NEW YORK – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex celebrated their first anniversary on May 19. Greek chef Nikolaos Koulousias was among the team of chefs who prepared the wedding reception foods for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as well as the 600 guests last year. Koulousias was born in Germany to Greek immigrant parents and is an ambassador of Greek gastronomy. He spoke with The National Herald about the royal wedding and what he is working on next.
When asked what it was like working on the royal wedding, Koulousias told TNH, “Well, for me it was a reunion with friends and colleagues as I have studied with some of the elite class of chefs from Buckingham and Windsor [Palaces]. It was a privilege for me to be there and cook again together like the old days.”
Among the 24 who prepared food for the receptions that followed the royal nuptials, Koulousias told the Associated Press before the wedding that the chefs’ goal “was to ‘marry’ the flavors the couple liked as kids.”
He also told AP at that time that the menu also featured traditional British recipes as well as meat from the royal estate.
Koulousias had met Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during the planning process and said that they were nice, AP reported, adding that the Greek chef was invited to join the royal wedding catering team by his former sous chef who became a Young Leader to the Queen.
Of his favorite dishes to prepare, he told TNH, “I have many actually, so I couldn’t call it a favorite, but I do love it. When I remember myself at a very young age, the dish we couldn’t get enough of was the typical Kritharaki. So what I did on my menu is a modern Kritharoto with saffron and a foam of Feta cheese.”
When asked where in Greece the family is from, Koulousias told TNH, “My Mother is from a village next to Nafpaktos and my Father from Kozani.”
About what inspires him in his career, he said, “The inspiration is that you keep learning. You will find in the culinary world always something new – either it is a technique or an item. The inspiration is your motivation at the same time.”
When asked about Greece, Koulousias noted that the country “could be proud of young people bringing and representing Greece in any way, not only culinary wise. We still need a lot to do to be back again, and that’s what we are working for. Heads up and keep going.”
When asked what he is working on next, he said, “I have many projects. First of all I have to set up the Greek Restaurant which is the first opened in Hurghada, Egypt in the Hotel chain Sentido. After that, I’m looking forward to introducing our new Chef team in Leros, four friends who are trying to pop up the culinary aspects of the island. Discussions are also ongoing about a tour throughout Turkey, searching for the old Greek and Ottoman recipes over there and to have the final in Mr. Erdogan’s palace. As well, we are in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy for a Greek festival with the president.”