or email@example.com.
Athena Cafe’s Spanikopita
Here’s George’s recipe for spanikopita (those yummy spinach and cheese filled triangles) from the Athena Cafe.
Makes 12 triangle pies.
- 1.5 onion
- 2 pounds crumbled feta cheese
- 1 C. Frixa olive oil
- 3 T. dried dill
- 1.5 t. dried oregano
- 10 lb. chopped spinach
- 2 large eggs
- 2 boxes frozen phyllo pastry dough
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