Yes, food is a very important component of Greek culture. Beyond the delicious dishes is the underlying truth that food brings families together.
When Geoff Patmides was a young Crete boy, he wanted his family to be together. He lost his father very early, and his mother was young herself. She had to be the breadwinner and was often away for work, leaving Geoff to be raised primarily by his grandparents.
Picture a Greek yiayia (grandmother) in your head, and you’ve likely got it right. Geoff grew up in a traditional Greek household, and his yiayia cooked the family dinner every night. According to a reliable source (the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding), they also used Windex to cure everything.
When his mother was home to share in the family meal, young Geoff noted that she loved his grandmother’s food. And thus Geoff’s training as a chef began while he was an elementary school–aged child.
The loss of a father and an often-absent mother can be hard for a young lad to understand. If he could learn to cook like his yiayia, perhaps his mom would stay around or even take him with her?
His grandmother’s cooking was hard to master. Elderly Greek ladies don’t use cookbooks, instead relying on their senses and experience to perfect their art. Geoff’s desire to earn love and acceptance from his mother began a journey that would eventually take him halfway around the world for training, education, and opportunity.
Authentic Greek Cuisine
The Local Greek is Geoff’s authentic Greek kitchen. What was once a catering side gig has blossomed into an award-winning restaurant.
In traditional Greek fashion, the restaurant is a family affair. In the role of Executive Chef, Geoff leads his small tribe while his lovely wife, Mia, is everywhere at once as she manages orders, assists in cooking, and keeps everything operating efficiently. Their five children all contribute, and other relatives lend a hand from time to time as well.
The older Patmides kids prepare vegetables (properly licensed!), work the register, and serve customers. The younger kids do their part by clearing tables and cleaning dishes. Geoff says their help is important. They help the restaurant run smoothly, and learn valuable lessons like how to earn.
Food brings families together. You may not have your own chef or yiayia to lay out an authentic Greek meal for your family, but that’s alright. Geoff Patmides has brought the Greek to SLC, and he would love to have you come by the Local Greek and be a part of his family.